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Mathematical Treasure: Al-Tusi's Euclid's Elements

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Nasīr al-dīn al-Ṭūsī (1201-1274) was a Persian astronomer, Arabic translator, and commentator on Greek classics. One of his most reissued texts was his translation of and commentary on Euclid’s Elements, Taḥrīr uṣūl al-handasa lī-Uqlīdīs. The following images are from an 1876 reprint of this work, the first page of which follows.

Below are two successive pages of al-Ṭūsī's Euclid containing discussions of angles, particularly those formed by arcs, and the properties of circles.

The properties of parallel lines are considered in detail in the page below.

Proofs for the “Pythagorean Theorem” are offered in the following page.


The images above were obtained through the cooperation of The Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Al-Tusi's Euclid's Elements ," Convergence (January 2016)