David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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NTM International Journal of History and Ethics of Natural Sciences, Technology and Medicine 5 (1):211-235 (1997)
The twelfth century was a period of transmission and absorption of Arabic learning though it filtered outside of the Arabic world as early as the second half of the tenth century. In general, the lure of Spain began to act only in the twelfth century, and the active impulse toward the spread of Arabic mathematics came from beyond the Pyrenees and from men of diverse origins. The chief names are Adelard of Bath, Robert of Chester, Hermann of Carinthia and Gerard of Cremona. In this time the Latin world became acquainted with the Hindu numerals, the Arabic Algebra and Euclid'sElements. However, not only Spain, but also the Norman kingdom of southern Italy and Sicily occupies a position of peculiar importance, though the works of the translators did not become very influential. There were made direct translations from Greek into Latin. One had to wait a century more to obtain a translation from Greek into Latin of the chief Archimedean scientific and mathematical treatises by William of Moerbeke. In the thirteenth century Fibonacci and Jordanus Nemorarius stand at the threshold of European mathematics. Not only was Fibonacci the first to explain Arabic arithmetic, but his works, especially his later ones, contain many original ideas. Jordanus continued the Greco-Roman tradition rather than the Greco-Arabic one, but he did so with much independence. To Nicole Oresme (fourteenth century) was due a broadened view of proportionality, a geometric proof to determine the summation of convergent infinite series and the proof, evidently the first in the history of mathematics, that the harmonic series is divergent. The Configuration Doctrine was treated by Merton College authors and by Oresme. In the fifteenth century theDe triangulis omnimodis of Regiomontan, a systematic account of the methods for solving triangles, marked the rebirth of trigonometry
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