Federico Commandino


Federico Commandino (1509 – 1575) had a reputation as a learned humanist, a linguist of ancient languages, and reasonably competent mathematician.  His rare combination of talents made him the foremost editor and translator of Greek mathematics, including the works of Archimedes, Apollonius of Perga and Pappus.  At the time of publication (1558 – 1588), these texts were also of much intrinsic mathematical interest.  By making them available to mathematicians, Commandino’s editions exercised considerable influence over the development of mathematics in the later sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

For instance, Johannes Kepler credited his use of approximation methods in his invention of the “calculus of indivisibles” to procedures found in the work of Archimedes.  It was found that the edition used by Kepler was that of Commandino.