Tutor, antiquarian, and almost a practitioner: Brian Twyne’s readings of mathematic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


The story supplies context for Twyne’s own reading of mathematics. This chapter turns to some ways in which these teaching concerns overlapped with Twyne’s better known antiquarian practices. Twyne possibly first came in mind of a riposte through Thomas Allen, who already in 1599 had heard of a bit of striking new evidence: the earliest mention of King Alfred arriving in Oxford to settle student disputes, in 886, well before any other manuscript evidence for Cambridge. Twyne’s mathematical interests rarely surface within his best-?known set of notebooks, bound for the Bodleian Library by Gerard Langbaine, Twyne’s successor as Keeper of the Archives. Twyne’s notes suggest that, far from skipping over the basics to fumble with abstractions, university learning could foster real engagement with diverse mathematical skills. Twyne deployed a classic ‘mixed’ form of mathematics, perspectival geometry, to explain a physical phenomenon.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReading Mathematics in Early Modern Europe
Subtitle of host publicationStudies in the Production, Collection, and Use of Mathematical Books
EditorsPhilip Beeley, Yelda Nasifoglu, Benjamin Wardhaugh
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781003102557
ISBN (Print)9780367609252
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2020

Publication series

NameMaterial Readings in Early Modern Culture


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