## Book VIII, Proposition 4

Given as many ratios as we please in least numbers, to find numbers in continued proportion which are the least in the given ratios.

 Λόγων δοθέντων ὁποσωνοῦν ἐν ἐλαχίστοις ἀριθμοῖς ἀριθμοὺς εὑρεῖν ἑξῆς ἀνάλογον ἐλαχίστους ἐν τοῖς δοθεῖσι λόγοις. Ἔστωσαν οἱ δοθέντες λόγοι ἐν ἐλαχίστοις ἀριθμοῖς ὅ τε τοῦ Α πρὸς τὸν Β καὶ ὁ τοῦ Γ πρὸς τὸν Δ καὶ ἔτι ὁ τοῦ Ε πρὸς τὸν Ζ: δεῖ δὴ ἀριθμοὺς εὑρεῖν ἑξῆς ἀνάλογον ἐλαχίστους ἔν τε τῷ τοῦ Α πρὸς τὸν Β λόγῳ καὶ ἐν τῷ τοῦ Γ πρὸς τὸν Δ καὶ ἔτι ἐν τῷ τοῦ Ε πρὸς τὸν Ζ. Εἰλήφθω γὰρ ὁ ὑπὸ τῶν Β, Γ ἐλάχιστος μετρούμενος ἀριθμὸς ὁ Η. καὶ ὁσάκις μὲν ὁ Β τὸν Η μετρεῖ, τοσαυτάκις καὶ ὁ Α τὸν Θ μετρείτω, ὁσάκις δὲ ὁ Γ τὸν Η μετρεῖ, τοσαυτάκις καὶ ὁ Δ τὸν Κ μετρείτω. ὁ δὲ Ε τὸν Κ ἤτοι μετρεῖ ἢ οὐ μετρεῖ. μετρείτω πρότερον. καὶ ὁσάκις ὁ Ε τὸν Κ μετρεῖ, τοσαυτάκις καὶ ὁ Ζ τὸν Λ μετρείτω. καὶ ἐπεὶ ἰσάκις ὁ Α τὸν Θ μετρεῖ καὶ ὁ Β τὸν Η, ἔστιν ἄρα ὡς ὁ Α πρὸς τὸν Β, οὕτως ὁ Θ πρὸς τὸν Η. διὰ τὰ αὐτὰ δὴ καὶ ὡς ὁ Γ πρὸς τὸν Δ, οὕτως ὁ Η πρὸς τὸν Κ, καὶ ἔτι ὡς ὁ Ε πρὸς τὸν Ζ, οὕτως ὁ Κ πρὸς τὸν Λ: οἱ Θ, Η, Κ, Λ ἄρα ἑξῆς ἀνάλογόν εἰσιν ἔν τε τῷ τοῦ Α πρὸς τὸν Β καὶ ἐν τῷ τοῦ Γ πρὸς τὸν Δ καὶ ἔτι ἐν τῷ τοῦ Ε πρὸς τὸν Ζ λόγῳ. λέγω δή, ὅτι καὶ ἐλάχιστοι. εἰ γὰρ μή εἰσιν οἱ Θ, Η, Κ, Λ ἑξῆς ἀνάλογον ἐλάχιστοι ἔν τε τοῖς τοῦ Α πρὸς τὸν Β καὶ τοῦ Γ πρὸς τὸν Δ καὶ ἐν τῷ τοῦ Ε πρὸς τὸν Ζ λόγοις, ἔστωσαν οἱ Ν, Ξ, Μ, Ο. καὶ ἐπεί ἐστιν ὡς ὁ Α πρὸς τὸν Β, οὕτως ὁ Ν πρὸς τὸν Ξ, οἱ δὲ Α, Β ἐλάχιστοι, οἱ δὲ ἐλάχιστοι 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, ὁ Β ἄρα τὸν Ξ μετρεῖ. διὰ τὰ αὐτὰ δὴ καὶ ὁ Γ τὸν Ξ μετρεῖ: οἱ Β, Γ ἄρα τὸν Ξ μετροῦσιν: καὶ ὁ ἐλάχιστος ἄρα ὑπὸ τῶν Β, Γ μετρούμενος τὸν Ξ μετρήσει. ἐλάχιστος δὲ ὑπὸ τῶν Β, Γ μετρεῖται ὁ Η: ὁ Η ἄρα τὸν Ξ μετρεῖ ὁ μείζων τὸν ἐλάσσονα: ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἀδύνατον. οὐκ ἄρα ἔσονταί τινες τῶν Θ, Η, Κ, Λ ἐλάσσονες ἀριθμοὶ ἑξῆς ἔν τε τῷ τοῦ Α πρὸς τὸν Β καὶ τῷ τοῦ Γ πρὸς τὸν Δ καὶ ἔτι τῷ τοῦ Ε πρὸς τὸν Ζ λόγῳ. Μὴ μετρείτω δὴ ὁ Ε τὸν Κ. καὶ εἰλήφθω ὑπὸ τῶν Ε, Κ ἐλάχιστος μετρούμενος ἀριθμὸς ὁ Μ. καὶ ὁσάκις μὲν ὁ Κ τὸν Μ μετρεῖ, τοσαυτάκις καὶ ἑκάτερος τῶν Θ, Η ἑκάτερον τῶν Ν, Ξ μετρείτω, ὁσάκις δὲ ὁ Ε τὸν Μ μετρεῖ, τοσαυτάκις καὶ ὁ Ζ τὸν Ο μετρείτω. ἐπεὶ ἰσάκις ὁ Θ τὸν Ν μετρεῖ καὶ ὁ Η τὸν Ξ, ἔστιν ἄρα ὡς ὁ Θ πρὸς τὸν Η, οὕτως ὁ Ν πρὸς τὸν Ξ. ὡς δὲ ὁ Θ πρὸς τὸν Η, οὕτως ὁ Α πρὸς τὸν Β: καὶ ὡς ἄρα ὁ Α πρὸς τὸν Β, οὕτως ὁ Ν πρὸς τὸν Ξ. διὰ τὰ αὐτὰ δὴ καὶ ὡς ὁ Γ πρὸς τὸν Δ, οὕτως ὁ Ξ πρὸς τὸν Μ. πάλιν, ἐπεὶ ἰσάκις ὁ Ε τὸν Μ μετρεῖ καὶ ὁ Ζ τὸν