Skip to main content

Leonardo and Theoretical Mathematics

  • Chapter

Part of the Nexus Network Journal book series (NNJ,volume 10,1)

Abstract

Leonardo’s mathematical notes bear witness to a work in progress and allow us to look directly into the mind of the writer. In Leonardo we find two of the three fundamental classical geometric problems: the duplication of the cube and the quadrature of the circle. While Leonardo is extremely familiar with two-dimensional geometry problems, and proposes playful graphic exercises of adding and subtracting polygonal surfaces of all kinds, he is still unable to solve the problem of the duplication of the cube. Numerous pages testify of the attempt to rise above planar geometry and reach the realm of the third dimension, but Leonardo always bumps against the limits of quantity calculation possibilities of his age.

Keywords

  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Luca Pacioli
  • quadrature of the circle
  • doubling the cube
  • Renaissance mathematics

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-7643-8728-0_5
  • Chapter length: 11 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   79.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-7643-8728-0
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   99.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Bibliographic references

  • Artmann, Benno. 1999. Euclid — The creation of mathematics. New York: Springer-Verlag.

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  • Bagni, Giorgio T. and Bruno D’Amore. 2006. Leonardo e la matematica. Florence: Giunti.

    Google Scholar 

  • Euclid. 1993. Œuvres. Ed. and trans. Jean Itard. Blanchard, Paris

    Google Scholar 

  • Fowler, David. 1999. The mathematics of Plato’s academy. A new reconstruction. Oxford: Clarendon Press,.

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  • Heath, Sir Thomas. 1981. A history of Greek mathematics. New York: Dover Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  • Knorr, Wilbur Richard. 1986. The ancient tradition of geometric problems. Boston: Birkhäuser.

    Google Scholar 

  • Loria, Gino. 1914. Le scienze estate nell’antica Grecia. Milan: Hoepli.

    Google Scholar 

  • March, Lionel. 1998. Architectonics of Humanism. London: Academy editions.

    Google Scholar 

  • Marinoni, Augusto. 1982. La matematica di Leonardo da Vinci. Arcadia.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pacioli, Luca. 2004. De Divina Proportione, Augusto Marinoni ed. Milan: Silvana editore.

    Google Scholar 

  • Taton, René, ed. 1958. Histoire générale des sciences. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vasari, Giorgio. 1991. Le vite dei più eccellenti pittori, scultori e architetti (1550). Rome: Newton Compton editori.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wittkower, Rudolf. 1962. Architectural principles in the Age of Humanism. London: Academy editions.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2008 Kim Williams Books, Turin

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Duvernoy, S. (2008). Leonardo and Theoretical Mathematics. In: Duvernoy, S. (eds) Nexus Network Journal. Nexus Network Journal, vol 10,1. Birkhäuser Basel. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-7643-8728-0_5

Download citation