Was Euclid a genius or was he a mortal whose inevitability was implied in Ibn Khaldun’ s phrase ‘geography is destiny’? What are the adventures of the copies of the book called Elements, in history and what is the status of the copies that have survived to this day? Is there an original text? Are we justified in feeling as if the author of the book of Elements had access to the notions that will join the discipline of mathematics centuries later, as if he had access to it in his own time?
In the first half of the talk, we are going to seek answers to these questions; we are going to stir the data, superstitions and predictions up and leave it to the audience to establish their own truth.
In the second half of the talk, we are going to present some selected statements of Elements. Some statements fascinate us with their simplicity. Inspite of their complexity, some other fascinate us by the fact that they could be proved by the methods of the day. Some statements just fascinate us.
We are going to finalize our talk by hailing Euclid with a poem of Vincent Millay.