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Mathematical Treasure: Tacquet's Euclid and Archimedes

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

This is the title page of a version of Euclid’s Elements, together with theorems from Archimedes, first compiled in 1654 by Andrew or Andreas Tacquet or Andrea Tacquet (1612-1660), a Flemish mathematician and Jesuit priest. Tacquet was well respected as a mathematician and considered as a predecessor in the development of calculus. His objective in writing his geometry was to produce a version of Euclid’s Elements that could be more easily understood. He succeeded and the text became very popular. His was one of the first examples of breaking away from the “traditional Euclid.” Pages from the 1747 sixth edition, translated into English from Tacquet's Latin by William Whiston (1667-1752), are shown here.

Tacquet also included some theorems of Archimedes, together with some "agreeable Propositions" of his own, as seen below.

The images above were obtained through the kind cooperation of the Burns Manuscript and Archival Collection of the Libraries of Boston College. You may use them in your classroom or for private study; for any other purpose, please obtain permission from the Libraries of Boston College.

For images from another copy of this book, see Mathematical Treasure: Tacquet’s Geometry. For images from another copy of the book and also from Tacquet’s Arithmeticae Theoria et Praxis, see Mathematical Treasure: Tacquet’s Geometry and Arithmetic.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Tacquet's Euclid and Archimedes," Convergence (August 2015)