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Constructions for inscribed and circumscribed figures: Book 4 Proposition 4


Εἰς τὸ δοθὲν τρίγωνον κύκλον ἐγγράψαι. Ἔστω τὸ δοθὲν τρίγωνον τὸ ΑΒΓ: δεῖ δὴ εἰς τὸ ΑΒΓ τρίγωνον κύκλον ἐγγράψαι. Τετμήσθωσαν αἱ ὑπὸ ΑΒΓ, ΑΓΒ γωνίαι δίχα ταῖς ΒΔ, ΓΔ εὐθείαις, καὶ συμβαλλέτωσαν ἀλλήλαις κατὰ τὸ Δ σημεῖον, καὶ ἤχθωσαν ἀπὸ τοῦ Δ ἐπὶ τὰς ΑΒ, ΒΓ, ΓΑ εὐθείας κάθετοι αἱ ΔΕ, ΔΖ, ΔΗ. Καὶ ἐπεὶ ἴση ἐστὶν ἡ ὑπὸ ΑΒΔ γωνία τῇ ὑπὸ ΓΒΔ, ἐστὶ δὲ καὶ ὀρθὴ ἡ ὑπὸ ΒΕΔ ὀρθῇ τῇ ὑπὸ ΒΖΔ ἴση, δύο δὴ τρίγωνά ἐστι τὰ ΕΒΔ, ΖΒΔ τὰς δύο γωνίας ταῖς δυσὶ γωνίαις ἴσας ἔχοντα καὶ μίαν πλευρὰν μιᾷ πλευρᾷ ἴσην τὴν ὑποτείνουσαν ὑπὸ μίαν τῶν ἴσων γωνιῶν κοινὴν αὐτῶν τὴν ΒΔ: καὶ τὰς λοιπὰς ἄρα πλευρὰς ταῖς λοιπαῖς πλευραῖς ἴσας ἕξουσιν: ἴση ἄρα ἡ ΔΕ τῇ ΔΖ. διὰ τὰ αὐτὰ δὴ καὶ ἡ ΔΗ τῇ ΔΖ ἐστιν ἴση. αἱ τρεῖς ἄρα εὐθεῖαι αἱ ΔΕ, ΔΖ, ΔΗ ἴσαι ἀλλήλαις εἰσίν: ὁ ἄρα κέντρῳ τῷ Δ καὶ διαστήματι ἑνὶ τῶν Ε, Ζ, Η κύκλος γραφόμενος ἥξει καὶ διὰ τῶν λοιπῶν σημείων καὶ ἐφάψεται τῶν ΑΒ, ΒΓ, ΓΑ εὐθειῶν διὰ τὸ ὀρθὰς εἶναι τὰς πρὸς τοῖς Ε, Ζ, Η σημείοις γωνίας. εἰ γὰρ τεμεῖ αὐτάς, ἔσται ἡ τῇ διαμέτρῳ τοῦ κύκλου πρὸς ὀρθὰς ἀπ' ἄκρας ἀγομένη ἐντὸς πίπτουσα τοῦ κύκλου: ὅπερ ἄτοπον ἐδείχθη: οὐκ ἄρα ὁ κέντρῳ τῷ Δ διαστήματι δὲ ἑνὶ τῶν Ε, Ζ, Η γραφόμενος κύκλος τεμεῖ τὰς ΑΒ, ΒΓ, ΓΑ εὐθείας: ἐφάψεται ἄρα αὐτῶν, καὶ ἔσται ὁ κύκλος ἐγγεγραμμένος εἰς τὸ ΑΒΓ τρίγωνον. ἐγγεγράφθω ὡς ὁ ΖΗΕ. Εἰς ἄρα τὸ δοθὲν τρίγωνον τὸ ΑΒΓ κύκλος ἐγγέγραπται ὁ ΕΖΗ: ὅπερ ἔδει ποιῆσαι.

In a given triangle to inscribe a circle. Let ABC be the given triangle; thus it is required to inscribe a circle in the triangle ABC. Let the angles ABC, ACB be bisected by the straight lines BD, CD [I. 9], and let these meet one another at the point D; from D let DE, DF, DG be drawn perpendicular to the straight lines AB, BC, CA. Now, since the angle ABD is equal to the angle CBD, and the right angle BED is also equal to the right angle BFD, EBD, FBD are two triangles having two angles equal to two angles and one side equal to one side, namely that subtending one of the equal angles, which is BD common to the triangles; therefore they will also have the remaining sides equal to the remaining sides; [I. 26] therefore DE is equal to DF. For the same reason DG is also equal to DF. Therefore the three straight lines DE, DF, DG are equal to one another; therefore the circle described with centre D and distance one of the straight lines DE, DF, DG will pass also through the remaining points, and will touch the straight lines AB, BC, CA, because the angles at the points E, F, G are right. For, if it cuts them, the straight line drawn at right angles to the diameter of the circle from its extremity will be found to fall within the circle: which was proved absurd; [III. 16] therefore the circle described with centre D and distance one of the straight lines DE, DF, DG will not cut the straight lines AB, BC, CA; therefore it will touch them, and will be the circle inscribed in the triangle ABC. [IV. Def. 5] Let it be inscribed, as FGE.