# Euclid of Alexandria

Little is known about Euclid's life, as there are only a handful of references to him. The date and place of Euclid's birth and the date and circumstances of his death are unknown, and only roughly estimated in proximity to contemporary figures mentioned in references. No likeness or description of Euclid's physical appearance made during his lifetime survived antiquity. The few historical references to Euclid were written centuries after he lived, by Proclus and Pappus of Alexandria. Proclus introduces Euclid only briefly in his fifth-century Commentary on the Elements, as the author of Elements, that he was mentioned by Archimedes, and that when King Ptolemy asked if there was a shorter path to learning geometry than Euclid's Elements, "Euclid replied there is no royal road to geometry." Although the purported citation of Euclid by Archimedes has been judged to be an interpolation by later editors of his works, it is still believed that Euclid wrote his works before those of Archimedes. In addition, the "royal road" anecdote is questionable since it is similar to a story told about Menaechmus and Alexander the Great. In the only other key reference to Euclid, Pappus briefly mentioned in the fourth century that Apollonius "spent a very long time with the...

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