The Commentary of al-Nayrizi (circa 920) on Euclid’s
Elements of Geometry occupies an important place both in the history of mathematics and of philosophy, particularly Islamic philosophy. It is a compilation of original work by al-Nayrizi and of translations and commentaries made by others, such as Heron. It is the most influential Arabic mathematical manuscript in existence and a principle vehicle whereby mathematics was reborn in the Latin West. Furthermore, the Commentary on Euclid by the Platonic philosopher Simplicius, entirely reproduced by al-Nayrizi, and nowhere else extant, is essential to the study of the attempt to prove Euclid’s Fifth Postulate from the preceding four. Al-Nayrizi was one of the two main sources from which Albertus Magnus (1193-1280), the Doctor Universalis, learned mathematics. This work presents an annotated English translation of Books II-IV and of a hitherto lost portion of Book I.
Anthony Lo Bello is Professor of Mathematics at Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania. He received his Ph. D. degree from Yale University in 1975. In 2003, Brill published three of his books on the transmission of Euclid's Elements in the Middle Ages.
All those interested in the history of mathematics and philosophy, particularly Islamic science and philosophy, and students of the works of Albertus Magnus