Euclid: Reception in the Renaissance

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Abstract

Although the Latin Middle Ages received anumber of versions ofEuclid’s Elementsandseveral other Euclidean works, by the four-teenth century, only the Campanus redactionfrom c. 1259 was in circulation. In the four-teenth andfifteenth century, this redaction wasencountered by students of Arts or Medicineuniversity faculties, even though we have scantevidence that Euclid impressed their minds. Inthefifteenth century, other circles discoveredhim: Alberti took over the idea of elements,Regiomontanus used Euclid alongside Archi-medes as an argument for the superiority ofmathematics over philosophy, and one Floren-tine abacus school tradition was able to givecorrect references to theElements.A turn arrived with book printing. In 1482,the CampanusElementswere printed, and in1498 and 1501, Giorgio Valla inserted pseudo-Euclidean and Euclidean material in two bulkyvolumes. A new though somewhat problematicLatin translation from the Greek (includingalso some minor works) was published byZamberti in 1505, and until 1540 a number ofreprints or reeditions of Campanus’s and Zamberti’s texts were published–at times incombination. From the 1540s onward, revi-sions, selections, and vernacular translationsbegan to appear, all based on the same twotexts. In 1572, however, Commandino made anew Latin translation from Zamberti’s text anda sounder manuscript, and in 1574 Claviusproduced a didactically oriented redaction.These two set the scene for the next twocenturies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy
EditorsMarco Sgarbi
Number of pages7
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-02848-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Officielt dateret 2018, men faktisk publiceret 2019

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