Editing Diagrams

  • Joyce van Leeuwen
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 316)


The diagrams to the Mechanics were envisioned in the argument of the text and are crucial to our understanding of the mechanical principles. Without these diagrams it is often difficult to understand the text. Therefore, it is remarkable that none of the editors of the Mechanics examined the diagrams in the manuscripts. In those cases where diagrams are included in modern critical editions of the text, the editors made their own diagrams differing from the ones in the manuscripts, and interpreting the mechanical principles in modern terms. Critical assessment of the diagrams is therefore necessary. This chapter discusses the characteristics of the manuscript diagrams and their Byzantine origins. It further presents the first critical edition of the diagrams contained in the manuscripts of the Mechanics, with a commentary.


Small Circle Circular Motion Large Circle Fifteenth Century Scientific Text 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joyce van Leeuwen
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for the History of ScienceBerlinGermany

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