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I was wondering, what book did people use in the 17 th century to learn trigonometry as it was before ? Just general curiosity...

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As it turns out, Bartholomaeus Pitiscus is known as the person who introduced the word trigonometry into the English language in the sense that we understand the word today. In 1595 he produced Trigonometria: sive de solutione triangulorum tractatus brevis et perspicuus, and this seminal work was, throughout the 17th century, translated into English several times.

A copy of the Latin original can be found at e-rara, and here is another copy at bsb.

I know this book was translated to English a few times throughout the 17th century, but I can't manage to find a good download link at the moment.

Pitiscus' book was certainly not the only trigonometry book used in the 17th century, but it stands out as being a very important historical example, and one which I think deserves mention.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ah ok, seems interesting. It would be good to see if there's an english version disponible online. Thank you again! $\endgroup$
    – copper
    May 27 '15 at 2:19
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah I know it's somewhere, we'll dig one up eventually no doubt. :) $\endgroup$ May 27 '15 at 2:21
  • $\begingroup$ I happen to know french also, so if there's a french one it would be fine. $\endgroup$
    – copper
    May 27 '15 at 2:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Astroman I can see you speak French from the use of the non-english word "disponible" - you want "available" :) $\endgroup$
    – Jack M
    May 27 '15 at 23:07
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    $\begingroup$ @JackM: Just for the record, "disponible" is a valid word in the Spanish language, too... $\endgroup$ May 28 '15 at 17:49

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