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Mathematical Treasures - Ramus's The Way to Geometry

Frank J. Swetz and Victor J. Katz

Ramus Title Page


Pierre de la Ramée (1515 - 1572) was a French scholar, philosopher, and mathematician who used the Latin pen name Petrus (or Peter) Ramus. He was a fervent anti-scholastic. As the result of his campaign against scholasticism, he was forbidden by Francis I to publish in philosophy. He turned his attention to mathematics and the writing of school textbooks. In 1569, he published an edition of Euclid's Elements. This is the title page of The Way to Geometry, an English language translation of his work. This translation was done from the Latin into English by William Bedwell and published in 1636. It is obvious that this book is intended for the common craftsman.


Ramus p.16

Pages 16 and 17 of The Way to Geometry display a series of definitions of simple geometric concepts and terms.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz and Victor J. Katz, "Mathematical Treasures - Ramus's The Way to Geometry," Convergence (January 2011)

Mathematical Treasures from the Smith and Plimpton Collections at Columbia University