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Charles de Bovelles

Charles de Bovelles (Carolus Bovillus) (born c. 1475 à Saint-Quentin, died at Ham after 1566) was a French mathematician, and canon of Noyon. His Géométrie en françoys (1511) was the first scientific work to be printed in French.

Life

His dates are uncertain. His first work is from 1510. It is known that he made a rebus for the year (1509) of the building of the hôtel de ville in Saint-Quentin. He gave a stained glass window in the town in 1521. Maupin (end of nineteenth century) assigned dates 1470-1553.

He studied arithmetic under Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples. His contemporaries knew him as widely travelled in Europe.

In 1547, in the preface of La Geometrie practique, Bovelles acknowledges help from Oronce Fine with the engravings.

Works

In geometry, Bovelles was a Pythagorean: objects and living beings take up regular shapes. Some of his chapters, on bells, physiognomy, machines, are representative of the period.

Michel Chasles, in his Aperçu historique... des méthodes en géométrie, points out Bovelles for his work on star polyhedra, a successor in this of Thomas Bradwardine.

  • Quæ in hoc volumine continentur... mathematicum opus quadripartitum : de numeris perfectis, de mathematicis rosis, de geometricis corporibus, de geometricis complementis (1510), printer Henri Estienne, Paris
  • Géométrie en françoys (1511), Henri Estienne, Paris
  • Livre singulier & utile touchant l’art et practique de Géométrie, composé nouvellement en Françoys, par maistre Charles de Bouelles (1542)
  • La Geometrie practique, composee par le noble Philosophe maistre Charles de Bovelles (1547, reprint 1566), Guil. de Marnef, Paris
  • Le Livre du Sage, trad. P. Magnard, éd. Vrin, Paris, 1982.
  • Le Livre du Néant, trad. P. Magnard, éd. Vrin, Paris, 1983.
  • L'art des opposés, trad. P. Magnard, éd. Vrin, Paris, 1984.

His 1533 work Agonologiae Jesu Christi, libri quatuor has been cited in art history. For example John North, The Ambassadors' Secret (2002), refers to it (p. 179, and elsewhere), in interpreting Holbein's picture The Ambassadors.

References

  • Joseph M. Victor (1978), Charles de Bovelles, 1479-1553: An Intellectual Biography
  • P. M. Sanders, Charles de Bovelles's treatise on the regular polyhedra (Paris, 1511), Annals of Science, Volume 41, Issue 6 November 1984, pp. 513 - 566
  • Ernst Cassirer, Individu et cosmos dans la philosophie de la Renaissance (1983), éd. de Minuit, Paris ISBN 2-7073-0648-7
  • G. Maupin, Opinions et curiosités touchant la Mathématique d'après les ouvrages français des XVIe, XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (1898), Bibli. de la Revue Générale des Sciences, éd. Carré et Naud, Paris
  • S. Musial - Dates de naissance et de mort de Charles de Bovelles » dans « Charles de Bovelles en son cinquième centenaires 1479-1979 - Éditions Trédaniel 1982.
  • Tamara Albertini, Charles de Bovelles: Natura e Ragione come spazio interno/esterno della conoscenza, in L'uomo e la Natura nel Rinascimento, Firenze 1998
  • Cesare Catà, L'abisso come origine. Portata e significati del concetto di "nulla" nel De Nihilo di Charles de Bovelles, (forthcoming)

External links

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