Early Modern Transformations of Mechanics

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


In the early modern period, the text of the Mechanics was intensively studied in a number of translations and paraphrases of the text, as well as in extended commentaries on the treatise. We notice that the contents of the work were adapted to the context of sixteenth-century mechanics. This chapter analyses these processes of the transformation of mechanical knowledge by means of the diagrams and images to selected problems of the Mechanics contained in the texts by scholars such as Niccolò Leonico Tomeo, Alessandro Piccolomini and Bernardino Baldi. In this context, Leonico Tomeo is a highly interesting figure, since we possess both his handwritten Greek manuscript and a printed Latin translation of the treatise. The fifteenth-century codex Be was copied by Leonico Tomeo, and, together with later emendations and diagrams in his hand, provided the basis for his 1525 Latin translation of the Mechanics. These documents enable us to observe closely the altered diagrammatic practices from manuscript to print.


Sixteenth Century Circular Motion Mechanical Device Early Modern Period Suspension Point 
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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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