If you can recall your school mathematics lessons, 'vectors' are distances to which direction has been applied. Their practical use really only dates from the mid-eighteenth century, but they're known as 'Euclidean' vectors because it was the ancient Greek mathematician Euclid who first spotted their importance.
A keen runner, he ran in the 10,000 metres finals at the 272BC Olympics. Trailing in a distant ninth, Euclid suddenly realised that after a great deal of effort running 25 laps, he was simply back where he'd started.
Euclid thus proved it was more efficient to be a couch potato than a runner.