If there be as many numbers as we please in continued proportion, and the extremes of them be prime to one another, the numbers are the least of those which have the same ratio with them.

Ἐὰν ὦσιν ὁσοιδηποτοῦν ἀριθμοὶ ἑξῆς ἀνάλογον, οἱ δὲ ἄκροι αὐτῶν πρῶτοι πρὸς ἀλλήλους ὦσιν, ἐλάχιστοί εἰσι τῶν τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον ἐχόντων αὐτοῖς. Ἔστωσαν ὁποσοιοῦν ἀριθμοὶ ἑξῆς ἀνάλογον οἱ Α, Β, Γ, Δ, οἱ δὲ ἄκροι αὐτῶν οἱ Α, Δ πρῶτοι πρὸς ἀλλήλους ἔστωσαν: λέγω, ὅτι οἱ Α, Β, Γ, Δ ἐλάχιστοί εἰσι τῶν τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον ἐχόντων αὐτοῖς. Εἰ γὰρ μή, ἔστωσαν ἐλάττονες τῶν Α, Β, Γ, Δ οἱ Ε, Ζ, Η, Θ ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ λόγῳ ὄντες αὐτοῖς. καὶ ἐπεὶ οἱ Α, Β, Γ, Δ ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ λόγῳ εἰσὶ τοῖς Ε, Ζ, Η, Θ, καί ἐστιν ἴσον τὸ πλῆθος [ τῶν Α, Β, Γ, Δ ] τῷ πλήθει [ τῶν Ε, Ζ, Η, Θ ], δι' ἴσου ἄρα ἐστὶν ὡς ὁ Α πρὸς τὸν Δ, ὁ Ε πρὸς τὸν Θ. οἱ δὲ Α, Δ πρῶτοι, οἱ δὲ πρῶτοι καὶ ἐλάχιστοι, οἱ δὲ ἐλάχιστοι ἀριθμοὶ μετροῦσι τοὺς τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον ἔχοντας ἰσάκις ὅ τε μείζων τὸν μείζονα καὶ ὁ ἐλάσσων τὸν ἐλάσσονα, τουτέστιν ὅ τε ἡγούμενος τὸν ἡγούμενον καὶ ὁ ἑπόμενος τὸν ἑπόμενον. μετρεῖ ἄρα ὁ Α τὸν Ε ὁ μείζων τὸν ἐλάσσονα: ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἀδύνατον. οὐκ ἄρα οἱ Ε, Ζ, Η, Θ ἐλάσσονες ὄντες τῶν Α, Β, Γ, Δ ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ λόγῳ εἰσὶν αὐτοῖς. οἱ Α, Β, Γ, Δ ἄρα ἐλάχιστοί εἰσι τῶν τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον ἐχόντων αὐτοῖς: ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι. | If there be as many numbers as we please in continued proportion, and the extremes of them be prime to one another, the numbers are the least of those which have the same ratio with them. Let there be as many numbers as we please, A, B, C, D, in continued proportion, and let the extremes of them A, D be prime to one another; I say that A, B, C, D are the least of those which have the same ratio with them. For, if not, let E, F, G, H be less than A, B, C, D, and in the same ratio with them. Now, since A, B, C, D are in the same ratio with E, F, G, H, and the multitude of the numbers A, B, C, D is equal to the multitude of the numbers E, F, G, H, therefore, ex aequali, as A is to D, so is E to H. [VII. 14] But A, D are prime, primes are also least, [VII. 21] and the least numbers 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 A measures E, the greater the less: which is impossible. Therefore E, F, G, H which are less than A, B, C, D are not in the same ratio with them. |