My thoughts, yes..

The Renaissance Mathematicus

A few weeks ago I wrote a somewhat tongue in cheek post about The Ideal Historian of Science. I say somewhat because in reality a historian (and not just a historian of science), who is worth his or her salt, has to be a widely eclectic polymath prepared to mug up on a new discipline or field of human endeavour whenever and wherever the subject he is studying or researching demands it of him or her and believe you me such demands occur much more often than the non-historian would imagine.

I have, for example, over the years many varied reasons as to why I had to confront the subject of mining, mostly, in the early modern period. I have been led there by investigations into alchemy, geology, mineralogy, early European algebra, economics, astronomical instrument manufacture and physics amongst others. Also by people as diverse as Georg Agricola (mineralogist…

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