Anton Howes: Age of Invention: When Alchemy Works: Weekend Readings

Leonardo Pisano (1202): Book of Calculation "You, my Master Michael Scott, most great philosopher, wrote to my Lord [Friedrich II Hohenstaufen] about the book on numbers which some time ago I composed and transcribed to you; whence complying with your criticism, your more subtle examining circumspection, to the honor of you and many others I with advantage corrected this work. In this rectification I added certain necessities, and I deleted certain superfluities. In it I presented a full instruction on numbers close to the method of the Indians, whose outstanding method I chose for this science. And because arithmetic science and geometric science are connected, and support one another, the full knowledge of numbers cannot be presented without encountering some geometry, or without seeing that operating in this way on numbers is close to geometry; the method is full of many proofs and demonstrations which are made with geometric figures. And truly in another book that I composed on the practice of geometry I explained this and many other things pertinent to geometry, each subject to appropriate proof. To be sure, this book looks more to theory than to practice. Hence, whoever would wish to know well the practice of this science ought eagerly to busy himself with continuous use and enduring exercise in practice, for science by practice turns into habit; memory and even perception correlate with the hands and figures, which as an impulse and breath in one and the same instant, almost the same, go naturally together for all; and thus will be made a student of habit; following by degrees he will be able easily to attain this to perfection. And to reveal more easily the theory I separated this book into xv chapters, as whoever will wish to read this book can easily discover. Further, if in this work is found insufficiency or defect, I submit it to your correction...

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