Two unequal numbers being set out, and the less being continually subtracted in turn from the greater, if the number which is left never measures the one before it until an unit is left, the original numbers will be prime to one another.

Δύο ἀριθμῶν ἀνίσων ἐκκειμένων, ἀνθυφαιρουμένου δὲ ἀεὶ τοῦ ἐλάσσονος ἀπὸ τοῦ μείζονος, ἐὰν ὁ λειπόμενος μηδέποτε καταμετρῇ τὸν πρὸ ἑαυτοῦ, ἕως οὗ λειφθῇ μονάς, οἱ ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἀριθμοὶ πρῶτοι πρὸς ἀλλήλους ἔσονται. Δύο γὰρ [ ἀνίσων ] ἀριθμῶν τῶν ΑΒ, ΓΔ ἀνθυφαιρουμένου ἀεὶ τοῦ ἐλάσσονος ἀπὸ τοῦ μείζονος ὁ λειπόμενος μηδέποτε καταμετρείτω τὸν πρὸ ἑαυτοῦ, ἕως οὗ λειφθῇ μονάς: λέγω, ὅτι οἱ ΑΒ, ΓΔ πρῶτοι πρὸς ἀλλήλους εἰσίν, τουτέστιν ὅτι τοὺς ΑΒ, ΓΔ μονὰς μόνη μετρεῖ. Εἰ γὰρ μή εἰσιν οἱ ΑΒ, ΓΔ πρῶτοι πρὸς ἀλλήλους, μετρήσει τις αὐτοὺς ἀριθμός. μετρείτω, καὶ ἔστω ὁ Ε: καὶ ὁ μὲν ΓΔ τὸν ΒΖ μετρῶν λειπέτω ἑαυτοῦ ἐλάσσονα τὸν ΖΑ, ὁ δὲ ΑΖ τὸν ΔΗ μετρῶν λειπέτω ἑαυτοῦ ἐλάσσονα τὸν ΗΓ, ὁ δὲ ΗΓ τὸν ΖΘ μετρῶν λειπέτω μονάδα τὴν ΘΑ. Ἐπεὶ οὖν ὁ Ε τὸν ΓΔ μετρεῖ, ὁ δὲ ΓΔ τὸν ΒΖ μετρεῖ καὶ ὁ Ε ἄρα τὸν ΒΖ μετρεῖ: μετρεῖ δὲ καὶ ὅλον τὸν ΒΑ: καὶ λοιπὸν ἄρα τὸν ΑΖ μετρήσει. ὁ δὲ ΑΖ τὸν ΔΗ μετρεῖ: καὶ ὁ Ε ἄρα τὸν ΔΗ μετρεῖ: μετρεῖ δὲ καὶ ὅλον τὸν ΔΓ: καὶ λοιπὸν ἄρα τὸν ΓΗ μετρήσει. ὁ δὲ ΓΗ τὸν ΖΘ μετρεῖ: καὶ ὁ Ε ἄρα τὸν ΖΘ μετρεῖ: μετρεῖ δὲ καὶ ὅλον τὸν ΖΑ: καὶ λοιπὴν ἄρα τὴν ΑΘ μονάδα μετρήσει ἀριθμὸς ὤν: ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἀδύνατον. οὐκ ἄρα τοὺς ΑΒ, ΓΔ ἀριθμοὺς μετρήσει τις ἀριθμός: οἱ ΑΒ, ΓΔ ἄρα πρῶτοι πρὸς ἀλλήλους εἰσίν: ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι. | Two unequal numbers being set out, and the less being continually subtracted in turn from the greater, if the number which is left never measures the one before it until an unit is left, the original numbers will be prime to one another. For, the less of two unequal numbers AB, CD being continually subtracted from the greater, let the number which is left never measure the one before it until an unit is left; I say that AB, CD are prime to one another, that is, that an unit alone measures AB, CD. For, if AB, CD are not prime to one another, some number will measure them. Let a number measure them, and let it be E; let CD, measuring BF, leave FA less than itself, let AF, measuring DG, leave GC less than itself, and let GC, measuring FH, leave an unit HA. Since, then, E measures CD, and CD measures BF, therefore E also measures BF. But it also measures the whole BA; therefore it will also measure the remainder AF. But AF measures DG; therefore E also measures DG. But it also measures the whole DC therefore it will also measure the remainder CG. But CG measures FH; therefore E also measures FH. But it also measures the whole FA; therefore it will also measure the remainder, the unit AH, though it is a number: which is impossible. |