Oliver Byrne – The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid


Mathematics is a fascinating subject that has created a world of inspiration and innovation throughout human history. Yet, to understand the complex world of mathematics, one needs to understand the core principles that govern the subject. In this regard, the legendary book, “The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid,” is one of the most important works ever written in the field of Mathematics.

The book was written in 300 BC, a time when there were no textbooks to learn and understand mathematics. Euclid, the great Greek mathematician, created this masterpiece, which outlined the fundamental principles of mathematics. The book’s influence is apparent in the works of great mathematicians throughout history, including Newton, Descartes, and Einstein. The Elements of Euclid lays the foundation for modern math, and to understand the subject, you must start with this book.

Oliver Byrne was a civil engineer! However, today we know him because of his ‘colored’ book of Euclid’s Elements. He loved Euclid’s Elements and decided to make his own version in the mid-19th century, and his version of Euclids’ Elements considered a masterpiece of Victorian printing. And many thanks to Taschen, we can access Oliver Byrne’s version of Euclid’s Elements!

Oliver Byrne – The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid from TASCHEN is a classic math book for several reasons. Firstly, the book is beautifully designed and it is full of colorful diagrams and illustrations, and each is color-coded to represent different parts of each geometric shape. This makes it easier for readers to understand and visualize complex geometric concepts.

Euclid’s Elements was created to teach logical reasoning skills. Mathematical reasoning encompasses the systematic steps taken to arrive at logical conclusions. The book teaches how to establish connections between basic or self-evident assumptions and, from these connections, to prove or derive everything else within the subject. Reading the book helps to develop logical reasoning patterns that can be applied in different aspects of life.

For mathematics to be effective, it must be communicated accurately and clearly. The book speaks to an unversed individual in math, teaching various concepts step by step with clear writing and concise definitions. This clarity allows for an easy understanding of mathematical concepts, enabling the ability to apply those concepts in different fields.

The Elements of Euclid’s main mathematical concept is plane geometry, which studies point, lines, angles, and corresponding geometric figures. The book teaches how to observe geometric shapes, relationships, and connections carefully. The students become consciously aware of the shapes, sizes, and distances of geometric shapes, enabling them to use geometric principles to solve various mathematical issues. Understanding these concepts develops a geometric mindset, which can be useful in architecture, engineering, science, and technology.

To summarize, Oliver Byrne – The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid from TASCHEN is more than a math book; it’s a piece of art. The visually appealing layouts, fascinating colors, and sketch drawings provide an artistic approach to math. It is a book that you can appreciate for its beauty as well as its educational value. And having a copy of the book is like owning a piece of history. The book is considered to be extremely rare, so being one of the few people to own a copy is something special. There’s something magical about having an artifact that represents mathematical history and knowledge.