Who had direct inside knowledge of the canon through the alleged secret oral tradition? Some possible examples that have been alluded to include Pythagoras, Plato, Euclid, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Leibniz and Newton. Grattan-Guinness mentions the oral tradition in The Norton History of the Mathematical Sciences but he gives no sources. Partial introduction to what is recorded in written history by Conifold Did geometric patterns in nature suggest the early notions of proportion and ratios?

  • $\begingroup$ I looked through chapter 2 of Grattan-Guinness, but not sure which mention you have in mind. What exactly does he say, what page? $\endgroup$ – Conifold Nov 6 at 5:52
  • $\begingroup$ Try p.13 and chp. 17 review with keyword "covert". Also in the Companion Ency. section 12.5 by G-G, reference to the secrets of the masons. $\endgroup$ – Michael A. Sherbon Nov 6 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ Aha, I think this was the kind of reference I was looking for: Isaac Newton's Freemasonry by Alain Bauer. $\endgroup$ – Michael A. Sherbon Nov 6 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ I am not sure that what he calls "covert mathematics" in "architecture, art and decoration" necessarily refers to secrets a la freemasons. There is a lot of interesting work on medieval Islamic geometry based on studying mosque decorations, for example. But you may want to look at Dudley's Numerology, Or, What Pythagoras Wrought and Livio's The Golden Ratio for that sort of thing. $\endgroup$ – Conifold Nov 7 at 9:36
  • $\begingroup$ Dudley and Livio have little helpful content on the canon. More detail in Isaac Newton's Temple of Solomon and his Reconstruction of Sacred Architecture by Tessa Morrison. "The essence of the temple is its plan, which contains the key to forgotten knowledge, the blueprint by which the universe was made, and the lost canon that provided laws and standards." - John Michell $\endgroup$ – Michael A. Sherbon Nov 7 at 13:08

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