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Linné on line arrow Mathematics in Linnaeus’ time arrow Mathematics past and present arrow Euclid arrow Euclid's Elements

Euclid's Elements

No other book on mathematics has been so influential as Euclid's Elements.

Gestrinius' In Geometriam Euclidis Gestrinius was professor in mathematics in Uppsala 1621 – 1648. Year of publication – 1637
Gestrinius' In Geometriam Euclidis contains the first six books of Elements. It was the first Elements to be published in Sweden, but it was written in Latin. Can you read the year of publication?

Elements is very logical in structure, with definitions, axioms, theorems, and proofs.

Definitions, axioms: The cornerstones of a theory are definitions and axioms. New concepts are introduced in a theory by definitions. The first three in Elements are definitions of point, line, and plane. Axioms provide concepts with properties that cannot be proven, but since we regard them as true, they support the theory. One of the axioms in the first book says: ”It is possible to draw a straight line between any two points whatsoever.” Another says: ”A whole is greater than any of its parts.” Self-evident? An axiom should be self-evident.

Theorems and proofs: By proving relations and new properties for concepts, the theory is developed. For instance, Pythagoras' proposition is proven in theorem 47 in Book 1.

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