Making Mathematical Culture: University and Print in the Circle of Lefèvre d'Étaples

Research output: Book/ReportBook


In 1503, for the first time, a student at Paris could spend his entire university career studying only the printed textbooks of his teacher, in the works of the humanist and university reformer Jacques Lefèvre d’lÉtaples (c. 1455–1536). In this hinge moment in the cultural history of Europe, as printed books became central to the intellectual habits of following generations, Lefèvre turned especially to mathematics as a way to renovate the medieval university. This book relies on the student manuscripts and annotated books of Beatus Rhenanus, the sole surviving archive of its kind, to consider university learning in the new age of print. Making Mathematical Culture offers a new account of printed textbooks as jointly made by masters and students, and how such collaborative practices informed approaches to mathematics. This book places this moment within the longer history of mathematical practice and Renaissance method, and suggests growing affinities between material practices of making and mathematical culture—a century before Galileo and Descartes.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages304
ISBN (Print)9780198823520
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2018

Publication series

NameOxford-Warburg Studies
PublisherOxford University Press


  • Renaissance
  • book history
  • history of reading
  • humanism
  • Paris
  • universities
  • mathematical culture
  • natural philosophy
  • note-taking


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