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

Abstract.

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.

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Correspondence to Jay Kappraff.

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Kappraff, J. The Arithmetic of Nicomachus of Gerasa and its Applications to Systems of Proportion. Nexus Netw J 2, 41–56 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00004-999-0007-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00004-999-0007-7

Keywords.

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