The Ciphers of the Monks: A Forgotten Number-notation of the Middle Ages
This is the first comprehensive study of an ingenious number-notation from the Middle Ages that was devised by monks and mainly used in monasteries. A simple notation for representing any number up to 99 by a single cipher, somehow related to an ancient Greek shorthand, first appeared in early-13th-century England, brought from Athens by an English monk. A second, more useful version, due to Cistercian monks, is first attested in the late 13th century in what is today the border country between Belgium and France: with this any number up to 9999 can be represented by a single cipher. The ciphers were used in scriptoria - for the foliation of manuscripts, for writing year-numbers, preparing indexes and concordances, numbering sermons and the like, and outside the scriptoria - for marking the scales on an astronomical instrument, writing year-numbers in astronomical tables, and for incising volumes on wine-barrels. Related notations were used in medieval and Renaissance shorthands and coded scripts. This richly-illustrated book surveys the medieval manuscripts and Renaissance books in which the ciphers occur, and takes a close look at an intriguing astrolabe from 14th-century Picardy marked with ciphers. With Indices. "Mit Kings luzider Beschreibung und Bewertung der einzelnen Funde und ihrer Beziehungen wird zugleich die Forschungsgeschichte - die bis dato durch Widerspruechlichkeit und Diskontinuität geprägt ist - umfassend aufgearbeitet." Zeitschrift fuer Germanistik.
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I'm planning to reread this book. It's a little dense. I don't understand everything in its entirely but what I do understand is fascinating. Excellent! Read full review
The English ciphers
The horizontal ciphers of the Cistercians
The astrolabe of Berselius
The French vertical ciphers in manuscript sources
The fate of the monastic ciphers in the Renaissance and thereafter
Jean Fusoris and his workshop
Three astronomical instruments related to the Picard astrolabe with ciphers
The Picard astrolabe with monastic ciphers
The stars on the rete
The names of the zodiacal signs and the months
The plates and the latitudes they serve
The calendrical scale
The alidade radial rule and nut and bolt
The ciphers falling between the cracks of modern scholarship
Appendix A General bibliographical notes
B The survival of the Roman numerals in medieval Europe
Ancient Greek and medieval alphanumerical notations
The introduction of the HinduArabic numerals in Europe
E Sundry numeral notations and symbols in medieval and later sources
F Aspects of medieval astronomy
H On medieval European astronomical instruments
J The quatrefoil on medieval astrolabe retes
K Astronomical instrumentation in Northern France in the 14th century
The textual tradition
MThe Virgin of Berselius
N Nonhistorical reflections on the ciphers
On the morphology and aesthetics of the ciphers
Ciphers to bases other than 10
Arithmetic with ciphers
Astronomical instruments cited
Bibliography and bibliographical abbreviations
David A. King , The Ciphers of the Monks. A forgotten Number ...
Alain Boureau, « David A. King, The Ciphers of the Monks. A forgotten Number-Notation of the Middle Ages », Histoire et mesure, XVIII - N° 1/2 - Varia, ...
David A. King: The ciphers of the monks. A forgotten number-notation of the Middle Ages. Stuttgart 2001. 505 S, geb., 102 € (Boethius. ...
www.forschungsstaette.de/ Stenografie/ king_2001.htm
A NDREW W ARWICK , Masters of Theory: Cambridge and the Rise of ...
David A. King, The Ciphers of the Monks: A Forgotten Number-Notation of the Middle. Ages. By Catherine Eagleton. 359. Nancy G. Siraisi, Medicine and the ...
journals.cambridge.org/ production/ action/ cjoGetFulltext?fulltextid=333458
Studies In History and Philosophy of Science Part A : ‘Chaucer’s ...
King, 2001 da King, The ciphers of the monks: A forgotten number notation of the Middle Ages, Franz Steiner, Stuttgart (2001). ...
linkinghub.elsevier.com/ retrieve/ pii/ S0039368107000155
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