You are here

Mathematical Treasure: Arithmetic Books of Johann Neudoerffer

Author(s): 
Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Johann Neudörffer (1497-1563) was a Nuremberg reckoning master, who authored several books of mathematics. His Rechenbüchlein (Plimpton MS 209) dates from about 1530. Here is the title page for this arithmetic book, with the name of the owner and/or perhaps the scribe at the top and the name of the author at the bottom:

Title page of arithmetic book by Johann Neudörffer, circa 1530

In the two-page selection shown below, the left page appears to contain calculations concerning monetary conversion; the right page states the “Rule of Three” (“Regula dedre”) and provides an example.

Two more pages from arithmetic book by Johann Neudörffer, circa 1530

A page from another book of Neudörffer (Plimpton MS 210), dated 1531, provides a table of multiplication facts and identifies the writer as a rechenmaister (as does the first image above).

Multiplication table from arithmetic book by Johann Neudörffer, 1531

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. 

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Arithmetic Books of Johann Neudoerffer," Convergence (June 2018)

Dummy View - NOT TO BE DELETED