# Book 7 Proposition 21

Οἱ πρῶτοι πρὸς ἀλλήλους ἀριθμοὶ ἐλάχιστοί εἰσι τῶν τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον ἐχόντων αὐτοῖς. Ἔστωσαν πρῶτοι πρὸς ἀλλήλους ἀριθμοὶ οἱ Α, Β: λέγω, ὅτι οἱ Α, Β ἐλάχιστοί εἰσι τῶν τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον ἐχόντων αὐτοῖς. Εἰ γὰρ μή, ἔσονταί τινες τῶν Α, Β ἐλάσσονες ἀριθμοὶ ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ λόγῳ ὄντες τοῖς Α, Β. ἔστωσαν οἱ Γ, Δ. Ἐπεὶ οὖν οἱ ἐλάχιστοι ἀριθμοὶ τῶν τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον ἐχόντων <αὐτοῖς> μετροῦσι τοὺς τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον ἔχοντας ἰσάκις ὅ τε μείζων τὸν μείζονα καὶ ὁ ἐλάττων τὸν ἐλάττονα, τουτέστιν ὅ τε ἡγούμενος τὸν ἡγούμενον καὶ ὁ ἑπόμενος τὸν ἑπόμενον, ἰσάκις ἄρα ὁ Γ τὸν Α μετρεῖ καὶ ὁ Δ τὸν Β. ὁσάκις δὴ ὁ Γ τὸν Α μετρεῖ, τοσαῦται μονάδες ἔστωσαν ἐν τῷ Ε. καὶ ὁ Δ ἄρα τὸν Β μετρεῖ κατὰ τὰς ἐν τῷ Ε μονάδας. καὶ ἐπεὶ ὁ Γ τὸν Α μετρεῖ κατὰ τὰς ἐν τῷ Ε μονάδας, καὶ ὁ Ε ἄρα τὸν Α μετρεῖ κατὰ τὰς ἐν τῷ Γ μονάδας. διὰ τὰ αὐτὰ δὴ ὁ Ε καὶ τὸν Β μετρεῖ κατὰ τὰς ἐν τῷ Δ μονάδας. ὁ Ε ἄρα τοὺς Α, Β μετρεῖ πρώτους ὄντας πρὸς ἀλλήλους: ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἀδύνατον. οὐκ ἄρα ἔσονταί τινες τῶν Α, Β ἐλάσσονες ἀριθμοὶ ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ λόγῳ ὄντες τοῖς Α, Β. οἱ Α, Β ἄρα ἐλάχιστοί εἰσι τῶν τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον ἐχόντων αὐτοῖς: ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι.

Numbers prime to one another are the least of those which have the same ratio with them. Let A, B be numbers prime to one another; I say that A, B are the least of those which have the same ratio with them. For, if not, there will be some numbers less than A, B which are in the same ratio with A, B. Let them be C, D. Since, then, the least numbers of those which have the same ratio measure those which have the same ratio the same number of times, the greater the greater and the less the less, that is, the antecedent the antecedent and the consequent the consequent, [VII. 20] therefore C measures A the same number of times that D measures B. Now, as many times as C measures A, so many units let there be in E. Therefore D also measures B according to the units in E. And, since C measures A according to the units in E, therefore E also measures A according to the units in C. [VII. 16] For the same reason E also measures B according to the units in D. [VII. 16] Therefore E measures A, B which are prime to one another: which is impossible. [VII. Def. 12] Therefore there will be no numbers less than A, B which are in the same ratio with A, B.