## Book VII, Proposition 39

To find the number which is the least that will have given parts.

 Ἀριθμὸν εὑρεῖν, ὃς ἐλάχιστος ὢν ἕξει τὰ δοθέντα μέρη. Ἔστω τὰ δοθέντα μέρη τὰ Α, Β, Γ: δεῖ δὴ ἀριθμὸν εὑρεῖν, ὃς ἐλάχιστος ὢν ἕξει τὰ Α, Β, Γ μέρη. Ἔστωσαν γὰρ τοῖς Α, Β, Γ μέρεσιν ὁμώνυμοι ἀριθμοὶ οἱ Δ, Ε, Ζ, καὶ εἰλήφθω ὑπὸ τῶν Δ, Ε, Ζ ἐλάχιστος μετρούμενος ἀριθμὸς ὁ Η. Ὁ Η ἄρα ὁμώνυμα μέρη ἔχει τοῖς Δ, Ε, Ζ. τοῖς δὲ Δ, Ε, Ζ ὁμώνυμα μέρη ἐστὶ τὰ Α, Β, Γ: ὁ Η ἄρα ἔχει τὰ Α, Β, Γ μέρη. λέγω δή, ὅτι καὶ ἐλάχιστος ὤν. εἰ γὰρ μή, ἔσται τις τοῦ Η ἐλάσσων ἀριθμός, ὃς ἕξει τὰ Α, Β, Γ μέρη. ἔστω ὁ Θ. ἐπεὶ ὁ Θ ἔχει τὰ Α, Β, Γ μέρη, ὁ Θ ἄρα ὑπὸ ὁμωνύμων ἀριθμῶν μετρηθήσεται τοῖς Α, Β, Γ μέρεσιν. τοῖς δὲ Α, Β, Γ μέρεσιν ὁμώνυμοι ἀριθμοί εἰσιν οἱ Δ, Ε, Ζ: ὁ Θ ἄρα ὑπὸ τῶν Δ, Ε, Ζ μετρεῖται. καί ἐστιν ἐλάσσων τοῦ Η: ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἀδύνατον. οὐκ ἄρα ἔσται τις τοῦ Η ἐλάσσων ἀριθμός, ὃς ἕξει τὰ Α, Β, Γ μέρη: ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι. To find the number which is the least that will have given parts. Let A, B, C be the given parts; thus it is required to find the number which is the least that will have the parts A, B, C. Let D, E, F be numbers called by the same name as the parts A, B, C, and let G, the least number measured by D, E, F, be taken. [VII. 36] Therefore G has parts called by the same name as D, E, F. [VII. 37] But A, B, C are parts called by the same name as D, E, F; therefore G has the parts A, B, C. I say next that it is also the least number that has. For, if not, there will be some number less than G which will have the parts A, B, C. Let it be H. Since H has the parts A, B, C, therefore H will be measured by numbers called by the same name as the parts A, B, C. [VII. 38] But D, E, F are numbers called by the same name as the parts A, B, C; therefore H is measured by D, E, F. And it is less than G : which is impossible.