Given three numbers not prime to one another, to find their greatest common measure.

Τριῶν ἀριθμῶν δοθέντων μὴ πρώτων πρὸς ἀλλήλους τὸ μέγιστον αὐτῶν κοινὸν μέτρον εὑρεῖν. Ἔστωσαν οἱ δοθέντες τρεῖς ἀριθμοὶ μὴ πρῶτοι πρὸς ἀλλήλους οἱ Α, Β, Γ: δεῖ δὴ τῶν Α, Β, Γ τὸ μέγιστον κοινὸν μέτρον εὑρεῖν. Εἰλήφθω γὰρ δύο τῶν Α, Β τὸ μέγιστον κοινὸν μέτρον ὁ Δ: ὁ δὴ Δ τὸν Γ ἤτοι μετρεῖ ἢ οὐ μετρεῖ. μετρείτω πρότερον: μετρεῖ δὲ καὶ τοὺς Α, Β: ὁ Δ ἄρα τοὺς Α, Β, Γ μετρεῖ: ὁ Δ ἄρα τῶν Α, Β, Γ κοινὸν μέτρον ἐστίν. λέγω δή, ὅτι καὶ μέγιστον. εἰ γὰρ μή ἐστιν ὁ Δ τῶν Α, Β, Γ μέγιστον κοινὸν μέτρον, μετρήσει τις τοὺς Α, Β, Γ ἀριθμοὺς ἀριθμὸς μείζων ὢν τοῦ Δ. μετρείτω, καὶ ἔστω ὁ Ε. ἐπεὶ οὖν ὁ Ε τοὺς Α, Β, Γ μετρεῖ, καὶ τοὺς Α, Β ἄρα μετρήσει: καὶ τὸ τῶν Α, Β ἄρα μέγιστον κοινὸν μέτρον μετρήσει. τὸ δὲ τῶν Α, Β μέγιστον κοινὸν μέτρον ἐστὶν ὁ Δ: ὁ Ε ἄρα τὸν Δ μετρεῖ ὁ μείζων τὸν ἐλάσσονα: ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἀδύνατον. οὐκ ἄρα τοὺς Α, Β, Γ ἀριθμοὺς ἀριθμός τις μετρήσει μείζων ὢν τοῦ Δ: ὁ Δ ἄρα τῶν Α, Β, Γ μέγιστόν ἐστι κοινὸν μέτρον. Μὴ μετρείτω δὴ ὁ Δ τὸν Γ: λέγω πρῶτον, ὅτι οἱ Γ, Δ οὔκ εἰσι πρῶτοι πρὸς ἀλλήλους. ἐπεὶ γὰρ οἱ Α, Β, Γ οὔκ εἰσι πρῶτοι πρὸς ἀλλήλους, μετρήσει τις αὐτοὺς ἀριθμός. ὁ δὴ τοὺς Α, Β, Γ μετρῶν καὶ τοὺς Α, Β μετρήσει, καὶ τὸ τῶν Α, Β μέγιστον κοινὸν μέτρον τὸν Δ μετρήσει: μετρεῖ δὲ καὶ τὸν Γ: τοὺς Δ, Γ ἄρα ἀριθμοὺς ἀριθμός τις μετρήσει: οἱ Δ, Γ ἄρα οὔκ εἰσι πρῶτοι πρὸς ἀλλήλους. εἰλήφθω οὖν αὐτῶν τὸ μέγιστον κοινὸν μέτρον ὁ Ε. καὶ ἐπεὶ ὁ Ε τὸν Δ μετρεῖ, ὁ δὲ Δ τοὺς Α, Β μετρεῖ, καὶ ὁ Ε ἄρα τοὺς Α, Β μετρεῖ: μετρεῖ δὲ καὶ τὸν Γ: ὁ Ε ἄρα τοὺς Α, Β, Γ μετρεῖ: ὁ Ε ἄρα τῶν Α, Β, Γ κοινόν ἐστι μέτρον. λέγω δή, ὅτι καὶ μέγιστον. εἰ γὰρ μή ἐστιν ὁ Ε τῶν Α, Β, Γ τὸ μέγιστον κοινὸν μέτρον, μετρήσει τις τοὺς Α, Β, Γ ἀριθμοὺς ἀριθμὸς μείζων ὢν τοῦ Ε. μετρείτω, καὶ ἔστω ὁ Ζ. καὶ ἐπεὶ ὁ Ζ τοὺς Α, Β, Γ μετρεῖ, καὶ τοὺς Α, Β μετρεῖ: καὶ τὸ τῶν Α, Β ἄρα μέγιστον κοινὸν μέτρον μετρήσει. τὸ δὲ τῶν Α, Β μέγιστον κοινὸν μέτρον ἐστὶν ὁ Δ: ὁ Ζ ἄρα τὸν Δ μετρεῖ: μετρεῖ δὲ καὶ τὸν Γ: ὁ Ζ ἄρα τοὺς Δ, Γ μετρεῖ: καὶ τὸ τῶν Δ, Γ ἄρα μέγιστον κοινὸν μέτρον μετρήσει. τὸ δὲ τῶν Δ, Γ μέγιστον κοινὸν μέτρον ἐστὶν ὁ Ε: ὁ Ζ ἄρα τὸν Ε μετρεῖ ὁ μείζων τὸν ἐλάσσονα: ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἀδύνατον. οὐκ ἄρα τοὺς Α, Β, Γ ἀριθμοὺς ἀριθμός τις μετρήσει μείζων ὢν τοῦ Ε: ὁ Ε ἄρα τῶν Α, Β, Γ μέγιστόν ἐστι κοινὸν μέτρον: ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι. | Given three numbers not prime to one another, to find their greatest common measure. Let A, B, C be the three given numbers not prime to one another; thus it is required to find the greatest common measure of A, B, C. For let the greatest common measure, D, of the two numbers A, B be taken; [VII. 2] then D either measures, or does not measure, C. First, let it measure it. But it measures A, B also; therefore D measures A, B, C; therefore D is a common measure of A, B, C. I say that it is also the greatest. For, if D is not the greatest common measure of A, B, C, some number which is greater than D will measure the numbers A, B, C. Let such a number measure them, and let it be E. Since then E measures A, B, C, it will also measure A, B; therefore it will also measure the greatest common measure of A, B. [VII. 2, Por.] But the greatest common measure of A, B is D; therefore E measures D, the greater the less: which is impossible. Therefore no number which is greater than D will measure the numbers A, B, C; therefore D is the greatest common measure of A, B, C. Next, let D not measure C; I say first that C, D are not prime to one another. For, since A, B, C are not prime to one another, some number will measure them. Now that which measures A, B, C will also measure A, B, and will measure D, the greatest common measure of A, B. [VII. 2, Por.] But it measures C also; therefore some number will measure the numbers D, C; therefore D, C are not prime to one another. Let then their greatest common measure E be taken. [VII. 2] Then, since E measures D, and D measures A, B, therefore E also measures A, B. But it measures C also; therefore E measures A, B, C; therefore E is a common measure of A, B, C. I say next that it is also the greatest. For, if E is not the greatest common measure of A, B, C, some number which is greater than E will measure the numbers A, B, C. Let such a number measure them, and let it be F. Now, since F measures A, B, C, it also measures A, B; therefore it will also measure the greatest common measure of A, B. [VII. 2, Por.] But the greatest common measure of A, B is D; therefore F measures D. And it measures C also; therefore F measures D, C; therefore it will also measure the greatest common measure of D, C. [VII. 2, Por.] But the greatest common measure of D, C is E; therefore F measures E, the greater the less: which is impossible. |