### Synopses & Reviews

Robert Recorde was the first person to write an original book on arithmetic in English, rather than in the then-standard Latin or Greekand thus the first to write about math in a way that ordinary people could understand. He was, in effect, the first mathematics teacher in the English-speaking world. This biography, which provides a comprehensive overview of Recordes life and work, traces the major influences on his study and his writing and charts his contribution to the development of mathematical and scientific thinking in Europe.

#### Review

“An excellent book. . . . Highly recommended.” *J. Johnson, Western Washington University*

#### Review

“Drawing on a wide array of archival and documentary sources, the authors of this collection of highly readable essays shine a bright light on the life and work of the Tudor mathematics educator Robert Recorde. It is a fascinating read for those interested in the Tudor period, the history of science, and the history of mathematics, and it will ensure that Recorde is remembered for much more than just the invention of a mathematical symbol.”

#### Review

“Although best known for inventing the equals sign, Robert Recorde made many other significant contributions to the development of mathematics and science. As this book amply demonstrates, his writings made arithmetic, geometry, algebra, astronomy, and ‘physick widely available in English to those for whom the classical texts of the scholar were inaccessible. It can be warmly recommended as a most welcome addition to the historical literature.”

#### Review

“The book begins with a revealing glimpse of Recordes life and then proceeds with extensive examinations of his texts on algebra, arithmetic, numbe theory, geometry, medicine, and astronomy. The final three chapters provide an overview of the historical, political, and social contexts for Recordes mathematical contributions. The book argues that Recorde was primarily a mathematics educator of high quality who suffered politically in the setting of Tudor England to the extent that he was imprisoned and died in relative obscurity. . . . An excellent book. Highly recommended.”

#### Synopsis

Recent research has revealed new information about the Welsh Tudor mathematician, Robert Recorde who invented the equals sign (=) what inspired his work and what was its influence on the development of mathematics education in the English-speaking world. The findings of that research, presented at a commemorative conference in 2008, form the core of this publication. The book begins with an account of Recordes life and an overview of his work in mathematics, medicine and cosmography. Individual chapters concentrate on each of his books in turn, taken chronologically, and are supplemented by chapters that present historical perspectives of Recordes work and its wider European links and one that sets Recordes work within the general knowledge economy.

### About the Author

**Gareth Roberts** is professor emeritus of education at Bangor University, UK.**Fenny Smith **is an independent scholar specializing in ancient and medieval numerical notation and arithmetic techniques and Italian Renaissance algebra.

### Table of Contents

List of illustrations

Notes on contributors

Acknowledgements

Preface

Editorial conventions

Introduction

1. The lives and works of Robert Recorde

Jack Williams

2. Robert Recorde and his remarkable Arithmetic

John Denniss and Fenny Smith

3. Recorde and *The Vrinal of Physick: *context, uroscopy and the practice of medicine

Margaret Pelling

4. *The Pathway to Knowledge *and the English Euclidean tradition

Jacqueline Stedall

5. *The Castle of Knowledge*: astronomy and the sphere

Stephen Johnston

6. *The Whetstone of Witte*: content and sources

Ulrich Reich

7. The Welsh context of Robert Recorde

Nia M. W. Powell

8. Commonwealth and Empire: Robert Recorde in Tudor England

Howell A. Lloyd

9. Data, computation and the Tudor knowledge economy

John V. Tucker

Appendix: From Recorde to relativity: a speculation

Gareth Wyn Evans

Bibliography

Index