Robert Recorde: Tudor Polymath, Expositor and Practitioner of Computation (History of Computing)

Robert Recorde: Tudor Polymath, Expositor and Practitioner of Computation (History of Computing)

Jack Williams

Language: English

Pages: 280

ISBN: B00F5R160Q

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The 16th-Century intellectual Robert Recorde is chiefly remembered for introducing the equals sign into algebra, yet the greater significance and broader scope of his work is often overlooked.

Robert Recorde: Tudor Polymath, Expositor and Practitioner of Computation presents an authoritative and in-depth analysis of the man, his achievements and his historical importance. This scholarly yet accessible work examines the latest evidence on all aspects of Recorde’s life, throwing new light on a character deserving of greater recognition.

Topics and features:
* Presents a concise chronology of Recorde’s life
* Examines his published works; The Grounde of Artes, The Pathway to Knowledge, The Castle of Knowledge, and The Whetstone of Witte
* Describes Recorde’s professional activities in the minting of money and the mining of silver, as well as his dispute with William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke
* Investigates Recorde’s work as a physician, his linguistic and antiquarian interests, and his religious beliefs
* Discusses the influence of Recorde’s publisher, Reyner Wolfe, in his life
* Reviews his legacy to 17th-Century science, and to modern computer science and mathematics

This fascinating insight into a much under-appreciated figure is a must-read for researchers interested in the history of computer science and mathematics, and for scholars of renaissance studies, as well as for the general reader.

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added unto my late rules of Navigation, was printed iiij. yeres past. This was the second edition, no copy of the edition of 1567 has survived. The fourteenth rule deals with the longitude and declination of 12 notable fixed stars for navigation. Closing this section, Bourne declines to expand on matters astronomical as being unworthy to do so in the face of a number of authors on the subject, both ancient and modern. Amongst the latter he names ‘…most famous men, in these our daies as Johannes

reveled but reformed also (as muche as the instrument pertayneth) by the devise of a newe quadrate newley invented by the author hereof. The arte of measuryng by the astronomers staffe, and by the astronomers rynge, and the forme of makyng them both. The arte of makyng Dials, both for the daie and the nyght, with certayn new formes of fixed dialles for the moon and other for the starres, which may be set in glasse windowes, to serve by daie and by nyght. And how you may by those dialles knowe in

LW (2002) Fibonacci’s Liber Abaci. Springer, New York. 7 For an excellent short introduction see Van Egmond W (1994) Abbacus arithmetic. In GrattanGuinness I (ed) Companion encyclopedia of the history and philosophy of the mathematical sciences. Routledge, London, vol 1, pp 200–209. His indispensible scholarly account of the abbacus tradition is Warren Van Egmond, Practical Mathematics in the Italian Renaissance: a Catalog of Italian Abbacus Manuscripts and Printed Books to 1600, Istituto e Museo

you getting at?’ he asked ‘It’s nothing special, I said. ‘It’s the ability to distinguish one, two, and three - in short I’m talking about number and counting. I mean, isn’t it the case that every branch of expertise and knowledge is bound to have some involvement with numbers and with counting?’ ‘Definitely’, he said. ‘Even military expertise?’ I asked. ‘Yes, certainly. It has to,’ he said.2 It is highly likely that Recorde had read this argument. Certainly he expanded upon its thesis in the

follows the standard presentational sequence. As pointed out by Easton, apart from the rearrangement of the order of the conclusions, Recorde’s selection of constructions was strongly influenced also by practical considerations.13 Thus three of Euclid’s constructions using the Euclidean compass are omitted altogether, whilst some are simplified by the use of a fixed compass, a practical contemporary instrument. A few approximate constructions are added using other practical instruments such as

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