- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications; 2 edition (June 1, 1956)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0486600890
- ISBN-13: 978-0486600895
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Thirteen Books of the Elements, Vol. 2: Books 3-9 Paperback – June 1, 1956
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1) The editor (or, more likely, automatic formatter) has put in links from every mention of a proposition or page reference. This is very useful. But page references to *other* books are also linked as though they were pages in this volume; not so useful.
2) The big problem: the Greek is a *mess*. A jumble of typefaces, scanned letters and mathematical symbols (!) used to put together the Greek words and phrases that appear on just about every page of this text. I see hardly a single word in which the accentuation and breathing has been placed correctly. And on some pages, I see the same word appearing 4 different ways, depending on how the scanner picked it up! (pi turned into tt, accents flipped back and forth, acute accents turned into rough breathings in the middle of the page, letters simply misidentified in other ways). Much of the very learned commentary in this book is a careful analysis of single Greek words or phrases; it is an insult both to the original scholarship and to the users of the book to mess this up so badly.
I love Dover books. But they need to get a *human being* to got through the 3 volumes of this work (and all 3 volumes are just as bad as each other), and correct these errors, particularly the Greek. As it is, I would recommend anyone interested in the book to buy the print edition, but avoid the Kindle version at all costs,
T.L. Heath's translation is quite perfect, and his explanations of the proofs and the historical background he provides make him the absolute authority on the subject. This is the best translation out there, hands down.
Aside from that the book was a merry one. It contains more books than the first one. It contains the books 3 up to 9 of Euclid's 13 books of the elements.
Book 3 is a delightful one. Its sole purpose is to characterize circles. It goes with the same style of the first two books given the first volume. Books 4 continues in the same fashion and studies circumscribing and inscribing figures by others.
Book 5 is the first attempt to bring geometry near to algebra. It deals with proportions. The notation started getting more and more cumbersome. He continues giving us things that we know already. And all through the volume until book 9 we see results commonly given in simple college algebra in the most tedious fashion.
I praise this volume only for the material on circles and I see that it is worth reading if you have a strong constitution. As for me I am not going to read the third one about the out of date commensurable numbers.