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There is a tradition in the old Masonic Records that the inundations of the River Nile, in Egypt, continually destroying the perishable landmarks by which one man could distinguish his possessions from those of another, Euclid instructed the people in the art of geometry, by which they might measure their lands; and then taught them to bound them with walls and ditches, BO that after an inundation each man could identify his own boundaries. The tradition is given in the Cooke Manuscript (lines 455-72) thus: "Euclyde was one of the first founders of Geometry, and he gave hit name, for in his time there was a water in that lond of Egypt that is called Nilo, and hit florid so ferre into the londe that men myght not dwelle therein. Then this worthi clerke Enclide taught hem to malre grete wallys and diches to holde owt the watyr, and he by Gemetria mesured the londe and departyd hit in divers parties, and made every man to close his own part with walles and dishes." This legend of the origin of the art of geometry was borrowed by the old Operative Masons from the Origines of Saint Isidore of Seville, where a similar story is told.

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