Changing Classical Arithmetic Text
by William C. Michael
The ancient masters of the Quadrivium: Pythagoras, Euclid, Nicomachus, Ptolemy, Aristoxenos, Iamblichus.
The Classical Arithmetic course in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy has used Thomas Taylor’s Theoretic Arithmetic through the years. Like most core courses in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy, very few students are working in this course and, knowing that this will not affect many students, I am going to change the text. I am not doing this because I think it will draw more students into the course, but because I have a better text that I’d prefer to use in our Quadrivium studies.
I will be using an English translation of Nicomachus’ Introduction to Arithmetic . I’d prefer to use this text because Thomas Taylor’s work is secondary source that summarizes ancient teaching on the art, whereas Nicomachus’ texts is a primary source on classical Arithmetic and because the study of it will prepare students to read Boethius’ De Arithmetica .
Nicomachus was a Pythagorean philosopher who lived from 60–120 AD.
God bless your studies,William C. Michael, HeadmasterClassical Liberal Arts Academy