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Mathematical Treasure: Jonas Moore's Mathematicks

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Jonas Moore, together with the famous diarist, Samuel Pepys (1633–1703), founded the Royal Mathematical School at Christ’s Hospital, London in 1673. Moore was a governor of the school and wrote A New Systeme of the Mathematicks with the purpose of defining a mathematical course suitable for the school. In this task, he was assisted by P. Perkins, a mathematics master at the school. The book was unfinished when Moore died on 27 August 1679. However, his two sons-in-law pushed for its completion, and it was published in 1681. The title page of this first edition is shown above. The second volume of the work was accomplished by Perkins and the astronomers John Flamsteed and Edmund Halley.

Chapter IV is devoted to spherical trigonometry. The plate opposite page 100 illustrates various applied trigonometry situations.

On page 101, above, is a listing of propositions for spherical trigonometry.

Here is an illustration and discussion of the employment of a cross-staff in obtaining measurements.

Above is the title page for Book II of Moore’s Mathematicks. This volume contained maps of the known world.

The images above are supplied through the courtesy of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection of the Pennsylvania State University Library and the assistance of Dr. Sandra Stelts, Curator of the Collection.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Jonas Moore's Mathematicks," Convergence (June 2015)