LJS 27: Arithmetic

On April 6, SIMS Curator of Manuscripts Nick Herman brought out LJS 27, a 15th century Italian treatise on commercial and practical arithmetic.

LJS 27 is a pedagogical treatise on commercial and practical arithmetic, with extensive use of arabic numerals and problems illustrated with scenes from daily life. This manuscript is the only known copy of this particular text, Algorismus by Pietro Paolo Muscarello. Although it is essentially a textbook, it is colorfully illustrated and the border on f. 1r is illuminated. It includes the arms of the Alberti family and 8-line inhabited initial showing a bearded man in a turban reading from a book

LJS 27, f. 1r

The main section of the manuscript includes 54 illustrations, which illustrate the mathematical problems described in the text. These illustrations tend to the practical, showing events drawn from real life.

The manuscript includes a section on geometric diagrams.

LJS 27 includes some fun illustrations, too, such as this dog chasing a very large rabbit on f. 75r.

Find out more about LJS 27 by reading the full records on Franklin: https://franklin.library.upenn.edu/catalog/FRANKLIN_9941704573503681

You can also see the recording of the Coffee With A Codex event on YouTube.

We host Coffee With A Codex every Wednesday at 12pm ET / 5pm GMT on Zoom. For a schedule three weeks ahead, visit our main page here.

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