You are here

Mathematical Treasure: Henrion's French Translation of Sphaerics

Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University)

Theodosius of Tripoli (Bithynia, c. 160 – c. 90 BCE) was a Greek astronomer and mathematician. Although for many years he was associated with Tripoli, recent research has revealed his origins to be Bithynia, Turkey. He wrote Sphaerics apparently to supplement Euclid’s Elements. Little of his work appears to be original, but Sphaerics was translated quite early into Arabic and then from the (Greek) version of Plato of Tivoli (c. 1120) into Latin. Denis Henrion (also known as Pierre Hérigone, d. 1632), a French mathematician and military engineer, translated this Latin edition into French and published it in 1615.

The opening pages for the translation of Book I begin with definitions and basic theorems:

The format for introducing the reader to Book II of Sphaerics is similar:

The images above are presented courtesy of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, and are available via Internet Archive.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Henrion's French Translation of Sphaerics," Convergence (July 2018)