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A DISCOURSE CONCERNING ALGEBRA 43 Fig. 9 The rule of algebra, or rule of equation, from Robert Recorde's The whetstone of witte, emphasized by decorated capitals and a special italic font. a military manual by Leonard and Thomas Digges, published in 1579. In A treatise of algebra he wrote:108 Leonard Digges (in his Stratioticos, 1579,) and Robert Record, about the Year 1552, (if I be not mis-informed,) and (I think) Robert Norman, 44 HOW ALGEBRA WAS ENTERTAINED AND CULTIVATED IN EUROPE about 1560, and some other, (whose Names I do not remember,) have written of it in our own language.
116 The Ars magna is one of the great mathematical texts of all time. Del Ferro's solution for a special class of cubics is only one of a host of important methods and discoveries the book contains. Cardano worked out the solution to every other case of cubic equation and, together with his pupil and son-in-law, Ludovico Ferrari, went on to tackle quartics too. Unlike the cossist texts, however, the Ars magna was more than a manual for solving set forms of equations. It contained profound and far-reaching insights that were not to be fully worked out for ﬁfty years or more, but which laid the foundations of European algebra.
Primoque signiﬁcat unum: duo vera secunda Tertia signiﬁcat tria: sic procede sinistra Donec ad extremam venias, qua cifra vocatur; Quae nil signiﬁcat; dat signiﬁcare sequenti. 1. The ﬁrst signiﬁes one: two the second The third signiﬁes three: thus proceed left Until you come to the end, which is called ‘cifra’; Which signiﬁes nothing; it gives signiﬁcance to what is behind it. If you put any of these in the ﬁrst place, It signiﬁes simply itself: if in the second, Itself tenfold… The Carmen, written by a French Franciscan, Alexandre de Ville Dieu (d.