Some Mathematical Works of the 17th & 18th Centuries, including Newton's Principia, Euler's Mechanica, Introductio in Analysin, etc., translated mainly from Latin into English.

Season’s Greetings to Everyone!

Most of the translations are from Latin by Ian Bruce, with some papers by others.

See below for latest additions.

With apologies to Samuel Johnson, and not to be taken too seriously : It is the fate of those who toil at the lower employments of life, to be rather driven by the fear of evil, than attracted by the prospect of good ; to be exposed to censure, without hope of praise; to be disgraced by miscarriage, or punished by neglect, where success would have been without applause, and diligence without reward. Among these unhappy mortals is the translator of Latin mathematical works of days gone by; whom mankind have considered,  not as the pupil, but the slave of science, the pioneer of literature, doomed only to remove rubbish and clear obstructions from the paths through which Learning and Genius press forward to conquest and glory, without a smile on the humble drudge that facilitates their progress. Every other author may aspire to praise; the translator can only hope to escape reproach, and even this negative recompense has been granted to a very few....

General Introduction : The State of this Site Sept. 2014: Annual Report.

However, notwithstanding the similarities of the present task with Dr. Johnson's remarks about compiling his dictionary, it is pleasing to note that for this website, around 3500 visits and 50,000 hits are made on a monthly basis, and that around 25,000 files are downloaded monthly to mathematicians and students of mathematics in around 150 countries, of which the U.S. accounts for approximately a quarter or more, on a regular basis. There is, of course, some seasonal variation depending on semester demand. Not much has changed over the past year; I had finished translating Euler’s Neue Gründsatze der Artellerie some time ago, and now at last I can draw a deep breath again after attending to Daniel Bernoulli’s Hydrodynamicae, which has now been completed. I have moved on to translating Leibniz’s articles on his calculus presented in the Acta Eruditorum from 1682 onwards.

    A number of authors both of books and papers have made reference to this website, all of whom I would like to thank for their favorable mentions.

 

        The most popular files downloaded recently not in order have been Euler's Integration Ch. I , Newton's Axioms and the addition to Book II ch.1 of the Principia,  and some chapters of Euler's Mechanica I & II  and his Introducito in Analysin, completed this last year, parts of Huygens' Horologium are very popular, some early Euler papers, esp. E025, and various parts of Gregorius and James Gregory's Optica Promota also, and there is of course a constant demand for material on logarithms, and Harriot's book salvaged from his posthumous notes is of interest to browsers. Lately Jim Hanson's work on Napier's Bones and Promptuary have been very popular. This site is unique in that it provides the only translation available into English of a number of important works. Texts are presented with the understanding that they cannot be error-free, and reveal the translator's idiosyncrasies to some extent. Usually there are some notes to help you along, especially at the start of the chapter.

PREFACE

This site is produced, funded, and managed by myself, Dr. Ian Bruce, now an independent researcher or should I say mathematical hobbyist, whose aim is to provide the modern mathematical reader with a snapshot of that wonderful period, from roughly the year 1600 to 1750 or so, when modern analytical methods came into being, and an understanding of the physical world was produced hand-in-hand with this development. The work is an ongoing process : translations of Euler's Mechanica , and his Tractus de Motu Corporum Rigidorum.....are given, as well as his integral and differential calculus textbooks and his Introductio in analysin…. and Methodus Inveniendi Lineas Curvas Maximi Minimive Gaudentes. Work on Newton's Principia has been completed some 18 months now ; this includes notes by the Jesuit brothers Leseur & Jacquier from their annotated edition, and by myself, as well as ideas from the books by Chandrasekhar, Brougham & Rouse, etc . The  traditional translates of the Principia do not give extensive notes, if any at all.  Some of Newton's methods are obscure, and it has pleased me to be able to unravel some of these. The Principia never was, and never will be, an 'easy read'; however, Newton was a man from the new age of mathematical science initiated by Kepler and Galilio, opening a hidden door via calculus, and who ushered in almost single handedly the world of the mathematical analysis of physical phenomena: Newton's view of the world, controversial at the time because of the idea of action at a distance,  is still the one that we accept largely. To our store of translations also has been added Napier's De Arte Logistica, the books I & II of Euler's Introductio in analysin infinititorum, Methodus Inveniendi Lineas Curvas Maximi Minimive Gaudentes, dealing with variational problems of integrals, and some later related papers, E296 & E297,  following Lagrange's brilliant suggestions; in addition I have added Gellebrand's second part of Briggs's Trigonometriae Britannicae. See below for later additions.

