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Mordekhai Finzi’s Translation of Maestro Dardi’s Italian Algebra

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses about Mordekhai Finzi's fifteenth-century translation of Maestro Dardi's fourteenth-century Italian algebra. Dardi's algebra opens with an elaborate treatise on the arithmetic of radicals. It briefly deals with higher roots, and includes tour-de-force divisions of numbers by three- and four-term sums of roots. But Dardi's most prominent contribution is a systematic list of 192 additional rules for solving equations that involve terms of higher power and irrational coefficients. Finzi's translation derives from a surviving early fifteenth-century manuscript copy of Dardi's 1344 algebra held at Arizona State University in Tempe. The chapter shows logical and metamathematical terms used by Finzi. It is clear that Finzi adopts the attitude seeking to "translate word by word without additions or omission". It reviews some ways in which Finzi's translation did some interpretive and transformative work.

Keywords: Italian algebra; Maestro Dardi; metamathematical terms; Mordekhai Finzi's fifteenth-century translation



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