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Classification of incommensurables: Book 10 Definitions


α΄. Σύμμετρα μεγέθη λέγεται τὰ τῷ αὐτῷ μέτρῳ μετρούμενα, ἀσύμμετρα δέ, ὧν μηδὲν ἐνδέχεται κοινὸν μέτρον γενέσθαι.β΄. Εὐθεῖαι δυνάμει σύμμετροί εἰσιν, ὅταν τὰ ἀπ' αὐτῶν τετράγωνα τῷ αὐτῷ χωρίῳ μετρῆται, ἀσύμμετροι δέ, ὅταν τοῖς ἀπ' αὐτῶν τετραγώνοις μηδὲν ἐνδέχηται χωρίον κοινὸν μέτρον γενέσθαι.γ΄. Τούτων ὑποκειμένων δείκνυται, ὅτι τῇ προτεθείσῃ εὐθείᾳ ὑπάρχουσιν εὐθεῖαι πλήθει ἄπειροι σύμμετροί τε καὶ ἀσύμμετροι αἱ μὲν μήκει μόνον, αἱ δὲ καὶ δυνάμει. καλείσθω οὖν ἡ μὲν προτεθεῖσα εὐθεῖα ῥητή, καὶ αἱ ταύτῃ σύμμετροι εἴτε μήκει καὶ δυνάμει εἴτε δυνάμει μόνον ῥηταί, αἱ δὲ ταύτῃ ἀσύμμετροι ἄλογοι καλείσθωσαν.δ΄. Καὶ τὸ μὲν ἀπὸ τῆς προτεθείσης εὐθείας τετράγωνον ῥητόν, καὶ τὰ τούτῳ σύμμετρα ῥητά, τὰ δὲ τούτῳ ἀσύμμετρα ἄλογα καλείσθω, καὶ αἱ δυνάμεναι αὐτὰ ἄλογοι, εἰ μὲν τετράγωνα εἴη, αὐταὶ αἱ πλευραί, εἰ δὲ ἕτερά τινα εὐθύγραμμα, αἱ ἴσα αὐτοῖς τετράγωνα ἀναγράφουσαι.

1. Those magnitudes are said to be commensurable which are measured by the same measure, and those incommensurable which cannot have any common measure.2. Straight lines are commensurable in square when the squares on them are measured by the same area, and incommensurable in square when the squares on them cannot possibly have any area as a common measure.3. With these hypotheses, it is proved that there exist straight lines infinite in multitude which are commensurable and incommensurable respectively, some in length only, and others in square also, with an assigned straight line. Let then the assigned straight line be called rational, and those straight lines which are commensurable with it, whether in length and in square or in square only, rational, but those which are incommensurable with it irrational.4. And let the square on the assigned straight line be called rational and those areas which are commensurable with it rational, but those which are incommensurable with it irrational, and the straight lines which produce them irrational, that is, in case the areas are squares, the sides themselves, but in case they are any other rectilineal figures, the straight lines on which are described squares equal to them.