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PROPOSITION 21.

The rectangle contained by rational straight lines commensurable in square only is irrational, and the side of the square equal to it is irrational. Let the latter be called medial.

For let the rectangle AC be contained by the rational straight lines AB, BC commensurable in square only; I say that AC is irrational, and the side of the square equal to it is irrational; and let the latter be called medial.

For on AB let the square AD be described; therefore AD is rational. [X. Def. 4]

And, since AB is incommensurable in length with BC, for by hypothesis they are commensurable in square only, while AB is equal to BD, therefore DB is also incommensurable in length with BC.

And, as DB is to BC, so is AD to AC; [VI. 1] therefore DA is incommensurable with AC. [X. 11]

But DA is rational; therefore AC is irrational, so that the side of the square equal to AC is also irrational. [X. Def. 4]

And let the latter be called medial. Q. E. D.


LEMMA.

If there be two straight lines, then, as the first is to the second, so is the square on the first to the rectangle contained by the two straight lines.

Let FE, EG be two straight lines.

I say that, as FE is to EG, so is the square on FE to the rectangle FE, EG.

For on FE let the square DF be described, and let GD be completed.

Since then, as FE is to EG, so is FD to DG, [VI. 1] and FD is the square on FE, and DG the rectangle DE, EG, that is, the rectangle FE, EG, therefore, as FE is to EG, so is the square on FE to the rectangle FE, EG.

Similarly also, as the rectangle GE, EF is to the square on EF, that is, as GD is to FD, so is GE to EF. Q. E. D.

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