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Mathematical Treasure: Tartaglia’s l’Arithmetique

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

Treatise on Number and Measurement (1556-1560), by Niccolo Fontana Tartaglia (1500-1557), was a classic for its period. The French humanist and natural scientist Guillaume Gosselin (ca.1536–ca.1600), who worked to bring scientific texts into France, translated it from Italian into French. The volume was published in 1578 entitled l’Arithmetique de Nicolas Tartaglia Brescian, Grand Mathematicien, et Prince des Praticiens. The reference to Tartaglia of Brescia as “a great mathematician and prince of practitioners” attests to his fame.

The first two pages of the “Table of Contents” provides an example of the topics considered. They are similar to those in other arithmetic books of this period.

These images were obtained through the courtesy of the University of Bordeaux (France) Library. The book may be viewed in its entirety at

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Tartaglia’s l’Arithmetique," Convergence (June 2017)