This book deals with the mathematics of the medieval West between ca. 500 and 1100, the period before the translations from Arabic and Greek had their impact. Four of the studies appear for the first time in English. Among the topics treated are: the Roman surveyors (agrimensores); recreational mathematics in the period of Bede and Alcuin; geometrical texts compiled in Corbie and Lorraine from Latin sources from late antiquity; the abacus at the time of Gerbert (pope Sylvester II.); and a board-game invented in the first half of the 11th century (the 'Rithmimachia') to help people to learn mathematics. Included in the volume are critical editions of several texts, e.g. that of Franco of Liege on squaring the circle, Bede and Alcuin on recreational mathematics, and part of Pseudo-Boethius' Geometry I. The book opens with a survey of mathematics in the Middle Ages, and ends with a history of Rithmimachia up to the 17th century, when the game fell into disuse.
Menso Folkerts is Professor of the History of Sciences at the University of Munich, Germany and the author of a second collection in the Variorum series: The Development of Mathematics in Medieval Europe.
Contents: Introduction; The importance of the Latin Middle Ages for the development of mathematics; Mathematische Probleme im Corpus agrimensorum; De arithmeticis propositionibus. A mathematical treatise ascribed to the Venerable Bede; The Propositiones ad acuendos iuvenes ascribed to Alcuin; Die Alteste mathematische Aufgabensammlung in lateinischer Sprache: Die Alkuin zugeschriebenen Propositiones ad acuendos iuvenes. A berlieferung, Inhalt, Kritische Edition; The names and forms of the numerals on the abacus in the Gerbert tradition; The importance of the Pseudo-Boethian Geometria during the Middle Ages; Die Altercatio in der Geometrie I des Pseudo-Boethius. Ein Beitrag zur Geometrie im mittelalterlichen Quadrivium; The Geometry II ascribed to Boethius; A treatise on the squaring of the circle by Franco of Liege, of about 1050; 'Rithmomachia', a mathematical game from the Middle Ages; Index.