Further adventures of the Rome 1594 Arabic redaction of Euclid's Elements

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Mathematics & Actuarial Science Department

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Research Article

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Archive for History of Exact Sciences

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This article takes up the adventure of the Arabic version of the Elements published in Rome at the Typographia Medicea in 1594 at the point where the first installment (Cassinet, Revue française d'histoire du livre 78-79:5-51, 1993) ended. In this new installment of the adventure, we situate the Rome edition within a stemma of connected Arabic copies spanning some four centuries. We show that the text of the Rome edition was typeset from Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Or. 20 and that Or. 20 in turn was copied from Or. 50. We show that a manuscript (Tehran, Sipahsalar 540) was later copied from the printed edition and that still later the text of the Rome edition was reissued in lithograph form in Fez. The story is important because the Rome edition influenced the development of non-Euclidean geometry in European mathematics and because the mistaken identity of its author has led to persistent errors in the history of mathematics. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

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