*Premiers fondaments de **l’**arithm**éticque** ou du ciffre …*, circa 1600, is a Flemish commercial arithmetic manuscript (Plimpton MS 229). It is richly illuminated. The first page promises to teach the fundamental rules of arithmetic, working with ciphers and their operations and further special rules such as “The Rule of Three,” here described also as “The Golden Rule.”

The operation of subtraction is defined, discussed, and illustrated with an example:

The “species” of fractions is explained as a part of arithmetic. Note the use of the terms “numerator” and “denominator.”

Applications of special computational rules are explained and demonstrated.

A section of the *Arithmetic* is devoted to the computation of interest.

*The images above have been obtained through the kind cooperation of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library of the Columbia University Libraries. These and more images may be accessed via **Digital Scriptorium**, a digital collection of medieval and early Renaissance manuscripts made available by a consortium of cooperating university libraries headed by the University of California, Berkeley. *