Article ID: CBB497329553

The Main Sources for the Arte Mayor in Sixteenth Century Spain (2018)


One of the main changes in European Renaissance mathematics was the progressive development of algebra from practical arithmetic, in which equations and operations began to be written with abbreviations and symbols, rather than in the rhetorical way found in earlier arithmetical texts. In Spain, the introduction of algebraic procedures was mainly achieved through certain commercial or arithmetical texts, in which a section was devoted to algebra or the ‘Arte Mayor’. This paper deals with the contents of the first arithmetical texts containing sections on algebra. These allow us to determine how algebraic ideas were introduced into Spain and what their main sources were. The first printed arithmetical Spanish text containing algebra was the Libro primero de Arithmetica Algebratica (1552) by Marco Aurel. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to analyse the possible sources of this book and show the major influence of the German text Coss (1525) by Christoff Rudolff, on Aurel's work.

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Authors & Contributors
Rey, Javier Docampo
Rommevaux, Sabine
Rankin, F. K. C.
Fend, Michael
Massa Esteve, María Rosa
Charrier-Spiesser, Maryvonne
Historia Mathematica
Revue d'Histoire des Mathématiques
Quaderns d'Història de l'Enginyeria
Bollettino di Storia delle Scienze Matematiche
Actes d’Història de la Ciència i de la Tècnica
Renaissance Quarterly
European Mathematical Society
Springer International
Transmission of ideas
Primary literature (historical sources)
Transmission of texts
Pacioli, Luca
Cardano, Girolamo
Stifel, Michael
Rudolff, Christoff
Nuñez, Pedro
Galilei, Vincenzo
Time Periods
16th century
17th century
15th century
18th century
Catalonia (Spain)
Vienna (Austria)

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