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The History of the History of Mathematics

Case Studies for the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Edited By Benjamin Wardhaugh

The writing of mathematical histories has a long history, one which has seldom received scholarly attention. Mathematical history, and mathematical biography, raise distinctive issues of method and approach to which different periods have responded in different ways. At a time of increasing interest in the history of mathematics, this book attempts to show something of the trajectory that history has taken in the past. It presents seven case studies illustrating the different ways that mathematical histories have been written since the seventeenth century, ranging from the ‘historia’ of John Wallis to the recent re-presentation of Thomas Harriot’s manuscripts online. It considers both the ways that individual reputations and biographies have been shaped differently in different circumstances, and the ways that the discipline of mathematics has itself been variously presented through the writing of its history.

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Bibliography Abel, Niels Henrik, ‘Recherches sur les fonctions elliptiques’, Journal für die reine und angewandte Mathematik 2/2 (1827), 101–81 (reproduced in Abel, Oeuvres Complètes (1881), vol. 1, pp. 263–388). —— ‘Recherches sur les fonctions elliptiques (Second mémoire)’, Acta Mathematica 26 (1902), 3–42. —— ‘Recherches sur les fonctions elliptiques’, Journal für die reine und angewandte Mathematik 3/2 (1828), 160–90 (reproduced in Abel, Oeuvres Complètes (1881), vol. 1, pp. 263–388). —— et al., ‘Breve fra og til Abel’, in Holst, Størmer and Sylow, Festskrift. —— ed. Bernt Michael Holmboe, Oeuvres Complètes de N.H. Abel, mathématicien, avec des notes et développements (2 vols, Christiania: Chr. Gröndahl, 1839). —— ed. Ludvig Sylow and Sophus Lie, Oeuvres Complètes de Niels Henrik Abel (2 vols, Christiania: Grøndahl, 1881). Acheson, Arthur, Shakespeare and the rival poet (London: J. Lane, 1903). Alexander, Amir R., ‘Tragic Mathematics: Romantic Narratives and the Refounding of Mathematics in the Early Nineteenth Century’, Isis 97/4 (2006), 714–26. Arbuthnot, John, An Essay on the Usefulness of Mathematical Learning (Oxford: at the Theater, for Anth. Peisley, 1701). Aubin, David and Charlotte Bigg, ‘Neither Genius nor Context Incarnate: Norman Lockyer, Jules Janssen and the Astrophysical Self ’, in Söderqvist, Scientific Biography, 51–70. Bailey, Nathan, An universal etymological English dictionary (London: J Darby and others, 1728). Bailly, Jean Sylvain, Histoire de l’astronomie ancienne: depuis son origine jusq’à l’établissement de l’école d’Alexandrie (Paris: Frères Debure, 1775). —— Histoire de l’astronomie...

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