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Most of the arts, as painting, sculpture, and music, have emotional appeal to the general public. This is because these arts can be experienced by some one or more of our senses. Such is not true of the art of mathematics; this art can be appreciated only by mathematicians, and to become a mathematician requires a long period of intensive training. The community of mathematicians is similar to an imaginary community of musical composers whose only satisfaction is obtained by the interchange among themselves of the musical scores they compose.
In H. Eves, Mathematical Circles Squared, Boston: Prindle, Weber and Schmidt, 1972.
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Mathematical Treasure: Digges' Stratioticos
By the 16th century, mathematical books on warfare had begun to appear in Europe. Leonard Digges’ Stratioticos was one such book. Published in 1579 after Leonard’s death, the work was amended and extended by his son Thomas Digges (1546-1595). This was the first book published in England that considered ballistics. Two images of the title page follow, along with images showing troop formations.
On pages 52 and 53, we find mathematical considerations for forming up battle squares where a square of troops with their pikes extended are prepared to meet a cavalry charge. Two images, one of pages 52-53 and one of page 52, follow.
Once again, mathematics was applied to best establish troop formations. Two images follow, one of pages 54-55 and one of page 54 only.
The Special Collections staff at the Linderman Library of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is pleased to cooperate with the Mathematical Association of America to exhibit this and other items from the Library’s holdings in “Mathematical Treasures.” In particular, Convergence would like to thank Lois Fischer Black, Curator, Special Collections, and Ilhan Citak, Archives and Special Collections Librarian, for their kind assistance in helping to make this display possible. You may use these images in your classroom; all other uses require permission from the Special Collections staff, Linderman Library, Lehigh University.
Swetz, Frank J., "Mathematical Treasure: Digges' Stratioticos," Loci (January 2013), DOI: 10.4169/loci003955