Postulate 1

To draw a straight line from any point to any point.


java applet or image
This first postulate says that given any two points such as A and B, there is a line AB which has them as endpoints. This is one of the constructions that may be done with a straightedge (the other being described in the next postulate).

Although it doesn’t explicitly say so, there is a unique line between the two points. Since Euclid uses this postulate as if it includes the uniqueness as part of it, he really ought to have stated the uniqueness explicitly.

The last three books of the Elements cover solid geometry, and for those, the two points mentioned in the postulate may be any two points in space. Proposition XI.1 claims that if part of a line is contained in a plane, then the whole line is. In the books on plane geometry, it is implicitly assumed that the line AB joining A to B lies in the plane of discussion.