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Mathematical Treasure: Gallus Spänlin’s Arithmetica

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

In 1546, a German reckoning master from Ulm, Gallus Spänlin, published an arithmetic text, Arithmetica: künstlichen Rechnung, lustige Exempeln, mancherley schöner Regeln auff Linien vnd Ziffern, vormaln nie gesehen (Arithmetica: artificial calculation, entertaining examples, and some beautiful rules on lines and digits never seen before).

Title page of Gallus Spänlin's 1546 Arithmetica.

Part of a table of measures found in the early pages of the book.

Table of measurements from Gallus Spänlin's 1546 Arithmetica.

Spänlin’s initial discussion of subtraction, with an abacus-like illustration.

Section 6 of Gallus Spänlin's 1546 Arithmetica.

Second page of section 6 from Gallus Spänlin's Arithmetica.

Images from the GoogleBook scan of the copy held by the Bavarian State Library.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Gallus Spänlin’s Arithmetica," Convergence (October 2021)