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"Abraham, Planter of Mathematics"


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Author Topic: "Abraham, Planter of Mathematics"  (Read 462 times)
Bianca
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« on: October 14, 2008, 10:18:01 pm »









Pico's critical genealogy of Chaldean magic was not universally accepted. In the last years of the fifteenth century, two substantial works challenged Pico's claims. The first came from Polydore Vergil. An arch-humanist, Vergil argued with Erasmus over which of them had invented the modern genre of collections of sayings, and wrote a hefty history of England that discredited Geoffrey of Monmouth.12 In his 1499 De inventoribus rerum, Vergil devoted the eighteenth chapter of the first book to the origin of mathematics. He began with the proposition, expressed most famously by Proclus, that the Egyptians were the first to practice mathematics. Vergil, however, did not subscribe to this theory. Instead, he turned to the first-century Jewish general and historian, Flavius Josephus.13

According to Josephus, Adam received all knowledge available to man, wisdom he taught his son Seth. Seth's progeny, Josephus wrote,
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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.


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