You are here

Mathematical Treasure: William Oughtred’s Elementi Decimi Euclidis Declaratio

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

 

Title page for William Oughtred's 1662 Elementi Decimi Euclidis Declaratio.

The above image is the title page of Elementi Decimi Euclidis Declaratio (A Clarification of the Tenth Book of Euclid’s Elements, 1662) by William Oughtred (1574–1660). Oughtred, an English clergyman and mathematician, is best known for inventing a slide rule and for his influential work Clavis Mathematicae. Images of a 1631 Latin edition, a 1667 Latin edition, and a 1647 English translation of Oughtred’s Clavis Mathematicae are available on Convergence.

The next two images show the notation used in Oughtred’s work on Euclid, starting off with symbols for equal, greater than, and less than.

Page 1 from William Oughtred's 1662 Elementi Decimi Euclidis Declaratio. Page 2 from William Oughtred's 1662 Elementi Decimi Euclidis Declaratio.

The image below is page 5, containing a section of lemmas. With the help of the notation guide (the last two lines of the first page and the first two lines of the second page), one can see that the second lemma shows the expansion of binomials, \(A^2 + E^2 – 2AE = (A-E)^2\) and \(A^2 + E^2 + 2AE = (A+E)^2\).

Page 5 from William Oughtred's 1662 Elementi Decimi Euclidis Declaratio.

There is also a section on the five regular solids which includes nets for all but the icosahedron.

Page 37 from William Oughtred's 1662 Elementi Decimi Euclidis Declaratio. Page 38 from William Oughtred's 1662 Elementi Decimi Euclidis Declaratio.

Page 39 from William Oughtred's 1662 Elementi Decimi Euclidis Declaratio. Page 40 from William Oughtred's 1662 Elementi Decimi Euclidis Declaratio.

A complete digital scan of Oughtred’s 1662 Elementi Decimi Euclidis Declaratio can be found in the Linda Hall Library Digital Collections. It is bound together with a 1667 edition of Oughtred’s Clavis Mathematicae, call number QA33 .O73 1667, and two of Oughtred’s other works, Theorematum in Libris Archimedis de Sphaera & Cylindro Declaratio (1663) and Horologiorum Sciotericorum in Plano (1663).

Images in this article are courtesy of the Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology and 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.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Cynthia J. Huffman (Pittsburg State University), "Mathematical Treasure: William Oughtred’s Elementi Decimi Euclidis Declaratio," Convergence (June 2020)

Dummy View - NOT TO BE DELETED

Mathematical Treasures: The Linda Hall Library