KING'S COLLEGE LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KING'S COLLEGE LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Allegory of arithmetic. Arithmeticae') of a female Arithmetic overseeing a contest between Pythagoras (6th century BC) and Boethius (6th century AD). Boethius is using Arabic numerals, while Pythagoras is using an abacus. This woodcut is from 'Margarita philosophica' (1503). This work, by the German author Georg Reisch (c.1467-1525), was an encyclopedic compilation of knowledge that became one of the standard textbooks of the time. The topics in its twelve books included grammar, dialectics, rhetoric, arithmetic, music, geometry, astronomy, physics, natural history, physiology, psychology, and ethics.
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