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Mathematical Treasures - Nicolo Tartaglia's Nova Scientia

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

 

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This is the title page of the Nova Scientia (1537) of Nicolo Tartaglia (1499-1557).  In this work, Tartaglia discussed the mathematics of artillery and developed methods for determining the range of a cannon. The caption below the illustration reads,

The Mathematical sciences speak:  Who wishes to know the various causes of things, learn about us.  The way is open to all. 

The illustration itself depicts a walled compound, the compound of knowlege.  The high wall keeps out the man who attempts to scale it and enter improperly.  Entrance into the compound is through a single door opened by Euclid.  In the first courtyard, a crowd comprised of Tartaglia and the muses of the seven liberal arts watch a demonstration of Tartaglia's new knowlege, a theory of trajectories.  Beyond the first courtyard is a second smaller, more exclusive and highly elevated one.  Its entrance is manned by Aristotle and Plato.  Plato holds a banner proclaiming,

No one can enter who does not know geometry. 

Enthroned at the rear of this compound, in the highest position of all, is philosophy.

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On this page (folio 29v), we see a method of determining the height of a distant object using a quadrant.

Frank J. Swetz and Victor J. Katz, "Mathematical Treasures - Nicolo Tartaglia's Nova Scientia," Loci (January 2011)

Dummy View - NOT TO BE DELETED

Mathematical Treasures