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The Archimedes Palimpsest

The Archimedes Palimpsest
2 Volume Set

$253.00 (R)

Part of The Archimedes Palimpsest Publications

William Noel, Abigail Quandt, John Lowden, Erik Petersen, William A. Christens-Barry, Roger L. Easton, Jr, Keith T. Knox, Uwe Bergmann, Doug Emery, Alex Lee, Michael Toth, Natalie Tchernetska, Nigel Wilson, Reviel Netz
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  • Date Published: December 2011
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Multiple copy pack
  • isbn: 9781107016842

$ 253.00 (R)
Multiple copy pack

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About the Authors
  • The Archimedes Palimpsest is the name given to a Byzantine prayer-book which was written over a number of earlier manuscripts, including three unique examples containing works by Archimedes, unquestionably the greatest mathematician of antiquity. Sold at auction in 1998, it has since been the subject of a privately funded project to conserve, image and transcribe its texts. In this volume the scientists, conservators, classicists and historians involved in the project discuss in full their techniques and their discoveries. These include new speeches by the classical Athenian orator Hyperides, a lost commentary on Aristotle's Categories from the second or third century AD and substantial re-readings and reinterpretations of the works by Archimedes. The book discusses the pioneering imaging and post-processing techniques used to reveal the texts and includes detailed codicological descriptions of all eight manuscripts comprising the Palimpsest. It will be of interest to manuscript scholars, classicists and historians of science.

    • Contains a full discussion of the conservation of the Archimedes Palimpsest, which is an important case study for the conservation of all badly degraded parchment documents
    • Includes colour images of the three main palimpsested texts in the Archimedes Palimpsest
    • Discusses in detail the imaging of ancient documents, explaining the science behind the various available techniques
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The imminent massive publication of a complete facsimile and transcription will be a huge gift to the study of ancient mathematics.' Alexander Jones, Wall Street Journal

    'There is enormous expectation in the scholarly community about the arrival of the first copies of a new book from Cambridge University Press, which contains full color images of the palimpsest, a technical account of how the images were made and complete transcriptions of the texts. It's too early to say whether this will revolutionize our understanding of Greek mathematics, but it will contain new texts thought to have been lost forever by the Greek orator Hyperides and the most complete versions of several works by Archimedes, including two books which exist only in this manuscript. This is the iceberg in full view, a massive tome that took more than a decade to produce, recovering - perhaps as fully as can ever be hoped - texts that miraculously escaped the oblivion of decay and destruction.' The Washington Post

    'For a beautiful classical book - and I mean for the quality of the printed object itself as much as for its contents - first prize goes to the two-volume Archimedes Palimpsest … the amazing images in the book, revealing how the decipherment has been pulled off, are as remarkable as the contents.' Mary Beard, The Times Literary Supplement

    'Cambridge University Press have surpassed themselves: these are, quite simply, among the loveliest printed books produced this century. Both volumes contain hundreds of photographs, all in breathtaking full colour; the type is elegant and spacious, and the page proportions of the layout are beautifully harmonious. It is a joy that serious books of such extraordinary art can still be produced.' The Times Literary Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2011
    • format: Multiple copy pack
    • isbn: 9781107016842
    • length: 700 pages
    • dimensions: 347 x 251 x 78 mm
    • weight: 5kg
    • contains: 58 b/w illus. 127 colour illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the Archimedes Palimpsest project William Noel
    Part I. The Manuscripts: Part II. History:
    1. The making of the Euchologion Abigail Quandt
    2. The strange and eventful history of the Archimedes Palimpsest John Lowden
    3. Itinera Archimedea: on Heiberg in Constantinople and Archimedes in Copenhagen Erik Petersen
    Part III. Conservation:
    4. Conserving the Archimedes Palimpsest Abigail Quandt
    Part IV. The Digital Palimpsest:
    5. Imaging and image-processing techniques William A. Christens-Barry, Roger L. Easton, Jr and Keith T. Knox
    6. Imaging with x-ray fluorescence Uwe Bergmann
    7. The Palimpsest data set Doug Emery, Alex Lee and Michael Toth
    Part V. The Texts:
    8. The Palimpsest in context Natalie Tchernetska and Nigel Wilson
    9. The place of Codex C in Archimedes scholarship Reviel Netz
    Appendix: concordance of foliations.

  • Editors

    Reviel Netz, Stanford University, California

    William Noel, The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore

    Nigel Wilson, University of Oxford

    Natalie Tchernetska


    William Noel, Abigail Quandt, John Lowden, Erik Petersen, William A. Christens-Barry, Roger L. Easton, Jr, Keith T. Knox, Uwe Bergmann, Doug Emery, Alex Lee, Michael Toth, Natalie Tchernetska, Nigel Wilson, Reviel Netz

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