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Reconstructing Vernacular Mathematics

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins by summarising salient details of Thomas Hood's career. This helps us to better appreciate the likely audience for Hood's The Making and Use of the Geometricall Instrument, called a Sector (1598, hereafter The Sector). The chapter follows Hood's instructions in some detail. Although at times monotonous, this exercise will yield useful information regarding the knowledge assumed of contemporary readers. The texts that Hood claims to have used in the lectures and those that he published in the course of the post suggest that geometry and cosmography were preferred above military concerns, and that Hood was interested in the use of instruments. The Sector was intended at some level as a guide for readers wishing to construct and use their own instrument. This reconstruction has demonstrated the importance of such background knowledge among readers of vernacular mathematics.

Keywords: cosmography; Geometricall Instrument; The Sector; Thomas Hood; vernacular mathematics



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