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Publication# Le "Fragmentum de inventionibus scientiarum" de Diego Palomino

Abstract

The objective of this PhD thesis is the translation of, and the mathematical commentary on, a 16th-century Latin book. Its author, Diego Palomino is not well known. With a background in theology, he was a prior. In order to obtain his PhD at the University of Alcala (Madrid), he submitted a work, De mutations æris, in which he included a collection of what seems to be readings notes, entitled Fragmentum de inventionibus scientiarum. His readings have been drawn from various famous mathematicians of his time and ancient ones. The originality of his work relies mostly on his inventiveness and his style —which can be sarcastic— making the reading of it quite interesting and lively. His work consists for the main part in explaining some unclear demonstrations, or bringing new methods of solution ; he also innovates in solving pairs of indeterminate equations by providing the complete set of integral solutions. Before him, only one mathematician (Abu ̄ K ̄amil, at the end of the 10th century) did so, the other mathematicians restricting themselves to giving only one solution or a pair. Palomino did not hesitate in criticizing a well-established theory in ancient mathematics, namely Archimedes —although his critics seem to rely on a faulty edition. His book is entitled to have a significant place in the history of mathematics, for it both maintains the rigor of Greek classical mathematics and announces innovation, as did the 17th century, culminating with the discovery of the infinitesimal calculus.

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