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Mathematical Treasure: Arithmetica Practica of Henrik Coets

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Henrik Coets (1670-1730) was a Dutch astronomer and mathematician. He was the author of several arithmetic books. His Arithmetica Practica (1698) promises the rules of arithmetic obtained through deductive principles, confirmed by demonstrations and illustrated by various examples. It also contains tables for the squares of the numbers 1-3000 and for the cubes of 1-1500.

Page 1 of the text supplies some basic definitions:

Chapter Two, beginning on page 4, initiates a discussion of numbers. It is a worthwhile exercise to attempt to understand Coets’s naming of large numbers.

Very little is known about Coets. A list of his publications may be viewed in WorldCat Identities and a few other details via the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL) Thesaurus, which uses Hendrik Coets as its primary spelling. 

The images above were obtained through the courtesy of Bayerische StaatsBibliothek (BSB) Digital / Münchener DigitalisierungsZentrum (MDZ) Digitale Bibliothek. The book may be viewed in its entirety in MDZ. You may use the images for instructional purposes; for all other uses, please seek permission through Digitale.Bibliothek[at] 

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Arithmetica Practica of Henrik Coets," Convergence (June 2017)