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MAN, imprisoned in a little body with short-arm hands instead of wings, created for his guidance a mole geometry, a tactile space, codified by Euclid in his immortal Elements, whose basal principle is congruence, measurement.
Yet man is no mole. Infinite feelers radiate from the windows of his soul, whose wings touch the fixed stars. The angel of light in him created for the guidance of eye-life an independent system, a radiant geometry, a visual space, codified in 1847 by a new Euclid, by the Erlangen professor, Georg von Staudt, in his immortal Geometrie der Lage published in the quaint and ancient Nurnberg of Albrecht Durer.
Born on the 24th of January, 1798, at Rothenburg ob der Tauber, von Staudt was an aristocrat, issue of the union of two of the few regierenden families of the then still free Reichsstadt, which four years later closed the 630 years of its renowned existence as an independent republic.
This creation of a geometry of position disembarrassed of all quantity, wholly non-metric, neither positively nor negatively quantitative, resting exclusively on relations of situation, takes as point of departure the since-famous quadrilateral construction. To-day it must be reckoned with from the abstractest domains of philosophy to the bread-winning marts of applied science. Thus Darboux says of it: "It seems to us that under the form first given it by von Staudt, projective geometry must become the necessary companion of descriptive geometry, that it is called to renovate this geometry in its spirit, its procedures, its applications."
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