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Mathematical Treasures - Bettini's Aerarium Philosophiae Mathematicae

Author(s): 
Frank J. Swetz and Victor J. Katz

Bettini Title Page

This is the title page of Mario Bettini’s Aerarium Philosophiae Mathematicae [Treasury of Mathematics], published in 1648. Bettini (1582 - 1657) was a Jesuit, a mathematician and a well respected astronomer. This book is an encyclopedic collection of mathematical curiosities.

Bettini frontispiece

The frontispiece of Bettini’s book. The picture is a pun on the title, The Treasury of Mathematics. The picture shows a Prince providing a Jesuit with a chest of money. The Jesuits are thus paid to provide the common people with knowledge of mathematics.

Bettini sun

 

Pages 48 and 49 of Bettini’s Treasury discuss the generation of a spiral as a path around the surface of a cylinder. The diagram on page 49 shows that if a spiral is unrolled from its cylinder it will revert into the hypotenuse of a right triangle.

 

Bettini sun

Pages 74 and 75 of Bettini’s book illustrate the erroneous use of simple geometry in determining the diameter of the sun.

 

Platonic solids

A fold-out plate from Bettini’s book provides views of various solids and nets for the construction of polyhedra.

Frank J. Swetz and Victor J. Katz, "Mathematical Treasures - Bettini's [i]Aerarium Philosophiae Mathematicae[/i]," Loci (January 2011)

Dummy View - NOT TO BE DELETED

Mathematical Treasures