The Archimedes Codex: How a Medieval Prayer Book Is Revealing the True Genius of Antiquity's Greatest Scientist

The Archimedes Codex: How a Medieval Prayer Book Is Revealing the True Genius of Antiquity's Greatest Scientist

by Reviel Netz, William Noel
     
 

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Part archaeological detective story, part science, and part history, The Archimedes Codex tells the astonishing story of a lost manuscript, from its tenth-century creation in ancient Constantinople to the auction block at Christie’s in New York, and how a team of scholars used the latest imaging technology to reveal and decipher the original text.…  See more details below

Overview


Part archaeological detective story, part science, and part history, The Archimedes Codex tells the astonishing story of a lost manuscript, from its tenth-century creation in ancient Constantinople to the auction block at Christie’s in New York, and how a team of scholars used the latest imaging technology to reveal and decipher the original text. What they found was the earliest surviving manuscript by Archimedes (287 BC–212 BC), the greatest mathematician of antiquity—a manuscript that established, for the first time, the extent of his mathematical genius, which was two thousand years ahead of modern science.

Editorial Reviews

The history of mathematics can't be properly told without mention of Archimedes of Syracuse (c. 287 B.C.-c. 212 B.C.), yet this ancient Greek very nearly disappeared from history. His known body of work was contained in three manuscripts, two of which have vanished. The third survived thanks to a 13th-century monastic scribe who copied a devotional book onto a previously used palimpsest. It was not until 1906 that a scholar discovered that an imperfectly erased mathematical text lay beneath. The Archimedes Codex tells the story of this discovery, the recovery of seven long-lost treatises, and how they have changed the history of mathematics and science.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786745388
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
03/12/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,146,817
File size:
2 MB

What People are saying about this

Brian Clegg
An engaging account. (Brian Clegg, author of A Brief History of Infinity, in Nature)

Meet the Author


Reviel Netz is Professor of Classics and Philosophy at Stanford University.

William Noel is Curator of Manuscripts at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, and Director of the Archimedes Palimpsest Project.

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