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Mathematical Treasure: Moxon’s Mathematical Dictionary

Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University)

Joseph Moxon (1627-1700) was the official hydrographer to King Charles II of England. He was also a mathematician, a publisher of mathematical works, and an instrument maker. His Mathematicks Made Easie: Or, A Mathematical Dictionary (1679) was the first known English language mathematics dictionary. The volume was dedicated to Sir George Warton, Treasurer and Paymaster of the Royal Office of Ordnance, in recognition of his contributions to mathematics.

Sample entries in the “L” section of the Dictionary.

The Special Collections staff at the Linderman Library of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is pleased to cooperate with the Mathematical Association of America to exhibit this and other items from the Library’s holdings in “Mathematical Treasures.” In particular, Convergence would like to thank Lois Fischer Black, Curator, Special Collections, and Ilhan Citak, Archives and Special Collections Librarian, for their kind assistance in helping to make this display possible. You may use these images in your classroom; all other uses require permission from the Special Collections staff, Linderman Library, Lehigh University.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Moxon’s Mathematical Dictionary," Convergence (August 2013)