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On the relations between geometry and algebra in Gestrinius' edition of Euclid's Elements

Conference paper
Authors Johanna Pejlare
Staffan Rodhe
Published in Radford, L., Furinghetti, F., & Hausberger, T. (Eds.) (2016). Proceedings of the 2016 ICME Satellite Meeting of the International Study Group on the Relations Between the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics. Montpellier, France: IREM de Montpellier.
Pages 513-523
ISBN 2-909916-51-0
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Mathematical Sciences
Pages 513-523
Language en
Keywords history of mathematics, mathematics education, Gestrinius, Euclid's Elements, geometry, algebra
Subject categories Geometry, Algebra and geometry, Other Mathematics


In 1637 the Swedish mathematician Martinus Erici Gestrinius contributed with a commented edition of Euclid’s Elements. In this article we analyse the relationship between geometry and algebra in Gestrinius’ Elements, as presented in Book II. Of particular interest are Propositions 4, 5, and 6, dealing with straight lines cut into equal and unequal parts, and the three kinds of quadratic equations Gestrinius associates with them. We argue that Gestrinius followed Clavius translation of the Elements, but was influenced by Ramus to include algebra.

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