Farkas Bolyai (February 9, 1775 – November 20, 1856) was a Hungarian mathematician, mainly known for his work in geometry. He was the father of János Bolyai, one of the founders of non-Euclidean geometry.
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- A parallelákat azon az útan ne próbáld: tudom én azt az utat is mind végig — megmértem azt a feneketlen éjszakát én, és az életemnek minden világossága, minden öröme kialudt benne...
- Do not try the parallels in that way: I know that way all along. I have measured that bottomless night, and all the light and all the joy of my life went out there.
- Letter to János Bolyai (4 April 1820)
- Published in: Samu Benkő (ed.), Bólyai-levelek, Kriterion, 1975, p. 123
- As quoted in: O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Farkas Bolyai", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
- Having himself spent a lifetime unsuccessfully trying to prove Euclid's fifth postulate, Farkas discouraged his son János from any further attempt.
- No monument should stand over my grave, only an apple-tree, in memory of the three apples; the two of Eve and Paris, which made hell out of earth, and that of I. Newton, which elevated the earth again into the circle of heavenly bodies.
- As quoted by Florian Cajori, A History of Mathematics (1893) p. 303, citing Franz Schmidt, "Aus dem Leben zweier ungarischer Mathematiker Johann und Wolfgang Bolyai von Bolya," Grunert's Archiv, 48:2, 1868.