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Euclid's Elements

75 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1888009194
ISBN-10: 1888009195
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Editorial Reviews


I had not imagined that there was anything so delicious in the world. -- Bertrand Russell

If you want your students to really grapple with Euclid, this is the edition to choose. -- Fernando Q. Gouvea, MAA Online, August 2002

About the Author

Euclid is the most celebrated mathematician of all time. He lived in the third or fourth century B. C. E., after Plato but before Apollonius of Perga. His fame rests preeminently upon the Elements, which he wrote in thirteen books and which is said to have exercised an influence on the human mind greater than that of any other work except the Bible.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 529 pages
  • Publisher: Green Lion Press (January 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888009195
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888009194
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.2 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

463 of 474 people found the following review helpful By Theresa on May 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
There are two kinds of people who will read this review. Those who already know the book and want me to review the edition, and those who don't know the book.
To the first; this is a no-glue sturdy edition - happy to be photocopied - with all of the books bound in one nice portable volume. Despite being reasonably compact, there is ample space on every page for notes, and the diagrams are large and clear. It's really good.
To the second;THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN BY A HUMAN. I'm not kidding and I'm not exaggerating; there is no way to express the joy of reading Euclid without sounding like a lunatic. There are very few books which reach their umpteenth thousandth edition without promising a posthumous infinity of bliss. The bliss of 'The Elements' is admittedly finite, but it delivers right away. This is an electrifying piece of work which has produced a chorus of rapture and inspiration lasting two millennia. Poets have penned homage to its beauty. Philosophers and mathematicians have wept. Theologians saw God in its perfection. As war, pestilence and plague tortured humanity, as the empires of despots rose and crumbled, the devout risked death rather than surrender this book. Why? Because they had read it.
It is a cure for math-phobia, and can be read by anyone who is at least a little studious and over the age of 12.
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167 of 169 people found the following review helpful By Kersi Von Zerububbel VINE VOICE on October 25, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This edition of Elements put out by a publisher called Greenlion is superb. The font size, text layout, figures adjacent to propositions, and wide margins make this book very convenient to follow the logic behind each proposition. I used to own the three volume edition put out by Dover but this one beats it by leaps and bounds.

Of course Euclid's Elements, to my mind, ranks as one of the majesterial achievements of the human mind. I follow the format of one proposition a week till I complete the cycle. Then take a respite for a year or two and repeat the exercise.

In 1963 during a train journey from Bangalore to Bombay (via.Poona), India, I was reading Dr. Radhakrishnan's Indian Philosophy. Upon noticing this an elderly gentleman admonished me to stop wasting time and go with something he called "the great Eee-u-clid's ideas". He then gave me one of the best lectures in Western Philosophy that I can remember. Euclid, he said, is far more than geometry. This was my introduction to Euclid other than High School geometry. This gentleman told me that he had written down each propositon and proof from volumes available at the goverment Public Library in Cubbon Park, Bangalore. He was a clerk at the library who had no formal education. Everytime I open the Elements I think of Mr. Gururaj. Such is the beauty and power of Euclid.
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105 of 108 people found the following review helpful By tepi on March 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Euclid's Elements: all thirteen books complete in one volume. The Thomas L. Heath Translation. Dana Densmore, Editor. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Green Lion Press, 2002. Cloth, 529 pp. ISBN 1888009187.

I have just received my hardcover copy of 'Euclid's Elements' and must say that Green Lion Press is to be congratulated on having given us, not only an accurate and uncluttered student-friendly edition of Euclid, but a book that in terms of its physical makeup is truly splendid.

What a striking contrast this Green Lion Press book is to the over-priced trash so many publishers see fit to inflict on us today. Rather than the sort of pseudo-book we have grown accustomed to - books on paper of mediocre quality in imitation cloth-covered boards; books with those wretched thermoplastic spines that either won't open flat or if opened will immediately crack; books designed to self-destruct after only minimal use - Green Lion Press has given us something very different.

Their hardcover edition is cased in sturdy real cloth-covered boards. Its pages are Smyth-sewn in the traditional manner so that the book will open flat. It is beautifully printed on durable high-quality paper and the typography and layout are also excellent.

Green Lion Press has, in short, given us A REAL BOOK at a reasonable price, one that will easily withstand the heavy use most readers will be giving it, and one that is a truly fitting vehicle for this masterpiece of Greek wisdom.
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By James Layne on September 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This edition of Euclid's Elements is a very commonly used one at Thomas Aquinas College in California, a school where the Elements is a required course. Students begin study of the Elements in the freshman year and continue to explore its meaning in later Mathematics and Philosophy.

This ancient work is a masterpiece of the human mind and a marvelous example of how a science may be built off of proper beginning principles. This edition presents an excellent translation of that work in a quality binding.

One of the most important features of this edition of Euclid is the fact that the diagrams are reprinted on additional pages so that one may see them as he studies the texts of the various propositions. There is no need to constantly flip back and forth to look at diagrams (an important part of following the flow of the argument in the proposition for most students). Most other printings of the Elements (at least the ones that I have seen), lack this very helpful feature. The pages are also large enough to add some notes while working through the props.

Quite simply, this is a nice edition of one of the greatest masterpieces of the human mind. No lover of Geometry, of Mathematics, or of truth in general, should be without this or some other faithful translation of this foundational text.
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