The Elements
Why we should Re-Visit this Text


     How many times in conversation have you been asked what it is that you do for a living, replied that you are a mathematician or mathematics teacher, and then been the recipient of some negative remark? Prehaps you have heard comments such as "My mind just doesn't work that way" or "I hate mathematics." And perhaps you, as have I, have thought "You are missing so much beauty."
     Ten to fifteen years ago I picked up The Elements for the first time in my life. As I became accustomed to the style of writing and a bit better at following the diagrams, I became more and more convinced that I was holding in my hands a text large numbers of people, with guidance, could read and enjoy. Furthermore, it is a revered text and thus one about which any reader should be happy to say "I've read some of Euclid." And since Euclid's text set the axiomatic tone which is central to mathematics, any reader of Euclid can better appreciate the art of mathematics as it is practiced today.
     But there is not unanimous agreement that The Elements is the appropriate example of the mathematicians art: see the Comments of Popular Authors.

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