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Mathematical Treasure: Early 14th Century Flemish Euclid's Elements

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

A Flemish manuscript, Geometria Euclidis cum commento magistri Campani (c. 1300-1315, Plimpton MS 156), is one of the best extant examples of an early medieval Euclid's Elements. As is noted in its title, it bears a commentary by Johannes Campanus, also known as Campanus of Novara (c. 1220-1296), who was a mathematician, astronomer, physician, and early Euclidean scholar:

Folios i (verso) and 1 of Geometria Euclidis cum commento magistri Campani, c. 1300-1315

Folio 9v discusses the sum of angles for various geometric situations:

Folio 9 (verso) of Geometria Euclidis cum commento magistri Campani, c. 1300-1315

Folio 12v provides a familiar proof of the “Pythagorean Theorem”:

Folio 12 (verso) of Geometria Euclidis cum commento magistri Campani, c. 1300-1315

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: Early 14th Century Flemish Euclid's Elements," Convergence (June 2018)

Dummy View - NOT TO BE DELETED