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Who Invented Geometry?

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Geometry was already in existence in 3000 B.C. in ancient civilizations of Babylon and Egypt but was a nameless mathematical system. It can be concluded that the inventor of geometry came from any of these civilizations. Ancient Indian civilizations also contained records of the earlier versions of geometry. During the Vedic period, several sutras were made that contained geometric instructions on how to construct fire altars. One of these sutras is the Satapatha Brahmana.

Euclid of AlexandriaEuclid of Alexandria wrote the book called “Elements”, which now becomes the foundation for our modern day geometry.

The Indian, the Chinese and the Arabs

Another sutra was the Sulba Sutra, which contains the earliest records of the Pythagorean Theorem. In the Classical Period, the famous Hindu mathematician Brahmagupta formulated his famous theorem in geometry. China also has several artifacts and ancient records of ancient geometry. One famous record is in the Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Arts in 179 AD. Another famous Chinese record of ancient geometry is The Sea Island Mathematical Manual by Liu Hui. Arabs also had their own version of geometry. The Al-Jabr wa-al-Muqabilah is one of the famous artifacts that record the use of geometry by Arabs in the year 600 A.D.

The Euclidean Geometry, our modern day geometry

The geometry universally used today is referred to as the Euclidean Geometry. In 300 B.C., the Greek mathematician Euclid gathered the most common concepts of geometry in his time and added his own original theorems as well. He organized all of these into one book he called The Elements of Geometry. The book contains what are known today as common notions and the fundamental geometric principles.

Euclid: the Father of Geometry

Though Euclid is considered the “Father of Geometry”, modern geometry started in the end of the 16th century with the advent of analytic geometry. Non-Euclidean geometry came into being in the 19th century as problems with several of Euclid’s postulates surfaced. Nevertheless, the geometry taught today in universities and colleges are the directly credited to Euclid for his efforts in organizing such ancient knowledge. It is only proper to consider Euclid as the inventor of modern geometry.

Math invention: Algebra, numbers, zero and calculus.