Nexus Network Journal

, Volume 2, Issue 1–2, pp 41–56 | Cite as

The Arithmetic of Nicomachus of Gerasa and its Applications to Systems of Proportion

  • Jay KappraffEmail author
Research Articles


Nicomachus of Gerasa has gained a position of importance in the history of ancient mathematics due in great measure to his Introduction to Arithmetic, one of the only surviving documentations of Greek number theory. Jay Kappraff discusses a pair of tables of integers found in the Arithmetic and shows how they lead to a general theory of proportion, including the system of musical proportions developed by the neo-Platonic Renaissance architects Leon Battista Alberti and Andrea Palladio, the Roman system of proportions described by Theon of Smyrna, and the Modulor of Le Corbusier.


Jay Kappraff modular tiling theory of proportion Nichomachus of Gerasa Leon Battista Alberti Andrea Palladio Le Corbusier Le Modulor 

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New Jersey Institute of Technology, Department of MathematicsUniversity HeightsNewarkUSA

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