Mathematics and Metaphysics

in the

Premodern World



Assignment 3b

Due Annandale: Thursday, February 14th

Valentine's Day


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Do the following for Thursday...

Read the following:


Grant, Edward, ed. A Source Book in Medieval Science. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1974.

Read pp. 3-6, 8, 10-12, and 16.  From chapter on Isidore de Seville (d. 636): Quadrivium


Newsome, Daniel. "Martianus Capella's Mathematical Arts."  Excerpt from Quadrivial Pursuits. 2012.


Capella, Martianus. Martianus Capella and the Seven Liberal Arts: The Marriage of Philology and Mercury [De Nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii]. Vol. 2 of 2 vols. Translated by Stahl. New York: Columbia University Press, 1977.

Read pp. 273-287: Book VII: Arithmetic.  Pay close attention to what Arithmetic looks like and especially to that ray that comes out of her head and how it divides up.  Doodle in the margins as you read. 



From Kepler's book Harmonices mundi. (1619)


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Illustration for Timaeus, 54B



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Notes to self.....

In class. 

Lecture on equilateral triangle.  Show how sides are equal... how angles add up to 180... then divide it in half and show how the short leg is 1 and how this is the triangle from Timaeus, 54B.


-Hand out printer paper.  Make square out of printer paper.

-Fold and measure equilateral triangle to go with Timaeus, 54D-55B (Bury trans., pp. 131-133).  [Standard equilateral folding exercise.]


Distribute tetrahedron & cube handout along with origami paper.

-Fold up a tetrahedron. [Xerox a handout for students.]