Niccolò Tartaglia's 1543 Edition of Euclid's Elements and the sources of an early modern Hebrew version of the Elements

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Abstract

Seven Hebrew translations of the Elements or of versions of it were produced before the modern era. There is currently no concrete evidence that any of these had a Latin version as its primary source. In a 1997 paper Tony Lévy reported that a partial Hebrew version of the Elements includes an explicit reference to Campanus' Latin recension. Pointing out several other similarities to Campanus' version, I examine the hypothesis that the Hebrew version was based on a particular source which itself was based on Campanus' version: Niccolò Tartaglia's Italian edition (Venice 1543). I found that Tartaglia's edition shares many of the differences that exist between the Hebrew version and Campanus' recension, and also that many annotations which Tartaglia added to definitions and propositions are found in the Hebrew translation. This similarity suggests the possibility that the Hebrew version is a translation based directly on Tartaglia's Italian translation and indirectly on Campanus' Latin version. My findings lead to the conclusion that the Hebrew version is either a translation of a version of Campanus' recension other than Tartaglia's translation, or that it is not a translation at all, but rather a free elaboration based on more than one source.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)123-148
Number of pages26
JournalAleph
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Religious studies
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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