Text that shaped the course of history hits the block
Bonham’s upcoming auction of “Fine Books and Manuscripts” in New York on June 22, 2011 is going to feature a rare 15th century manuscript that includes key pieces of the groundbreaking mathematical work, Liber Abaci or Book of Calculation by Fibonacci. Leonardo Pisano Bigollo or Fibonacci, who is considered by many as one of the most talented western mathematicians of the Middle Ages, is highly respected for bringing the Hindu-Arabic numeral system to the Western world. In the text inside the Book of Calculation, Fibonacci has explained the benefits of Arabic numerals and the symbol for zero by applying them to the practical world of bookkeeping, weights and measures and trade.
Fibonacci’s text eventually opened doors to modern mathematical equations and the sequences used in computer programming. The rare manuscript for auction feature the complete text of the section of Liber Abaci known as Flos (aka The Flower), which is the most advanced sections of Liber Abaci. This section speaks about calculus, and geometrical and algebraic methods used for solving quadratic equations. This manuscript was produced in Italy and written in Latin.
The Liber Abaci first appeared in 1202 in manuscript form, and only 12 copies of the manuscript from the 13th to the 15th century have been found in European libraries, with many of them in the Vatican. The manuscript, featuring Liber Abaci or Book of Calculation, is estimated to sell for between $120,000 and $180,000.