You are here

Mathematical Treasure: Euclid's Elements Printed in Arabic

Author(s): 
Cynthia J. Huffman (Pittsburg State University)

The first printed Arabic version of Euclid’s Elements was in 1594 by the Medicean Press in Rome. It was based on an earlier 1260 manuscript by Nasīr al-dīn al-Tūsī, a well-known and influential Persian mathematician and astronomer. The copy at the Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology is interesting since it was never bound. It is possible for readers to see what a book purchased in the 16th century directly from the publisher would have looked with its folded, unstitched, and uncut sheets.

First pages of 1594 Arabic-language printing of Euclid's Elements.

Title page from 1594 Arabic-language printing of Euclid's Elements.

Pages from 1594 Arabic-language printing of Euclid's Elements.

Pages from 1594 Arabic-language printing of Euclid's Elements.

For more on al-Tusi’s commentary of Euclid’s Elements, visit “Nasir al-din al-Tusi's Commentary on Euclid's Elements” by Frank J. Swetz and Victor J. Katz in Convergence.

The call number for this work is QA31.E86 1594.

Images in this article were taken by the author at the Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology and are used with permission. The images may be downloaded and used for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study, provided the Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology is credited as the source. For other uses, check out the LHL Image Rights and Reproductions policy.

References

Swetz, Frank J., and Victor J. Katz. "Mathematical Treasures - Nasir al-din al-Tusi's Commentary on Euclid's Elements." Convergence (January 2011). http://www.maa.org/press/periodicals/convergence/mathematical-treasures-nasir-al-din-al-tusis-commentary-on-euclids-elements.

O'Connor, J. J., and E. R. Robertson. “Nasir al-Din al-Tusi.” MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive. http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/Al-Tusi_Nasir.html.

“Medici Oriental Press.” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medici_Oriental_Press.

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. “Al-Ṭūsī, Muḥammad Ibn Muḥammad Ibn Al-Ḥasan Usually Known as Naṣir Al-Dīn.” In Dictionary of Scientific Biography, edited by C. C. Gillespie, xiii:508–513. New York: Scribner, 1972.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Cynthia J. Huffman (Pittsburg State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Euclid's Elements Printed in Arabic," Convergence (January 2017)

Dummy View - NOT TO BE DELETED

Mathematical Treasures: The Linda Hall Library