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A transition, therefore, is not undeservedly made from sense to consideration, and from this to the nobler energies of intellect. Hence, as the certain knowledge of numbers received its origin among the Ph?nicians, on account of merchandise and commerce, so geometry was found out among the Egyptians from the distribution of land. When Thales, therefore, first went into Egypt, he transferred this knowledge from thence into Greece: and he invented many things himself, and communicated to his successors the principles of many. Some of which were, indeed, more universal, but others extended to sensibles.

But Hermotimus, the Colophonian, rendered more abundant what was formerly published by Eudoxus and The?tetus, and invented a multitude of elements, and wrote concerning some geometrical places. But Philippus the Mend?an, a disciple of Plato, and by him inflamed in the mathematical disciplines, both composed questions, according to the institutions of Plato, and proposed as the object of his enquiry whatever he thought conduced to the Platonic philosophy.

Not much younger than these (sc. Hermotimus of Colophon and Philippus of Mende) is Euclid, who put together the Elements, collecting many of Eudoxus' theorems, perfecting many of Theaetetus', and also bringing to irrefragable demonstration the things which were only somewhat loosely proved by his predecessors. This man lived in the time of the first Ptolemy. For Archimedes, who came immediately after the first (Ptolemy), makes mention of Euclid: and, further, they say that Ptolemy once asked him if there was in geometry any shorter way than that of the elements, and he answered that there was no royal road to geometry. He is then younger than pupils of Plato but older than Eratosthenes and Archimedes; for the latter were contemporary with one another, as Eratosthenes somewhere says.

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