François Viète (1540–1603) was a mathematician in the employ of the French King Henry IV. Known for his work on ciphers (codes), Viète is also remembered for his innovative use of symbolism in algebra. In his *In artem* *analyticen isagoge* (1591), he employed the letters of the alphabet, using vowels to represent unknowns and constants for knowns. Frans van Schooten (1615–1661), a Dutch Professor of Mathematics at the University of Leiden, translated Viete’s work from French into Latin and published it as a collection, *Opera mathematica* (1641). Van Schooten is better known as the popularizer of Descartes' works. The title page of the *Opera *is shown above.

This is the Table of Contents for *Opera mathematica*.

Chapter 1 of Viete’s *Opera* begins on the first page of *In artem analyticen isagoge*.

*These images from its George Arthur Plimpton Collection are presented through the courtesy of the Columbia University Libraries. *

For more images from a different copy of this text, see Mathematical Treasure: Francois Viete's Opera Mathematica.