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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Overview

At a Christie's auction in October 1998, a battered medieval manuscript sold for two million dollars to an anonymous bidder, who then turned it over to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore for further study. The manuscript was a palimpsest-a book made from an earlier codex whose script had been scraped off and the pages used again. Behind the script of the thirteenth-century monk's prayer book, the palimpsest revealed the faint writing of a much older, tenth-century manuscript. Part archaeological detective story, part science, and part history, The Archimedes Codex tells the extraordinary story of this lost manuscript, from its tenth-century creation in Constantinople to the auction block at Christie's, 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 b.c.-212 b.c.), the greatest mathematician of antiquity-a manuscript that revealed, for the first time, the full range of his mathematical genius, which was two thousand years ahead of modern science.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786745388
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 03/12/2009
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 691,807
File size: 2 MB

About 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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