de Abaco - deal with problems of pasturage, brokerage,...

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de Abaco and Mathematical Education in the Renaissance That was pretty subtle geometry in the Flagellation . Could a Renaissance viewer really appreciate all that? How much mathematics did the average person know? In Renaissance Florence, according to Baxandall, a boy was educated in two stages. For about four years, from age six or seven, he learned reading, writing, and business correspondence. Then for another four years most would go to a secondary school, the abbaco (which means arithmetic ), where they learned mostly mathematics, especially commercial mathematics adapted to the merchant. One of the books used in these schools was Piero's second book, de abaco . Proportion and the Rule of Three : One important subject was how to solve proportions, crucial to a merchant who had to
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Unformatted text preview: deal with problems of pasturage, brokerage, discount, tare allowance, adulteration of commodities, barter, and currency exchange. Not only did every city have its own currency, but its own weights and measures! The universal mathematical tool of literate commercial people in the Renaissance was the Rule of Three , also called the Golden Rule and the Merchant's Key . In his Del abaco , Piero explains how to use the rule of three to solve a proportion: "multiply the thing one wants to know about by the thing that is dissimilar to it, and divide by the remaining thing. The result is dissimilar to the thing we want to know about."...
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