You are here

Mathematical Treasure: Early Translations of Euclid's Elements into Arabic

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

Isḥāq ibn Ḥunayn (c. 830-910) was a Persian physician and translator. His Arabic translation of Euclid’s Elements was republished several times. This is an image from a 1466 edition. The image is obtained through the cooperation of the University of Otago, New Zealand, with special collection reference Beer MS 08.

Image from Arabic translation of Euclid's Elements by Ishaq ibn Hunayn

For more information about the author and his translation, see the article in Historia Mathematica, Isḥāq ibn Ḥunayn, Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq, and the Third Arabic Translation of Euclid's Elements, by Gregg de Young.

The leaves below are part of a "gathering" from an abridgment of Euclid's Elements, "Ikhtiṣār lil-maqālāt min kitāb Uqlīdis" in Arabic. They were copied in 1108–1109 by an anonymous scribe in Egypt, Syria, or Iraq.

Leaf from Arabic abridgment of Euclid's Elements, 1108-1109. Leaf from Arabic abridgment of Euclid's Elements, 1108-1109.

Leaf from Arabic abridgment of Euclid's Elements, 1108-1109.

These images from LJS 460 are presented courtesy of the Schoenberg Manuscript Collection within the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Pennsylvania. Both sides of all eight leaves acquired from this manuscript may be viewed here.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Early Translations of Euclid's Elements into Arabic," Convergence (September 2020)

Dummy View - NOT TO BE DELETED