Ο, ἔστιν ἄρα ὡς ὁ Ε πρὸς τὸν Ζ, οὕτως ὁ Μ πρὸς τὸν Ο: οἱ Ν, Ξ, Μ, Ο ἄρα ἑξῆς ἀνάλογόν εἰσιν ἐν τοῖς τοῦ τε Α πρὸς τὸν Β καὶ τοῦ Γ πρὸς τὸν Δ καὶ ἔτι τοῦ Ε πρὸς τὸν Ζ λόγοις. λέγω δή, ὅτι καὶ ἐλάχιστοι ἐν τοῖς ΑΒ, ΓΔ, ΕΖ λόγοις. εἰ γὰρ μή, ἔσονταί τινες τῶν Ν, Ξ, Μ, Ο ἐλάσσονες ἀριθμοὶ ἑξῆς ἀνάλογον ἐν τοῖς ΑΒ, ΓΔ, ΕΖ λόγοις. ἔστωσαν οἱ Π, Ρ, Σ, Τ. καὶ ἐπεί ἐστιν ὡς ὁ Π πρὸς τὸν Ρ, οὕτως ὁ Α πρὸς τὸν Β, οἱ δὲ Α, Β ἐλάχιστοι, οἱ δὲ ἐλάχιστοι μετροῦσι τοὺς τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον ἔχοντας αὐτοῖς ἰσάκις ὅ τε ἡγούμενος τὸν ἡγούμενον καὶ ὁ ἑπόμενος τὸν ἑπόμενον, ὁ Β ἄρα τὸν Ρ μετρεῖ. διὰ τὰ αὐτὰ δὴ καὶ ὁ Γ τὸν Ρ μετρεῖ: οἱ Β, Γ ἄρα τὸν Ρ μετροῦσιν. καὶ ὁ ἐλάχιστος ἄρα ὑπὸ τῶν Β, Γ μετρούμενος τὸν Ρ μετρήσει. ἐλάχιστος δὲ ὑπὸ τῶν Β, Γ μετρούμενός ἐστιν ὁ Η: ὁ Η ἄρα τὸν Ρ μετρεῖ. καί ἐστιν ὡς ὁ Η πρὸς τὸν Ρ, οὕτως ὁ Κ πρὸς τὸν Σ: καὶ ὁ Κ ἄρα τὸν Σ μετρεῖ. μετρεῖ δὲ καὶ ὁ Ε τὸν Σ: οἱ Ε, Κ ἄρα τὸν Σ μετροῦσιν. καὶ ὁ ἐλάχιστος ἄρα ὑπὸ τῶν Ε, Κ μετρούμενος τὸν Σ μετρήσει. ἐλάχιστος δὲ ὑπὸ τῶν Ε, Κ μετρούμενός ἐστιν ὁ Μ: ὁ Μ ἄρα τὸν Σ μετρεῖ ὁ μείζων τὸν ἐλάσσονα: ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἀδύνατον. οὐκ ἄρα ἔσονταί τινες τῶν Ν, Ξ, Μ, Ο ἐλάσσονες ἀριθμοὶ ἑξῆς ἀνάλογον ἔν τε τοῖς τοῦ Α πρὸς τὸν Β καὶ τοῦ Γ πρὸς τὸν Δ καὶ ἔτι τοῦ Ε πρὸς τὸν Ζ λόγοις: οἱ Ν, Ξ, Μ, Ο ἄρα ἑξῆς ἀνάλογον ἐλάχιστοί εἰσιν ἐν τοῖς ΑΒ, ΓΔ, ΕΖ λόγοις: ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι. Given as many ratios as we please in least numbers, to find numbers in continued proportion which are the least in the given ratios. Let the given ratios in least numbers be that of A to B, that of C to D, and that of E to F; thus it is required to find numbers in continued proportion which are the least that are in the ratio of A to B, in the ratio of C to D, and in the ratio of E to F. Let G, the least number measured by B, C, be taken. [VII. 34] And, as many times as B measures G, so many times also let A measure H, and, as many times as C measures G, so many times also let D measure K. Now E either measures or does not measure K. First, let it measure it. And, as many times as E measures K, so many times let F measure L also. Now, since A measures H the same number of times that B measures G, therefore, as A is to B, so is H to G. [VII. Def. 20, VII. 13] For the same reason also, as C is to D, so is G to K, and further, as E is to F, so is K to L; therefore H, G, K, L are continuously proportional in the ratio of A to B, in the ratio of