Theaetetus, Mathematical Works

LCL 335: 382-383

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Greek Mathematics

ΣΩΚΡΑΤΗΣ. Ἦ καὶ ηὕρετέ τι τοιοῦτον;

ΘΕΑΙ. Ἔμοιγε δοκοῦμεν· σκόπει δὲ καὶ σύ.

ΣΩ. Λέγε.

ΘΕΑΙ. Τὸν ἀριθμὸν πάντα δίχα διελάβομεν· τὸν μὲν δυνάμενον ἴσον ἰσάκις γίγνεσθαι τῷ τετραγώνῳ τὸ σχῆμα ἀπεικάσαντες τετράγωνόν τε καὶ ἰσόπλευρον προσείπομεν.

ΣΩ. Καὶ εὖ γε.

ΘΕΑΙ. Τὸν τοίνυν μεταξὺ τούτου, ὧν καὶ τὰ τρία καὶ τὰ πέντε καὶ πᾶς ὃς ἀδύνατος ἴσος ἰσάκις γενέσθαι, ἀλλ᾿ ἢ πλείων ἐλαττονάκις ἢ ἐλάττων πλεονάκις γίγνεται, μείζων δὲ καὶ ἐλάττων ἀεὶ πλευρὰ αὐτὸν περιλαμβάνει, τῷ προμήκει αὖ σχήματι ἀπεικάσαντες προμήκη ἀριθμὸν ἐκαλέσαμεν.

ΣΩ. Κάλλιστα. ἀλλὰ τί τὸ μετὰ τοῦτο;

ΘΕΑΙ. Ὅσαι μὲν γραμμαὶ τὸν ἰσόπλευρον καὶ ἐπίπεδον ἀριθμὸν τετραγωνίζουσι, μῆκος ὡρισάμεθα, ὅσαι δὲ τὸν ἑτερομήκη, δυνάμεις, ὡς μήκει μὲν οὐ συμμέτρους ἐκείναις, τοῖς δ᾿ ἐπιπέδοις ἃ δύνανται. καὶ περὶ τὰ στερεὰ ἄλλο τοιοῦτον.



Socrates.And did you find such a class?

Theaet.I think we did; but see if you agree.

Soc.Speak on.

Theaet.We divided all numbers into two classes. The one, consisting of numbers which can be represented as the product of equal factors, we likened in shape to the square and called them square and equilateral numbers.

Soc.And properly so.

Theaet.The numbers between these, among which are three and five and all that cannot be represented as the product of equal factors, but only as the product of a greater by a less or a less by a greater, and are therefore contained by greater and less sides, we likened to oblong shape and called oblong numbers.

Soc.Excellent. And what after this?

Theaet.Such lines as form the sides of equilateral plane numbers we called lengths, and such as form the oblong numbers we called roots, because they are not commensurable with the others in length, but only with the plane areas which they have the power to form.a And similarly in the case of solids.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.theaetetus-mathematical_works.1939