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Mathematical Treasure: Mathematics for a Military Academy in Padua

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

The “Accademia Delia di Padoua” was a military school founded by the military commander of Padua, Italy. It functioned through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Valeriano Bonvicino, a Professor of Physics and a military mathematician, compiled Matematiche Discipline per uso della illustrissima Accademia Delia di Padoua (1665) as a mathematics text for the institution. Little else is known about the author, Bonvicino, other than that he was also active in the field of alchemy. The content of the text indicates the nature of mathematical studies in an Italian military academy of this period.

The topics included in this text are arithmetic, geometry, trigonometry, fortification, “the sphere” [globe], and geography. Further details are supplied in the “Table of Contents.”


The images above were obtained through the courtesy of the University of Michigan Libraries. The University of Michigan Library’s copy of this text has been digitized and is available in its entirety in Google Books.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Mathematics for a Military Academy in Padua," Convergence (May 2017)