Nathaniel Torporley's ‘congestor analyticus' and Thomas Harriot's ‘de triangulis laterum rationalium'

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Torporley's ‘Congestor analyticus', completed in 1627 in the library of the Earl of Northumberland at Petworth, was seen by Rigaud in the 1830s among the mathematical manuscript collection of the Earl of Macclesfield. Torporley's additional copy of the introductory part, preserved at Sion College, has been used for the present report. Torporley's prime objective was the presentation of some of Harriot's work. His first example concerns a classical problem in number theory. The complete solution, by an inductive process based on tables of differences, is given in a few folios of the British Library collection of Harriot manuscripts. Torporley's transcription and commentary contrast forcibly today with the immediate illuminating impact of Harriot's original.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Mathematics, Imperial College, Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2AZ, England

Publication date: July 1, 1977

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