You are here

Mathematical Treasure: Theodoric Luders on Mathematics and Fortification

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

Little is known about Theodoric Luders (born circa 1657) other than that he was a prolific author of books concerning the applications of mathematics, particularly the mathematics of warfare. In his writings, he described himself as a mathematician and engineer. His Traicté Mathematique (1680) appears to be a rather complete text with its scope including Euclidean geometry, decimal arithmetic, and the other branches of mathematics listed on its title page. Especially interesting is the variety of fortifications described: Dutch, French, Italian, and Spanish. The absence of reference to English construction is noteworthy.

Title page of Theodore Luders's treatise on mathematical applications.

Luders made use of tables of information to condense his presentations, as shown in his discussion of the use of “sine” on page 7.

Table of sine constructions in Luders's treatise on mathematical applications.

The form and design of Dutch fortifications were also summarized in one table of information.

Page 18 of Luders's treatise on mathematical applications.

The images above are presented courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Theodoric Luders on Mathematics and Fortification," Convergence (August 2016)

Dummy View - NOT TO BE DELETED