Euclid, The Founder of Geometry
Who invented geometry?—The popular, and probably the correct answer to this question is, the ancient Greek mathematician Euclid. However, there is room to say more with this answer.
Geometry is not an object or a device, it is a conceptual science. So, you can easily utter a specific name in answer to a question like “Who invented penicillin or dynamite”; but if the question is “who invented the English language”, then you can’t easily name a specific person. Because countless people may have participated in the formation of an evolving and conceptual theory or formula for centuries.
Geometry was used in ancient times to redraw agricultural boundaries when floods or tides erased them. The Egyptians used some geometric formulas to build the pyramids. Geometry is practiced in ancient Mesopotamia, the Indus, Babylon, India, and Arabia. That was around 2000 BC.
Who Invented Geometry?
One of the first to study geometry was Thales of Miletus (600 BC), who applied deductive proofs to geometry. However, almost two and a half centuries later, the famous mathematician Euclid compiled the formulas of geometry and wrote ‘The Elements’, which gave geometry an academic form for the first time. That is why Euclid is credited with being the father or founder of geometry. This remarkable book has been used as a textbook for almost 2000 years around the world.
Euclid, the famous mathematician of ancient times, was born in Greece, long before the birth of Jesus Christ. Not much is known about his birth and life. It is estimated that he died 300 years before the birth of Christ. Only three of his books are currently available. These are: Data, Optics and Elements. The last book was published in 13 volumes.
Euclid’s geometric formulas have been taught in educational institutions from that time until today. Because all geometric concepts are based on his formulas. Euclid is said to have studied at the famous Platonic Academy. For political reasons, Plato’s Academy was moved to Alexandria, Egypt. This academy had a large and rich library. Euclid studied and researched there.
Euclid’s mathematics was written in Arabic, later translated into Latin. Euclid is said to be the father of geometry. The German mathematician Rayman researched him and invented “Euclidean geometry”. The great scientist Einstein also discovered the “theory of relativity” with the help of Euclid’s geometric formula. Emperor Ptolemy of Alexandria was an ardent admirer of Euclid. But the emperor could not understand Euclid’s geometric formulas. So he asked Euclid for a shortcut to learning geometry. Euclid politely replied to the emperor: “There is no royal road to geometry. In fact, there is no shortcut to gaining knowledge.”
Euclid’s answer later became a proverb. It is true that there is no shortcut to learning. For this we need patience, practice, pursuit and attention. Many consider mathematics to be an uninteresting subject. But once one can dive into it, he reaches the real gem.
Euclid’s most famous work is the book “Euclid’s Elements”. This 13-volume book contains many elements of Euclidean geometry and ancient Greek numerology. The main reason for the popularity of this valuable book on geometry is the clear reasoning behind each theory, which marks the spread of mathematical rationalism in that era. “Elements” was one of the first books published after the invention of the printing press. It was printed more than 1000 times, the most printed book after the Bible. The book has been considered the cornerstone of geometry for almost two thousand years.
Euclid’s contribution to the world of human knowledge is immeasurable. The world will never forget this sage.