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Mathematical Treasures - Piero Borghi's Libro de Abacho

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

In 1484, Ratdolt published the first printed European commercial arithmetic book, Qui comenza la nobel opera de arithmetic. The book was written by the Venetian mathematician Piero Borghi (1424-1494) for the merchants of his city. It was one of the most important and influential mathematics books of its time. Later editions would bear the title, Libro de abacho. The title page of the 1550 edition of the Abacho is shown here.

On these pages, examples of computations involving the operations of division and multiplication are given.

These images from its George Arthur Plimpton Collection are presented through the courtesy of the Columbia University Libraries.

For images from an earlier edition of this text, see Mathematical Treasure: Borghi's Best Commercial Arithmetic in Convergence.

Index to Mathematical Treasures


Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasures - Piero Borghi's Libro de Abacho," Convergence (January 2020)

Mathematical Treasures from the Smith and Plimpton Collections at Columbia University