Libraries and archives contain many thousands of early modern mathematical books, of which almost equally many bear readers’ marks, ranging from deliberate annotations and accidental blots to corrections and underlinings. Such evidence provides us with the material and intellectual tools for exploring the nature of mathematical reading and the ways in which mathematics was disseminated and assimilated across different social milieus in the early centuries of print culture. Other evidence is important, too, as the case studies collected in the volume document. Scholarly correspondence can help us understand the motives and difficulties in producing new printed texts, library catalogues can illuminate collection practices, while manuscripts can teach us more about textual traditions. By defining and illuminating the distinctive world of early modern mathematical reading, the volume seeks to close the gap between the history of mathematics as a history of texts and history of mathematics as part of the broader history of human culture.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Did Euclid prove Elements I, 1? The early modern debate on intersections and continuity
Vincenzo De Risi
Chapter 2 Numbers and Paths: Henry Savile’s manuscript treatises on the Euclidean theory of proportion
Chapter 3 Reading by Drawing. The changing nature of mathematical diagrams in seventeenth-century England
Chapter 4 Interpreting Mathematical Error: Tycho’s problematic diagram and readers’ responses
Chapter 5 Reading Mathematics in the English Collegiate-Humanist Universities
Chapter 6 Tutor, Antiquarian, and Almost a Practitioner: Brian Twyne’s readings of mathematics
Richard J. Oosterhoff
Chapter 7 The Origin and Development of the Savilian Library
Chapter 8 ‘A designe Inchoate’. Edward Bernard’s planned edition of Euclid and its scholarly afterlife in late seventeenth-century Oxford
Chapter 9 ‘The Admonitions of a good-natured Reader’: Marks of use in Georgian mathematical textbooks
Chapter 10 Instrumental Reading: Towards a typology of use in early modern practical mathematical texts
Chapter 11 ‘Several Choice Collections’ in Geometry, Astronomy, and Chronology: Using and collecting mathematics in early modern England
Philip Beeley is research fellow and tutor in the Faculty of History and Fellow of Linacre College, University of Oxford. The focus of his research and publications is on correspondence networks and the history of mathematics in the seventeenth century.
Yelda Nasifoglu is a historian of early modern mathematics and architecture, and an associate member of the Faculty of History, University of Oxford. Her research interests include mathematical diagrams, non-representational uses of drawing, and book collecting practices in the early modern period.
Benjamin Wardhaugh is a historian and author based in Oxford, UK, and a former fellow of All Souls College. His interests range across the history of mathematics and the ways mathematics has been part of human cultures.
"This volume meets the highest standards for an academic publication, whilst remaining very accessible for the general reader. This book should definitely be read by all those interested in the history of mathematics in the Early Modern Period and in fact by anybody interested in the history of mathematics." Thony Christie, The Renaissance Mathematicus