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By J. Stedall

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Rude or arbitrary characters, unless to puzzle future antiquaries seems inexplicable. Later in the nineteenth century the vicarage was modernized and the mantelpiece, after standing in the porch exposed to weather, was taken into the church for safe-keeping. There it can still be seen (Fig. 5), but uncertainty as to its date persists. Architectural experts argue that the carved rosettes are typical of a much later period, and a recent opinion states:65 This is a very nice bressumer but it is certainly not twelfth century!

He was in Spain from about 1140 and lived near the river Ebro in the north-east. 29 Over the centuries Robert's surname mutated through the forms Cestrensis, Kestrensis, Ketenensis and Retinensis, leading to confusion that persists to the present day. 30 As a translator Robert was far more significant and influential than Wallis knew. 31 In the late 1140s he translated the astronomical Canons of Arzachel, and Wallis had seen a copy,32 but there Robert's name appeared as Robertus Cestrensis, and Wallis failed to recognize him as also the translator of the Qur'an.

John Walter (d. 1412) and John Killingworth (c. 79 Among Wallis's list of medieval mathematical practitioners there were also two East Anglian Carmelites, John Baconthorpe (c. 1290–1348) and Richard Lavenham (c. 1380). Neither is now thought of as a mathematician, and their inclusion is an interesting indication of the influence of John Bale, who came from the same East Anglian Carmelite background. Baconthorpe and Lavenham are best known for their theological writings, but both touched on astrology, enough for Bale, and therefore Vossius, and therefore also Wallis, to regard them as mathematicians.

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A Discourse Concerning Algebra - English Algebra Since 1685 by J. Stedall


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