20 Nov Euclid’s response to King Ptolemy I when the latter asked him to find an easier way to learn geometry
The Greek philosopher Proclus wrote of the fascination that Ptolemy I, Egypt’s pharaoh in 300 B.C., had with geometry. He invited Euclid, the Greek mathematician called “the father of geometry,” to Alexandria to teach him.
After a week or so, Ptolemy told Euclid that the process of studying geometry was too slow. He wasn’t like Euclid’s other students. He surmised that Euclid must have a quicker, shorter method for teaching geometry to a pharaoh.
In response, Euclid gave voice to a principle that has held through the centuries: “Your majesty, there is no royal road to geometry.”
SOURCE : deseret.com
IMAGE : detail from the School of Athens , a famous fresco painted by Raphael in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City. The fresco was painted between 1509 and 1511