Euclid Tries to Teach Geometry to Alexander the Great

Euclid, the ancient Greek, is “the Father of Geometry.” Thus, the school course is sometimes called, “Euclidean Geometry.

The story is told that Philip, King of Macedonia, hired Euclid, to tutor young Alexander the Great, his son. Alexander found Euclid to be a demanding teacher and mathematics to be a difficult subject. 

In frustration, Alexander demanded a the “royal” short cut to learning math. Euclid replied, “There is no royal road to geometry.” That is a great message.

I once worked out at a gym that had very large letters on the wall, “There is no easy way.“Another profound message.

In short, in the pursuit of knowledge there is no substitute for hard work. Whether you are learning a language or trying to play an instrument, there is no easy way. There are no short cuts. “No pain, no gain.” “That which we receive too lightly, we esteem too cheaply.” (Thomas Paine)

In sum, there is no “royal road” to geometry or any other subject.”

(Sources: This is a widely shared apocryphal story; See: “Euclid,” Wikipedia.)

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