    Occasionally people send e-mails concerning things they are not happy about in the text, and their suggestions may be put in place, if I consider that they have a point. If you feel that there is something wrong somewhere, or if you think that further clarification on some point can be provided,  please get in touch via the e-mail hyperlink. The amount of labour spent on a given translation suffers from the law of diminishing returns, i.e. more and more has to be done in revision to extract fewer and fewer errors. The site is now 8 years old!

Happy browsing! IAN BRUCE. Sept. 2014.

Latest addition Dec. 15th, 2014:  A new series of translations is now underway involving Leibniz’s calculus; initially we will concentrate on his introduction of differential calculus to the mathematicians of the time in the Acta Eruditorum (AE) : The time sequence of the papers is used to reference these; see below for the papers, the first translated is the Nova Methodus AE13, followed by Optics, Catroptrics, and Dioptrics from a single principle AE9, Concerning the rectification of areas AE11;  AE19 Concerning a Recondite Geometry and the analysis of indivisible and the infinite; AE13 on constructing the integrals of curves mechanically, in which also he introduces the Tractrix curve; AE6, deals with the calculation of π from the infinite series;  AE4, concerning osculating circles; AE7, Optical curved etc. ; AE3 is a composite file related to a major flaw discovered in Descartes conservation of motive forces principle, and marked the beginning of our understanding of work and kinetic energy : after noting the flaw publically, the Cartesians respond in a letter from the Abbé de Catelon which is not very flattering, which Leibniz dismisses with some contempt, and proposes to them the problem of a body falling vertically along a curve in an isochronous manner, which is in fact Neil’s semi-parabolic cubic; AE5 is a short but rather difficult paper in which various series expansions are recalled, by means of which a Mercator Projection of the sphere onto the nearby tangent plane can be effected ; AE8 is Leibniz's hasty response in the Acta to Newton's Principia, where he found to his horror that Newton had worked out a number of problems relating to resisted motion which he had himself worked out a number of years earlier, but never published;  AE10 appears to be another similar hasty response, regarding an attempt at describing the motions of the planets : here Leibniz tries to justify the vortex theory of planetary motion to accommodate essentially the conservation of angular momentum, while deviations or librations from circular motion are determined by gravitational and centrifugal forces opposing each other. To this is added now a translation of John Craig’s work : A method of determining the quadratures of figures with right and curved and lines : This is a truly seminal work which has never been translated and has been ignored until now by historians of mathematics, and which was praised by Leibniz in his De Geometria Recondita AE19 pub. in the same year; it gives a fascinating glimpse of the state of calculus just before the wide-sweeping changes and advances made by Leibniz; the latter part of the work is a diatribe against Tschirnhaus, three of whose papers on tangents, max. and min., and the general ability of the quadrature of curves have been added from the Acta  Germanica 1742, originally pub. in the Acta Erud.

    Previous to this, I have now completed translating the final chapter Ch. XIII of Daniel Bernoulli's Hydrodynamicae, which considers the action: reaction nature of water flowing out of a cylinder; if you are looking for what was to become the Bernoulli Principle in fluid dynamics, then to some extent you will be disappointed; you have to thank the quirky humor of Euler for this,  although Bernoulli’s work laid the foundations for that of Euler;  you can find the link in the Bernoulli section below. This work sets the foundations of the science of the same name, in which Daniel Bernoulli combines his remarkable mathematical skills with experiments to put a difficult subject on a firm foundation; most of the work was done at St. Petersburg and viewed by Euler with interest, when eventually published. Prior to this, a translation of Euler's E248 is now presented here accessible from the Euler papers link below: this is an attempt by Euler to provide a theory for that ancient device for raising water: the Archimedes Screw, which Daniel Bernoulli provides in Ch. 9 of his work, and which I thought might be of interest – the difference in the methods of tackling this machine; the one a mathematician and the other a physicist. Prior to this I have completed a translation Euler's Neue Gründsatze der Artellerie we have inserted a small paper by Euler from his Opera Postuma along with the main translation, (E853) dating from the early days in St. Petersburg, where he witnessed the vertical firing of a cannon conducted by Daniel Bernoulli, given serious attention in his later work, which is of some interest.

