And you.. Fibonacci? –

When I started this column called The Little Dose of General Culture, I chose a very nice, talented and promising character, Leonardo Fibonacci. You know him, the boy with the Indo-Arabic numerals and the famous series of numbers that bear his name. I mean, he was going to bring them to Europe at the beginning of the thirteenth century, and he was going to change the world because, lo, he got us out of the darkness of complicated arithmetic with Roman numerals and made us all love math. scary.

Johannes de SacroboskoPhoto: Profimedia Images

If you’ve been careful, and if you’ve watched this column, good luck, you’ve seen that at some point, I was saying another interesting thing, which is to stop following what bullshit teaches you, but stay with it and we’ll be fine! Respectively, stop believing in superheroes, including those in the world of science, because men full of muscles, armed with the oil that saves the planet, are only found in books, comic magazines or Hollywood movies. This is also true of the slightly eccentric-haired scientists, who also brought us out of the darkness on our own and made us human in the world. Speaking of Hollywood, let’s not forget the idea, see what a great stage we have for you!

Until then, I say let’s re-explain the need for superheroes. What we really want to say here, at Hot News dot ro, is that no one is suddenly born, struck by the wing of genius, in a sea of ​​ignorance, giving culture and science to the whole neighborhood, like the religious. Guru. intention! There is no such thing. Da Vinci, for example, would not have performed professionally, so to speak, if he had not had dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of ancestors, which paved the way for him.

Also, in its hunger for heroes to increase bipotency and testosterone in the ignorant population, this humanity tends to create all kinds of messianic characters, which allegedly revolutionized the world. Like I said in the past, no one denies the existence of geniuses, but we have a problem with perfecting them.

Well, that’s where I wanted to get to, that’s the thing with Fibonacci. Everywhere you look today, the tide of protectionist sentiment flows. Only partially true! He got them, right, but success came much later, and there were others who had larger Fibonacci contributions, one of which we’ll mention today.

Having mentioned Hollywood earlier, I propose to start with what is called Johannes de Sacrobosko, mathematician, astronomer, priest and professor at the University of Paris. I did not indicate his birthdays that no one knows when he was born, let alone when he was born in the Righteous Realm. What we know for sure is that he published three books in the 13th century, when he was living, consistent to be a contemporary of Fibonacci.

What does Hollywood have to do with it? Well, the word sacred means sacred, bosco means wood, forest. How Johannes Hollywood Happened. The bad stage is that some of them spent a lot of free time searching the records for medieval sites that could have been named as such. They did not find one. In conclusion, may God have mercy on where this Johannes came from, because no one knows how to say it again. Some say it’s from Halifax, but Halifax does not mean “holy forest”. In conclusion, I did not hesitate to find out its origins. It could be from anywhere. After all, that’s not what matters.

The important thing is that there was a huge difference between Johannes and Leonardo Fibonacci. Fibonacci addressed a fairly exclusive audience. That is, the audience who could read, the audience who was still able to understand what the author meant, and especially one who could afford to spend money on such a manuscript. “Liber abaci” was issued in 1202, and reprinted in 1228, but don’t imagine there’s a queue at his door, like a frying pan in a supermarket. Do not even think that the merchants took his book, and learned, O fluff, to count the Arabic numbers from two strokes and three strokes!

Across Germany, Roman numerals were still in use around 1539, paralleling Arabic numerals.

In addition, conservatives were everywhere. Not everyone accepts the news of the new numbers. The University of Padua, for example, in the thirteenth century, long after Fibonacci, demanded that the quotes of her books “Without Severa, Master per liter Clarus” be quoted. More “obvious” than you want? Around 1299, 97 years after the publication of Fibonacci’s “Liber abaci,” banks in Florence still refused to work with anything other than Roman numerals. As you know.

Well, Johannes de Sacrobosko played in another league. This was a professor at the University of Paris, not a Fibonacci trader. Students from all over Western Europe came to this university. The degree of dissemination of information was much higher. Now, although we don’t know much about his life, man was an important figure at that time and in the following centuries. As another conclusive example, Father Johannes wrote an extensive treatise on astronomy, “Tractatus de Sphaera/De Sphaera Mundi”, which had only 12 editions in the first 33 years since its publication (1230 was the year in question). This work remained a reference in Europe for the next 250 years, if not better.

Before that, around 1225, the man wrote “Algorismus / De Arte Numerandi” (great interest, three years before the reprint of the Fibonacci Book), being the first man in this world to introduce Arabic numerals into the university curriculum. I mean, we either do a job or we don’t do it. If we wanted to choose a character who had more influence in spreading this idea, we would put the money on Johannes.

Ah, and one more thing… The man was one of the first scholars to address the Julian calendar, on the grounds that it was a mistake. He would scold her, but did not come up with a constructive solution. This was solved by another boy of great culture and commitment, the Byzantine Nikephorus Gregoras, about 1324. But we talked about it in the previous article. Look up that name in HotNews history, because we’re not going to sing for all the deaf old women right now. that was. There were other characters who worked hard in this field, but we will present next time.


Butler J, 2015, Birthplace of Johannes de Sacrobosco, Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquities in Ireland, Volume 144/145, pp. 77-86

Karpinski LC, 1910, Jordanus Nemorarius and John of Halifax, The American Mathematical Monthly, Vol. 5, pp. 108-113

Pedersen O., 1985, In Quest of Sacrobosco, Journal for the History of Astronomy, vol.16, 175 p.

Raffaele D., 2021, Finding Out: The Spread of Hindu-Arabic Numerals in the European Tradition of Practical Mathematics (13th–16th centuries), Nuncius/Institute and Museum of the History of Science, no. 36 (1), pp. 1-44

Smith D, Karpinski LC, 1911, Hindu-Arabic Numerals, Cornell University Library, 176 p.

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