Ἐκ τριῶν εὐθειῶν, αἵ εἰσιν ἴσαι τρισὶ ταῖς δοθείσαις [εὐθείαις], τρίγωνον συστήσασθαι: δεῖ δὲ τὰς δύο τῆς λοιπῆς μείζονας εἶναι πάντῃ μεταλαμβανομένας [διὰ τὸ καὶ παντὸς τριγώνου τὰς δύο πλευρὰς τῆς λοιπῆς μείζονας εἶναι πάντῃ μεταλαμβανομένας]. Ἔστωσαν αἱ δοθεῖσαι τρεῖς εὐθεῖαι αἱ Α, Β, Γ, ὧν αἱ δύο τῆς λοιπῆς μείζονες ἔστωσαν πάντῃ μεταλαμβανόμεναι, αἱ μὲν Α, Β τῆς Γ, αἱ δὲ Α, Γ τῆς Β, καὶ ἔτι αἱ Β, Γ τῆς Α: δεῖ δὴ ἐκ τῶν ἴσων ταῖς Α, Β, Γ τρίγωνον συστήσασθαι. Ἐκκείσθω τις εὐθεῖα ἡ ΔΕ πεπερασμένη μὲν κατὰ τὸ Δ ἄπειρος δὲ κατὰ τὸ Ε, καὶ κείσθω τῇ μὲν Α ἴση ἡ ΔΖ, τῇ δὲ Β ἴση ἡ ΖΗ, τῇ δὲ Γ ἴση ἡ ΗΘ: καὶ κέντρῳ μὲν τῷ Ζ, διαστήματι δὲ τῷ ΖΔ κύκλος γεγράφθω ὁ ΔΚΛ: πάλιν κέντρῳ μὲν τῷ Η, διαστήματι δὲ τῷ ΗΘ κύκλος γεγράφθω ὁ ΚΛΘ, καὶ ἐπεζεύχθωσαν αἱ ΚΖ, ΚΗ: λέγω, ὅτι ἐκ τριῶν εὐθειῶν τῶν ἴσων ταῖς Α, Β, Γ τρίγωνον συνέσταται τὸ ΚΖΗ. Ἐπεὶ γὰρ τὸ Ζ σημεῖον κέντρον ἐστὶ τοῦ ΔΚΛ κύκλου, ἴση ἐστὶν ἡ ΖΔ τῇ ΖΚ: ἀλλὰ ἡ ΖΔ τῇ Α ἐστιν ἴση. καὶ ἡ ΚΖ ἄρα τῇ Α ἐστιν ἴση. πάλιν, ἐπεὶ τὸ Η σημεῖον κέντρον ἐστὶ τοῦ ΛΚΘ κύκλου, ἴση ἐστὶν ἡ ΗΘ τῇ ΗΚ: ἀλλὰ ἡ ΗΘ τῇ Γ ἐστιν ἴση: καὶ ἡ ΚΗ ἄρα τῇ Γ ἐστιν ἴση. ἐστὶ δὲ καὶ ἡ ΖΗ τῇ Β ἴση: αἱ τρεῖς ἄρα εὐθεῖαι αἱ ΚΖ, ΖΗ, ΗΚ τρισὶ ταῖς Α, Β, Γ ἴσαι εἰσίν. Ἐκ τριῶν ἄρα εὐθειῶν τῶν ΚΖ, ΖΗ, ΗΚ, αἵ εἰσιν ἴσαι τρισὶ ταῖς δοθείσαις εὐθείαις ταῖς Α, Β, Γ, τρίγωνον συνέσταται τὸ ΚΖΗ: ὅπερ ἔδει ποιῆσαι.

Out of three straight lines, which are equal to three given straight lines, to construct a triangle: thus it is necessary that two of the straight lines taken together in any manner should be greater than the remaining one. [I. 20] Let the three given straight lines be A, B, C, and of these let two taken together in any manner be greater than the remaining one, namely A, B greater than C, A, C greater than B, and B, C greater than A; thus it is required to construct a triangle out of straight lines equal to A, B, C. Let there be set out a straight line DE, terminated at D but of infinite length in the direction of E, and let DF be made equal to A, FG equal to B, and GH equal to C. [I. 3] With centre F and distance FD let the circle DKL be described; again, with centre G and distance GH let the circle KLH be described; and let KF, KG be joined; I say that the triangle KFG has been constructed out of three straight lines equal to A, B, C. For, since the point F is the centre of the circle DKL, FD is equal to FK. But FD is equal to A; therefore KF is also equal to A. Again, since the point G is the centre of the circle LKH, GH is equal to GK. But GH is equal to C; therefore KG is also equal to C. And FG is also equal to B; therefore the three straight lines KF, FG, GK are equal to the three straight lines A, B, C. Therefore out of the three straight lines KF, FG, GK, which are equal to the three given straight lines A, B, C, the triangle KFG has been constructed.