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Mathematical Treasure: 14th Century Euclid's Elements

Author(s): 
Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

An anonymous English manuscript titled Elementa (circa 1385-1399, Plimpton MS 160) utilizes the page margins for instructional figures. The title page boasts a picture of Euclid holding a compass. He is encircled by a dragon.

Folio 1 from English manuscript of Euclid's Elements in Latin, circa 1385-1399

The geometrically astute reader may determine the content of the Latin text by viewing and interpreting the marginal diagrams.

Folio 2 (verso) from English manuscript of Euclid's Elements in Latin, circa 1385-1399

Folio 5 from English manuscript of Euclid's Elements in Latin, circa 1385-1399

Folio 8 from English manuscript of Euclid's Elements in Latin, circa 1385-1399

The images above have been obtained through the kind cooperation of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library of the Columbia University Libraries. These and more images may be accessed via Digital Scriptorium, a digital collection of medieval and early Renaissance manuscripts made available by a consortium of cooperating university libraries headed by the University of California, Berkeley. 

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: 14th Century Euclid's Elements," Convergence (June 2018)

Dummy View - NOT TO BE DELETED