Euclid and his Modern Rivals is a mathematical work by the English mathematician Lewis Carroll (1832-1898), issued in 1879 under his real name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. It considers the pedagogic merit of a series of contemporary geometry textbooks, demonstrating how each in turn is either inferior to or functionally identical to that of Euclid's Elements.
In it Dodgson tries to support using Euclid's geometry textbook The Elements as the geometry textbook in schools against more modern geometry textbooks that were replacing it. Euclid's ghost returns in the play to defend his book against its modern rivals and tries to demonstrate how all of them are inferior to his book.
Despite its scholarly subject and content, the work takes the form of a whimsical dialogue, principally between a mathematician named Minos and a "devil's advocate" named Professor Niemand (German for 'nobody') who represents the "Modern Rivals" of the title.
Out of print for a long time, this title has recently being reissued by Cambridge University Press under the Cambridge Library Collection series.
A quote from the preface of this book was used in the first official wikipedia logo, which was kept in use for eight months, during the course of 2001.
- Euclid and his Modern Rivals at Google Books
- Euclid and his Modern Rivals in Historical Math Monographs, Cornell University, 2nd edition from 1885
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