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Chapter Summary

One of the characteristics of an exact science is to explain theoretically the processes addressed by that discipline and to treat them precisely in a quantitative way. The simplest astronomical table consists of two columns of numbers, such that for each value in the first column there corresponds one and only one entry, representing what nowadays is called a function. The advantage of double argument tables is that they reduce the number of steps in the computation of a planetary position, etc. In the Renaissance the mathematical sciences played an important role in humanistic culture, and they were highly appreciated at various social levels. Probably due to their substantial size and complexity, the tables of Bianchini were not copied very often in manuscript, but frequently enough to suggest to the printer that there was a market for them.

Keywords: astronomical table; Bianchini tables; double argument tables



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