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Essays on Early Medieval Mathematics
The Latin Tradition



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ISBN 9780860788959
Published May 11, 2003 by Routledge
382 Pages

 
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Book Description

This book deals with the mathematics of the medieval West between ca. 500 and 1100, the period before the translations from Arabic and Greek had their impact. Four of the studies appear for the first time in English. Among the topics treated are: the Roman surveyors (agrimensores); recreational mathematics in the period of Bede and Alcuin; geometrical texts compiled in Corbie and Lorraine from Latin sources from late antiquity; the abacus at the time of Gerbert (pope Sylvester II.); and a board-game invented in the first half of the 11th century (the 'Rithmimachia') to help people to learn mathematics. Included in the volume are critical editions of several texts, e.g. that of Franco of Liège on squaring the circle, Bede and Alcuin on recreational mathematics, and part of Pseudo-Boethius' Geometry I. The book opens with a survey of mathematics in the Middle Ages, and ends with a history of Rithmimachia up to the 17th century, when the game fell into disuse.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; The importance of the Latin Middle Ages for the development of mathematics; Mathematische Probleme im Corpus agrimensorum; De arithmeticis propositionibus. A mathematical treatise ascribed to the Venerable Bede; The Propositiones ad acuendos iuvenes ascribed to Alcuin; Die älteste mathematische Aufgabensammlung in lateinischer Sprache: Die Alkuin zugeschriebenen Propositiones ad acuendos iuvenes. Ãœberlieferung, Inhalt, Kritische Edition; The names and forms of the numerals on the abacus in the Gerbert tradition; The importance of the Pseudo-Boethian Geometria during the Middle Ages; Die Altercatio in der Geometrie I des Pseudo-Boethius. Ein Beitrag zur Geometrie im mittelalterlichen Quadrivium; The Geometry II ascribed to Boethius; A treatise on the squaring of the circle by Franco of Liège, of about 1050; 'Rithmomachia', a mathematical game from the Middle Ages; Index.

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Author(s)

Biography

Menso Folkerts is Professor of the History of Sciences at the University of Munich, Germany and the author of a second collection in the Variorum series: The Development of Mathematics in Medieval Europe.

Reviews

'... this book is worth having in your library... includes editions and translations [...] of important historical sources... libraries that aim to have a good collection in the history of mathematics should have this one.' Mathematical Association of America on-line 'This book is a welcome addition to the Ashgate Collected Studies series, providing as it does an overview of mathematical texts written in Latin between the eighth and eleventh centuries.' British Journal for the History of Science