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The Path-Way to Knowledg Containing the First Principles of Geometrie   By: (1510?-1558)

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[Transcriber’s Note:

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ã ẽ ĩ õ ũ (vowels with overline, shown here as tilde) ἐίπερ γὰρ ἀδικεῖμ χρὴ (Greek, mainly in the Introduction)

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Unless otherwise noted, spelling, punctuation and capitalization are unchanged. Details are given at the end of the e text, along with transliterations of all Greek words and phrases. Superscripts are shown with a caret ^, adding {braces} where necessary for clarity.


right line = straight line gemow (line) = parallel [gemew = twin] square = quadrilateral (also spelled squire, squyre) also = angle square as described under hexagons (“siseangles”) likeiamme = parallelogram [iam(me) = jamb = limb, side] longsquare = rectangle touch line = tangent cantle = segment of a circle [cantle = slice] ]

The pathway to KNOWLEDG, CONTAI NING THE FIRST PRIN ciples of Geometrie, as they may moste aptly be applied vn to practice, bothe for vse of instrumentes Geome tricall, and astrono micall and also for proiection of plattes in euerye kinde, and therfore much ne cessary for all sortes of men.

Geometries verdicte

All fresshe fine wittes by me are filed, All grosse dull wittes wishe me exiled: Thoughe no mannes witte reiect will I, Yet as they be, I wyll them trye.

The argumentes of the foure bookes

The first booke declareth the definitions of the termes and names vsed in Geometry, with certaine of the chiefe grounds whereon the arte is founded. And then teacheth those conclusions, which may serue diuersely in al workes Geometricall.

The second booke doth sette forth the Theoremes, (whiche maye be called approued truthes) seruinge for the due knowledge and sure proofe of all conclusions and workes in Geometrye.

The third booke intreateth of diuers formes, and sondry protractions thereto belonging, with the vse of certain conclusions.

The fourth booke teacheth the right order of measuringe all platte formes, and bodies also, by reson Geometricall.


Excvse me, gentle reder if oughte be amisse, straung paths ar not trodẽ al truly at the first: the way muste needes be comberous, wher none hathe gone before. Where no man hathe geuen light, lighte is it to offend, but when the light is shewed ones, light is it to amende. If my light may so light some other, to espie and marke my faultes, I wish it may so lighten thẽ, that they may voide offence. Of staggeringe and stomblinge, and vnconstaunt turmoilinge: often offending, and seldome amending, such vices to eschewe, and their fine wittes to shew that they may winne the praise, and I to hold the candle, whilest they their glorious works with eloquence sette forth, so cunningly inuented, so finely indited, that my bokes maie seme worthie to occupie no roome. For neither is mi wit so finelie filed, nother mi learning so largly lettred, nother yet mi laiser so quiet and vncõbered, that I maie perform iustlie so learned a laboure or accordinglie to accomplishe so haulte an enforcement, yet maie I thinke thus: This candle did I light: this light haue I kindeled: that learned men maie se, to practise their pennes, their eloquence to aduaunce, to register their names in the booke of memorie I drew the platte rudelie, whereon thei maie builde, whom god hath indued with learning and liuelihod... Continue reading book >>

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