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  1. Professor Charles N. Haskins, Professor of Mathematics at Dartmouth College, is largely responsible for this translation of the Optics of Euclid. A year ago, when he was doing research for the Dartmouth Eye Institute, he had occasion to use Euclid’s essay and asked me if I would translate it. Strangely enough, it had never been translated into English. I agreed to undertake the task. Before the work was finished Professor Haskins died. The Dartmouth Eye Institute decided that the translation should be completed and published, and I wish to express my own gratitude to the Optical Society of America for its cooperation.Euclid was a teacher of mathematics at Alexandria in the early part of the third century before Christ. Almost nothing is known of his life. He was a voluminous writer on mathematics and kindred subjects, his principal work being the Elements of Geometry in thirteen books. The Optics is an essay on the mathematics of optics. It is extant in two forms, one written by Euclid himself, the other a recension by Theon, written in the fourth century after Christ. In its original form, which is here translated, it is the earliest extant work on mathematical optics.[Professor Burton died on March 20, 1945, before his translation of the Optics was set up in galley proof. His colleagues, in seeing the translation through the press, have endeavored only to secure in printed form the exact reproduction of Professor Burton’s typewritten manuscript.]

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Professor Charles N. Haskins, Professor of Mathematics at Dartmouth College, is largely responsible for this translation of the Optics of Euclid. A year ago, when he was doing research for the Dartmouth Eye Institute, he had occasion to use Euclid’s essay and asked me if I would translate it. Strangely enough, it had never been translated into English. I agreed to undertake the task. Before the work was finished Professor Haskins died. The Dartmouth Eye Institute decided that the translation should be completed and published, and I wish to express my own gratitude to the Optical Society of America for its cooperation.Euclid was a teacher of mathematics at Alexandria in the early part of the third century before Christ. Almost nothing is known of his life. He was a voluminous writer on mathematics and kindred subjects, his principal work being the Elements of Geometry in thirteen books. The Optics is an essay on the mathematics of optics. It is extant in two forms, one written by Euclid himself, the other a recension by Theon, written in the fourth century after Christ. In its original form, which is here translated, it is the earliest extant work on mathematical optics.[Professor Burton died on March 20, 1945, before his translation of the Optics was set up in galley proof. His colleagues, in seeing the translation through the press, have endeavored only to secure in printed form the exact reproduction of Professor Burton’s typewritten manuscript.]

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