The Mathematician (click to enlarge - 563 KB jpeg image)

Latin education dominated the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance; but the future of educational publishing was in producing entirely new textbooks for teaching students who would learn to read only their native, vernacular language. This chapter considers these new reading, writing, and arithmetic books, and then discusses How-To books that provided instruction in practical disciplines.

Posted by admin on September 22, 2008
Tags: Chapter Six

Total comments on this page: 7

How to read/write comments

Comments on specific paragraphs:

Click the icon to the right of a paragraph

  • If there are no prior comments there, a comment entry form will appear automatically
  • If there are already comments, you will see them and the form will be at the bottom of the thread

Comments on the page as a whole:

Click the icon to the right of the page title (works the same as paragraphs)


No comments yet.

dianarobin on whole page :

Same comment I made about the
sudden discussion of geography
text books. Are we prepared for your
discussion of arithmetic, music and
other “skills”? Vernacular literacy?
Textbooks that teach double-entry
accounting in a book titled
“Selling Humanism” seems
incongruous. I’m waiting for you to establish the connection between “humanism”
and vernacular school subjects.
(I think the term “humanism” should
be defined in your Introduction to the
“How To Do Stuff” I would drop from
the chapter title.

March 15, 2009 3:24 pm
Carla Zecher :

Regarding the chapter title, “How To” seems fine; “Stuff” may be too cute (and imprecise).

July 21, 2009 9:26 am
MQuinlan on whole page :

While these two areas, as Diana Robin says, are a bit jarring, I’m really glad you included them. Do the math books pledge allegiance to Plato in intro remarks?

April 5, 2009 2:41 pm
radkeh on whole page :

I like “How To Do Stuff” — it seems to express just what you are getting at. I also like this picture of the sad monk (possibly trying to learn how to do stuff?).

January 26, 2010 12:21 pm
Paul F. Gehl on whole page :

Somehow I missed this string back in 2009 – 2010. I hope that, as readers went along beyond this admittedly rather artificial transition, they discovered the link with humanism, namely that all these popularizing books derived more or less directly from humanist textbooks (yes, even for elementary maths), and that the translation of such elitist knowledge into the public sphere through print was in fact a critical problem faced by humanist educators.

July 26, 2016 9:46 am
knewman on whole page :

After reading this chapter I can say that I enjoyed using this e-book. It was simple to navigate, and it felt like anyone could use this book. I enjoyed the insertion of art, and real life versions of the texts being talked about. Being able to see and read from the actual texts, instead of reading stand alone quotations really kept me engaged throughout the chapter. I also quite enjoyed the link to the bibliography at the end of every page. Making that information more readily available made for a smooth read. The website itself looks dated and having the contents on the open side seems like a good idea, but it tends to drag pages on longer then they should creating a lot of empty space. Having a contents tab that could be opened at any time rather than having it always on the screen would certainly help alleviate some of the issues. Overall though I think the simple and smooth format that attempts to make as much information as possible immediately available to its reader is well done, and shows off what an e-book can be when it is not trying to stretch itself beyond its limits in attempting to improve upon the book.

October 10, 2018 9:50 pm
Paul Gehl :

Thanks for these notes, Mr. Newman. The software was off the shelf, so we didn’t have too much opportunity to customize it, but your notes on the format are useful as we look towards a re-thinking of the site next year. The long contents column seemed like a neat idea when we mounted the site (ten years ago, so it’s really ancient in software terms), but a contents tab is built into the new versions of this software, and will certainly be part of any new format.

October 11, 2018 11:25 am

You must be login to comment.
Create an account or login