C to D, and in the ratio of E to F. I say next that they are also the least that have this property. For, if H, G, K, L are not the least numbers continuously proportional in the ratios of A to B, of C to D, and of E to F, let them be N, O, M, P. Then since, as A is to B, so is N to O, while A, B are least, 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; therefore B measures O. [VII. 20] For the same reason C also measures O; therefore B, C measure O; therefore the least number measured by B, C will also measure O. [VII. 35] But G is the least number measured by B, C; therefore G measures O, the greater the less: which is impossible. Therefore there will be no numbers less than H, G, K, L which are continuously in the ratio of A to B, of C to D, and of E to F. Next, let E not measure K. Let M, the least number measured by E, K, be taken. And, as many times as K measures M, so many times let H, G measure N, O respectively, and, as many times as E measures M, so many times let F measure P also. Since H measures N the same number of times that G measures O, therefore, as H is to G, so is N to O. [VII. 13 and Def. 20] But, as H is to G, so is A to B; therefore also, as A is to B, so is N to O. For the same reason also, as C is to D, so is O to M. Again, since E measures M the same number of times that F measures P, therefore, as E is to F, so is M to P; [VII. 13 and Def. 20] therefore N, O, M, P are continuously proportional in the ratios of A to B, of C to D, and of E to F. I say next that they are also the least that are in the ratios A : B, C : D, E : F. For, if not, there will be some numbers less than N, O, M, P continuously proportional in the ratios A : B, C : D, E : F. Let them be Q, R, S, T. Now since, as Q is to R, so is A to B, while A, B are least, and the least numbers measure those which have the same ratio with them the same number of times, the antecedent the antecedent and the consequent the consequent, [VII. 20] therefore B measures R. For the same reason C also measures R; therefore B, C measure R. Therefore the least number measured by B, C will also measure R. [VII. 35] But G is the least number measured by B, C; therefore G measures R. And, as G is to R, so is K to S: [VII. 13] therefore K also measures S. But E also measures S; therefore E, K measure S. Therefore the least number measured by E, K will also measure S. [VII. 35] But M is the least number measured by E, K; therefore M measures S, the greater the less: which is impossible.