Reference numberMS/47
TitleTractatus de arithmetica (A treatise on arithmetic)
Date12th-13th century
DescriptionWritten in England. Contains the curious characters known as the Boethian contractions, and is a valuable document for the history of arithmetic. The treatise commences on the Roman abacal system, and afterwards proceeds to give an explanation of the Eastern Boethian system with altered characters, and with a complete adoption of the advantages of local position. In Folio 2, recto, line 5, the author says that he will expound 'quaedam de numerorum scientia. regulis uidelicet algorismi' and on Folio 3, verso, he refers to Pithagoras, Nicomachus, Apuleius and Boethius. The text ends on the first line of Folio 34, recto, and is followed by eight lines in a semi-current 13th century hand.

Folio 1, recto ' Prefatio sequentis operis. Vt ait salomon.. punge oculum. et profert lacrimam. punge cor' et profert sensum.....'

Folio 4, verso ' De impari numero..'

Folio 6, verso, line 6, ' Divisio algorismi '. The divisions are given as folows; ' digitus, mediato, multiplicatio, divisio '

Folio 8, recto, title in red in margin, ' Qualiter digitus multiplicat digitum '

Folio 9, recto, line 15 ' Qualiter articulus multiplicatur per articulum '

Folio 9, verso, line 13, heading in red, ' Qualiter digitus multiplicat articulum '

Folio 10, recto, line 10, heading in red, ' Qualiter compositus per compositum multiplicatur '

Folio 10, verso, heading in margin, ' Qualiter compositus multiplicat compositum non eundem habens articulum '

Folio 11, recto, bottom line, heading in red ' Regulo ab uno inequalibus '

Folio 12, recto, line 6, heading in red, ' Regula ab uno in equalibus binario adjecto '

Folio 12, verso, line 8, heading in red ' De duplicatione '

Folio 13, recto, line 5, heading in red, ' De pari adjecto '

Folio 13, verso, line 6, heading in red, ' De impari adjecto '

Folio 14, verso, heading in margin, ' De proposito secundum novenarium dispositum '

Folio 15, recto, line 7-8, heading in red, ' De significationibus et nominibus figarum et locorum '
Transcript extract from line 14 ' Prima itaque omnium est igin. 1. id est unitas. Secunda andras. 2. id est binarius. Tercia ormis. 3. id est ternarius. Quarta arbas. 4. id est quaternarius. Quinta quimas. 5. id est quinarius. Sexta caltis. 6. id est senarius. Septima zemis. 7. id est septenarius. octava celentis. 8. id est octonarius. Nona cemenias. 9. id est novenarius. Singule ataque figure in quocumque loco sint sui ipsius exprimunt significationem. Nunquam enim figura unitatis officium binarii sibi usurpabit, nec binarius ternarii, nec ternarius quaternarii, nec quelibet ceterarum quod alter significare poterit. Ad majorem itaque evidentiam significationes locorum ponamus. primo ita loco posita igin seipsam, id es unitatem, significat. Secundo denarium. Tercio centenarium. Quarto millenarium. Quinto decem milia. Sexto centum milia. Septimo mille milia. Decimo mille mille milia. Undecimo decies milies mille milia. Duodecimo centies milies mille milia. Terciodecimo milies milies mille milia, et sic usque in infinitam singulorum decuplationem locorum extenditur. Similiter autem et andras rimo loco seipsam, id est binarium, significat. Secundo xx. Tercio cc. Quarto duo milia. Quinto xx. Sexto cc. Septima mm. et sic per cetera loca eodem cemate et cetere figure secundum propriam differentiam decuplabutn singulos articulos per loca singula. Est adhucet decima figura cujus nulla significatio est, sed tamen per loca disposita ceterarum significationes auget vel minuit. Dicitur autemzifera, et taliter depingitur 0. Sciendum autem quod omnes figure versus sinistram scribi debent, quia sic vim extendunt. Sed e converso literali ordine legi. '

Folio 17, verso, line 6, heading in red, ' De subtractione '

Folio 18, verso, line 8, heading in red, 'De dupli``catione '
Extent1 volume, MS Very Small
Physical descriptionMembranaceus, quarto, in forma miniori. 34 folios. Binding 19th century
Access statusOpen
Related materialJ O Halliwell 'A catalogue of the miscellaneous manuscripts preserved in the Library of the Royal Society' London: printed by Richard and John Taylor 1840
See N R KER 'Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries; I London' (1969) Oxford. Clarendon Press.
Fellows associated with this archive
NA738Halliwell-Phillipps; James Orchard (1820 - 1889)1820 - 1889
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