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ȝ, ſ (yogh, long s)
ɳ, łł (n with curl, crossed l: see below)
φ (Greek phi, sometimes used in printed text for 0)
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In The Crafte of Nombrynge, final n was sometimes written with an extra curl as . It has been rendered as ɳ for visual effect; the character is not intended to convey phonetic information. In the same selection, the numeral “0” was sometimes printed as Greek φ (phi); this has been retained for the e-text. Double l with a line is shown as łł. The first few occurrences of d (for “pence”) were printed with a curl as . The letter is shown with the same d’ used in the remainder of the text.
The word “withdraw” or “withdraw” was inconsistently hyphenated; it was left as printed, and line-end hyphens were retained. All brackets [ ] are in the original.
The diagrams in “Accomptynge by Counters” may not line up perfectly in all browsers, but the contents should still be intelligible.
The original text contained at least five types of marginal note. Details are given at the end of the e-text.
Typographical errors are shown in the text with . Other underlined words are cross-references to the Index of Technical Terms and the Glossary.
(added by transcriber)
The Earliest Arithmetics
EDITED WITH INTRODUCTION
PUBLISHED FOR THE EARLY ENGLISH TEXT SOCIETY
BY HUMPHREY MILFORD, OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS,
AMEN CORNER, E.C. 4.
The number of English arithmetics before the sixteenth century is very small. This is hardly to be wondered at, as no one requiring to use even the simplest operations of the art up to the middle of the fifteenth century was likely to be ignorant of Latin, in which language there were several treatises in a considerable number of manuscripts, as shown by the quantity of them still in existence. Until modern commerce was fairly well established, few persons required more arithmetic than addition and subtraction, and even in the thirteenth century, scientific treatises addressed to advanced students contemplated the likelihood of their not being able to do simple division. On the other hand, the study of astronomy necessitated, from its earliest days as a science, considerable skill and accuracy in computation, not only in the calculation of astronomical tables but in their use, a knowledge of which latter was fairly common from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries.
The arithmetics in English known to me are:—
(1) Bodl. 790 G. VII. (2653) f. 146-154 (15th c.) inc. “Of angrym ther be IX figures in numbray . . .” A mere unfinished fragment, only getting as far as Duplation.
(2) Camb. Univ. LI. IV. 14 (III.) f. 121-142 (15th c.) inc. “Al maner of thyngis that prosedeth ffro the frist begynnyng . . .”
(3) Fragmentary passages or diagrams in Sloane 213 f. 120-3 (a fourteenth-century counting board), Egerton 2852 f. 5-13, Harl. 218 f. 147 and
(4) The two MSS. here printed; Eg. 2622 f. 136 and Ashmole 396 f. 48. All of these, as the language shows, are of the fifteenth century.
The Crafte of Nombrynge is one of a large number of scientific treatises, mostly in Latin, bound up together as Egerton MS. 2622 in the British Museum Library. It measures 7” × 5”, 29-30 lines to the page, in a rough hand. The English is N.E. Midland in dialect. It is a translation and amplification of one of the numerous glosses on the de algorismo of Alexander de Villa Dei (c. 1220), such as that of Thomas of