Campanus of Novara

Born: 1220 in Novara, Italy
Died: 1296 in Viterbo, Italy

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Johannes Campanus was chaplain to Pope Urban IV and quoted by Bacon as one of the 4 greatest contemporary mathematicians.

He published a Latin edition of Euclid's Elements in 15 books and it was the standard Euclid for 200 years.

Most of Campanus's other writings were on astronomy. He wrote Theorica Planetarum which describes the construction of a planetarium, the first to be described by a European. The work also contains detailed descriptions of the longitude of the planets as well as a geometrical description of the motion of the model.

Data for the planets was taken from the Almagest and from the Toledan Tables edited by the Arabian astronomer Azarquiel in 1080 based on his own work and that of al'Khwarizmi and al'Battani. Campanus determined the time of each planet's retrograde motion and gave precise instructions on using the tables. He also made calculations in great detail of the distances to the planets and their sizes.

Campanus also wrote Tractatus de Sphaera as well as De Computo Ecclesiastico and Calendarium.

References (6 books/articles)

Some pages from works by Campanus:

The first page of Euclid's The Elements in the translation by Campanus. This edition was published in 1482.
Another page from the edition of Euclid's The Elements, Book V published in 1482
Propositions 6 and 7 from this edition of Euclid's The Elements, Book I
Propositions 27 and 28 from this edition of Euclid's The Elements, Book I

References elsewhere in this archive:

There is a Crater Campanus on the moon. You can see a list of lunar features named after mathematicians.

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JOC/EFR December 1996