## Proposition 16

 If two numbers multiplied by one another make certain numbers, then the numbers so produced equal one another. Let A and B be two numbers, and let A multiplied by B make C, and B multiplied by A make D. I say that C equals D. Since A multiplied by B makes C, therefore B measures C according to the units in A. But the unit E also measures the number A according to the units in it, therefore the unit E measures A the same number of times that B measures C. Therefore, alternately, the unit E measures the number B the same number of times that A measures C. VII.15 Again, since B multiplied by A makes D, therefore A measures D according to the units in B. But the unit E also measures B according to the units in it, therefore the unit E measures the number B the same number of times that A measures D. But the unit E measures the number B the same number of times that A measures C, therefore A measures each of the numbers C and D the same number of times. Therefore C equals D. Therefore, if two numbers multiplied by one another make certain numbers, then the numbers so produced equal one another. Q.E.D.
This proposition describes the commutativity mentioned in the last proposition more explicitly, ab = ba. It is used in VII.18 and a few others in Book VII.

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 Select from Book VII Book VII intro VII.Def.1-2 VII.Def.3-5 VII.Def.6-10 VII.Def.11-14 VII.Def.15-19 VII.Def.20 VII.Def.21 VII.Def.22 VII.1 VII.2 VII.3 VII.4 VII.5 VII.6 VII.7 VII.8 VII.9 VII.10 VII.11 VII.12 VII.13 VII.14 VII.15 VII.16 VII.17 VII.18 VII.19 VII.20 VII.21 VII.22 VII.23 VII.24 VII.25 VII.26 VII.27 VII.28 VII.29 VII.30 VII.31 VII.32 VII.33 VII.34 VII.35 VII.36 VII.37 VII.38 VII.39 Select book Book I Book II Book III Book IV Book V Book VI Book VII Book VIII Book IX Book X Book XI Book XII Book XIII Select topic Introduction Table of Contents Geometry applet About the text Euclid Web references A quick trip