Contents.

Mirifici Logarithmorum Canon Descriptio..... (1614), by John Napier. This seminal work by Napier introduced the mathematical world to the wonders of logarithms, and all in a small book of tables. Most of the book, apart from the actual tables, is a manual for solving plane and spherical triangles using logarithms. Included are some interesting identities due to Napier. Jim Hanson's work on Napier's Promptuary and Bones is in place here, with a few other items in the Napier index  Link to the contents document by clicking here. You may need to refresh your browser as some files have been amended.


Mirifici Logarithmorum Canon Constructio... (1617); A posthumous work by John Napier. This book along with the above, started a revolution in computing by logarithms. The book is a 'must read' for any serious student of mathematics, young or old. Link to the contents document by clicking here.

De Arte Logistica (1617); A posthumous work by John Napier published by descendent Mark Napier, in 1839. This book sets out the rules for elementary arithmetic and algebra: the first book also presents an interesting introduction to the method of extracting roots of any order, using a fore-runner of what we now call Pascal's Triangle. The second and third books are now also complete.  Link to the contents document by clicking here.

 


Arithmetica Logarithmica, (1624), Henry Briggs. The theory and practise of base 10 logarithms is presented for the first time by Briggs. Link to the contents document by clicking here.


Trigonometria Britannica, (1631), Henry Briggs. The methods used for producing a set of tables for the sine, tangent, and secant together with their logarithms is presented here. The second part, by Henry Gellebrand, is concerned with solving triangles, both planar and spherical. Latin text provided in Gellebrand's sections only. Link to the contents document by clicking here.


Angulares Sectiones, (1617), Francisco Vieta. Edited and presented by Alexander Anderson. Vieta's fundamental work on working out the relations between the sine of an angle and the sine of multiples of the angle is set out in a labourous manner. No Latin text provided. Link to the document by clicking here. It is 25 pages long!


Artis Analyticae Praxis, (1631), 'from the posthumous notes of the philosopher and mathematician Thomas Harriot' , (edited by Walter Warner and others, though no name appears as the author), ' the whole described with care and diligence.' The almost trivial manner in which symbolic algebra was introduced into the mathematical scheme of things is still a cause for some wonder; it had of course been around in a more intuitive form for a long time prior to this publication. Link to the contents document by clicking here.


Optica Promota, (1663), James Gregory. Herein the theory of the first reflecting telescope and a whole theory for elliptic and hyperbolic lenses and mirrors is presented from a geometrical viewpoint. Link to the contents document by clicking here.


Opus Geometricum quadraturae circuli, Gregorius a St. Vincentio, (1647) (Books I & II only at present). A great march via geometric progressions expressed geometrically is undertaken by Gregorius as he examines the idea of a limit, refuting Zeno's Paradox; moving on eventually to discovering the logarithmic property of the hyperbola, before stumbling on the squaring of the circle. This is a long term project! Link to the contents document by clicking here.


A start is made here to translating Leibniz's papers that introduced differential calculus to the world, by means of an extended series of articles in the Acta Eruditorum (AE). At present AE1, AE3, AE4, AE5 AE6, AE7, AE8,  AE9,  AE10, AE11, AE13 & AE19 are available;  Link to the contents document  by clicking here.

 


Some Euler Papers solving problems relating to isochronous and brachistochrone curves are presented in E001 and E003; a dissertation on sound in E002; Euler's essay on the location and height of masts on ships E004; while reciprocal trajectories are considered in E005 (1729); E006 relates to an application of an isochronous curve; E007 is an essay on air-related phenomena; E008 figures out catenaries and other heavy plane curves; E009 is concerned with the shortest distance between two points on a convex surface; E010 introduces the exponential function as an integrating tool for reducing the order of differential equations; E011 is out of sequence, concerns transformations of differential equations; Ricatti's 1724 paper on second order differential equations is inserted here; E012 & E013 are concerned with tautochrones without & with resistance; E014 is an astronomical calculation; all due to Leonard Euler. E019, E020, E025, E026 & E054 & E134 & Fermat letter to Wallis,  E031, E041, E044, and E045 are present also, some of which are referred to in the Mechanica; E736. Also papers by Lexell and Euler  tr. by J. Sten appear here incl. E407 recently, and translations of E524, E842 & E81 by E. Hirsch. Lately I have translated Euler's contributions to the theory of sound: E305, E306, E248 & E307 are now available.  Link to the contents document by clicking here.

