Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Anyone want to work on Euclid with me? It always helps to have a partner or a little group.
The edition I'm using is the Dover reprint of Thomas Heath's 1925 translation of the earlier work of Heiberg, 1888. Three volumes, kindly sent along by an O's P. regular reader.
There appear to be various online study guides as well. I've found this one from the Dept. of Math and Computer Science at Clark university. I'm sure there are other good study aids to Euclid online, but I like this one to start with because the notes, at least that I have looked at so far, are brief and comprehensible.
I've come to the conclusion that I really can't do what I hope to do without a comprehensive look at classical geometry and proportions. This, I assume, is where my stick-to-it mettle is going to be tested. I'm quite excited about the prospect of studying geometry as part of my study of classical drawing, but I know from long and sad experience that the feeling of eagerness at the beginning cannot be counted on to pull one through to the completion of a project. If anyone else has a sound reason to want to study this subject with me, I would appreciate the companionship. As we all know from our various gym and weight training experiences, it's always easier on the buddy system.
I'll be keeping my eye open on Amazon and elsewhere to see if there are any good study editions. I was commenting this evening that when I studied Latin at King's College, the text we used was Wheelock, I think maybe the 4th edition...? Since my Latin time, 1998/99, I see that Wheelock has been turned into an entire one-man Latin industry, with work books, flash cards, readers, study guides, vocabulary books, 501 tenses and declensions and even whole websites dedicated to helping you get through the 40 chapters. I was remarking that the same thing could certainly profitably be done with Euclid if there were to be a revival of classical education. I will certainly be looking around.
In the meantime, if there is anyone who would consider committing to this project, let me know. As I implied above, it would be best if someone has a good reason to want to study geometry, rather than simply thinking it is a neat idea. I have thought it would be a neat idea, and have never got 'round to it. But I am starting now because I have an actual concrete need to know. The point of having someone to do it with is to keep both people going through to the end (or at least as far as our wee brains can go), which generally requires a serious motivation at the start.
I plan on doing, or I hope to be able to do, about 1/2 an hour a day, most days of the week first thing in the morning. I've started already, a little bit of Book 1, but I'm still pretty weak, so that might take a little building-up-to.
Let me know if you are interested and have the time to devote.