 


                                                                                                                     

My translation of E015, Book I of Euler's Mechanica has been completed. This was Euler's first major work running to some 500 pages in the original, and included many of his innovative ideas on analysis. This is a complete translation of one of Euler's most important books. Link to the contents document by clicking here.


My translation of E016, Book 2 of Euler's Mechanica has also been completed; this is an even longer text than the above. Both texts give a wonderful insight into Euler's methods, which define the modern approach to analytical mechanics, in spite of a lack of a proper understanding at the time of the conservation laws on which mechanics is grounded. Link to the contents document by clicking here.


The translation of Euler's next major contribution to mechanics is now complete (E289); this contains the first definition of the moment of inertia of a body, and also develops the mathematics of adding infinitesimal velocities about principal axes: Theoria Motus Corporum Solidorum seu Rigida. Link to the contents document by clicking here.


A translation of Euler's Foundations of Integral Calculus is now complete. You can access these by clicking:   Link to volume I   or  Link to volume II  , or  Link to volume III.

 


A translation of Euler's Foundations of Differential Calculus is now complete. You can access these by clicking:   Link to DifferentialCalculus .

 


A translation of Euler's Introduction to Infinite Analysis is now complete with Appendices 1-6 on the nature of surfaces. You can access all of Volumes I and 2 by clicking:   Link to Analysis Intro .

 


A translation of Euler's Methodus Inveniendi Lineas Curvas Maximi Minimive Gaudentes……… is now complete, and includes E296 & E297, which explain rather fully the changed view adopted by Euler. You can access it by clicking:   Link toMaxMin.


A translation of Euler's translation of Robins' work on gunnery, with remarks, Neue Gründsatze der Artellerie , has now completed; including E853, which is of some interest. You can access it by clicking:   Link to Neue Gründsatze.


An early translation of Euler's Letters to a German Princess E343, is presented here in mostly subject bundles. These 233 little essays give a rare insight into Euler's mind, and to the state of physics in the 1760's. Link to the contents vol.1 document by clicking here.

            Link to the contents vol.2 document by clicking here.


My new translation of Newton's Principia is now complete; this translation includes resetting of all the original type, new diagrams, and additional notes from several sources; an earlier annotated translation of Section VIII of Book II of Newton's Principia on sound is now included in the main flow of the text, which helps in understanding Euler's work De Sono.  Link to the contents document by clicking here.


An annotated translation of Johan. Bernoulli's Vibrations of Chords is presented. Link to the contents document by clicking here.

 

A new translation of Daniel Bernoulli's Hydrodynamicae is now complete. Link to the contents document by clicking here.

 


An annotated translation of Christian Huygens' Pendulum Clock is presented. Here you will also find the first work by Huygens on the probability of games of chance: De Ratiociniis in Ludo ALeae. Link to the contents document by clicking here.

 


An annotated translation of Brook Taylor's Methodus Incrementorum Directa & Inversa is presented. Link to the contents document by clicking here.


The Lunes of Hippocratus are extended by Wallenius in a much neglected paper presented 'pro gradu' in 1766 at the Royal Academy of Abo (Turku, in Finland); the student defending the paper was Daniel Wijnquist; a full geometrical derivation of each lune is given, followed by a trigonometric analysis. I wish to thank Johan Sten for drawing my attention to this work, and for his help in tracking down an odd reference. Link to the document by clicking here.


 

 

Ian Bruce. Dec.15th , 2014, latest revision. Copyright : I reserve the right to publish any translated work presented here in book form. However, if you are a student, teacher, or just someone with an interest, you can copy part or all of a work for legitimate private personal or educational uses. Any other form of distribution is illegal and has not been permitted by the author, Ian Bruce, who asserts that the contents of this website are his intellectual property: You are NOT given the right to sell items from this website on the web or otherwise offer 'free' to download in any shape or form, such as e-books, without my prior consent. Please acknowledge me or this website if you intend to refer to any part of these translations in a journal publication or in a book. Feel free to contact me if you wish by clicking on my name here Ian Bruce., especially if you have any relevant comments or concerns.