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wreath of spheres, around triangle (2 inclined planes)
Source: TU Delft

Wonder, not miracle

was his motto, and the 'clootcrans' (wreath of spheres) his trade-mark.

Simon Stevin

(Brugge, 1548 - 1620, The Hague)

wrote almost all of his works in Dutch, and he is not only famous for his contributions to diverse fields of the sciences, but also for having invented new words in this language.

This site has html-versions of works by Stevin — maybe of some interest to those who want to have a quick look and do not understand Dutch (there are many figures) — and two contemporary English translations:


The introductions in 'Principal Works'

Translations in modern English, and introductions, are to be found in The Principal Works of Simon Stevin, available at DWC and TU Delft.


Vol. I, Mechanics

1.  Introduction, p. 3
2.  Origin and youth, p. 4
3.  In the Northern Netherlands, p. 5
4.  Stevin's ideas on language, p. 6
5.  The political background of Stevin's life, p. 8
6.  Stevin and Maurice, p. 9 (fig.: 11)
7.  Marriage, offspring and death, p. 12
8.  Stevin's legacy, p. 13

List of works, p. 15
Stevin's achievements, p. 16
Conclusion, p. 21
A bibliography of Stevin's works, p. 25
 
  1. Mathematics, p. 16
  2. Mechanics, p. 17
  3. Hydrostatics, p. 18
  4. Astronomy
  5. Geography, p. 19
  6. Navigation
  7. Technology
  8. Military science, p. 20
  9. Book-keeping
  10. Architecture
  11. Music
  12. Civic matters, p. 21
  13. Logic
De beghinselen der Weeghconst — The elements of the Art of weighing
1.  Historical introduction, p. 37
waggon on inclined plane 2.  Summary of the work, p. 38
3.  Discourse of the worth of the Dutch language, p. 44
Title page, p. 47

De weeghdaet — The practice of weighing
-  Introduction, p. 289
Title page, p. 291

De beghinselen des Waterwichts — The elements of Hydrostatics
-  Introduction, p. 377
Title page, p. 379
Anvang der Waterwichtdaet — Preamble to the Practice of hydrostatics, p. 485
Anhang van de weeghconst — Appendix to the art of weighing, p. 503
-  Introduction, p. 505

Byvoegh der weeghconst — Supplement to the art of weighing, p. 523
-  Introduction, p. 525

Index, p. 609;  Table of contents, p. 617



Vol. II A, Mathematics

1.  General Introduction, p. 3
2.  ... the decimal position system ..., p. 4

Tafelen van Interest — Tables of Interest
1.  ... a kind of challenge to an ancient and established tradition, p. 13
2.  The tables of Trenchant and of Pegolotti ..., p. 17
3.  The two great money markets of Western Europe ..., p. 19
4.  Stevin's initiative ..., p. 22
Title page, p. 25
20 hexagons, 12 pentagons
Problemata Geometrica
1.  Stevin's contributions to geometry ..., p. 121
2.  The first book opens with ..., p. 122
3.  The second book ..., p. 124
4.  The third book is by far the most interesting part ..., p. 124
6.  The fourth and fifth books ..., p. 128 (fig.: 130/131)
Title page, p. 133

De ThiendeThe Tenth
1.  Stevin published his essay on the decimal division in 1585, ... p. 373
2.  Stevin's achievement consists in ..., p. 376
3.  After the appearance of De Thiende ..., p. 377
4.  The man who must rank with Stevin ..., p. 380
5.  The further history of the decimal fractions ..., p. 381
6.  Stevin had yet another purpose with his pamphlet ..., p. 383
7.  Two facsimile reprints ... (Note: Al-Kashi), p. 385
Title page, p. 386

Vol. II B, Mathematics

L'Arithmetique — Arithmetic
1.  Stevin's Arithmétique was published in 1585 ..., p. 459
2.  ... divided in two books ..., p. 459
3.  The second book ..., p. 461
4.  The chief theoretical achievement of 16th century mathematics ..., p. 463
5.  Euclid's theory of what we call linear and quadratic equations ..., p. 464 (fig.)
6.  The Algebra of Al-Kwarizmi ..., p. 467
7.  The mathematicians of the Christian world ..., p. 470
8.  The numerical solution of the general cubic and biquadratic equations ..., p. 471
9.  Stevin's theory of equations ..., p. 474
10.  Another contribution ... Appendice algebraique ..., p. 475
11.  Stevin's version of the first four books of Diophantus ..., p. 476
Title page, p. 477
Le Second Livre d'Arithmetique — Second Book, p. 552
La Pratique d'Arithmetique, p. 709
Appendice Algebraique, p. 740

Selections from Wisconstighe Ghedachtenissen — Mathematical Memoirs

De Driehouckhandel — Trigonometry
1.  Stevin's trigonometry is the first part of his cosmography ..., p. 751
2.  The first part of the Trigonometry contains tables ..., p. 754
3.  There exists a German translation of a part ..., p. 755

De Meetdaet — The Practice of Measuring measuring the height of a dike
-  Introduction, p. 764
Title page, p. 769
Example: to draw an ellipse, p. 773

De Deursichtighe — Perspective
1.  ... the outcome of discussions between Stevin and prince Maurice ..., p. 785
2.  There is much in Stevin's book which reminds us of Del Monte's ..., p. 790
3.  Stevin was not the only author ..., p. 792
Title page, p. 795

Index, p. 967;  Table of contents, p. 975;  Corrigenda et addenda, p. 976



Vol. III, Astronomy. Navigation

The Astronomical Works
around the sun
De Hemelloop — The Heavenly Motions
1.  In order to understand the place of Stevin's work on astronomical theory ..., p. 5
2.  In his discussion of the orbits of the heavenly bodies ..., p. 7-21 (fig.: 17)
Contents of The heavenly motions, p. 321

Van de Spiegheling der Ebbenvloet — Of the Theory of Ebb and Flow.
-  Historical remarks, p. 325
Summary of the work, p. 327-328

The Nautical Works

De HavenvindingThe Haven-Finding Art
1. Introduction and general remarks, p. 363
2. The place of The Haven-finding art among 16th century textbooks on navigation, p. 365
3. The contents ... of 1599
    a. Stevin's "conjecture" about terrestrial magnetism, p. 367 (fig.: 368)
    b. The measurement of the variation of the compass according to Stevin, p. 372
    c. The Latin translation, p. 375
instrument     d. The English translation, p. 376
    e. The French translation, p. 378
    f. Stevins's view ... in 1608, p. 378
4. The measurement of the variation of the compass
    a. Before Stevin's day, p. 380 (fig.: 383-384a)
    b. Reynier Pietersz and his "golden compass", p. 388
5. The determination of longitude by means of the variation of the compass.
    a. The earliest views, p. 392
    b. Mercator, p. 397       c. Plancius, p. 398       d. Stevin, p. 404
    e. The evolution of the subject in the 17th and 18th centuries, p. 411
6. Appendix
    a. The construction and the use of the astrolabium catholicum, p. 413 (fig.: 414)
    b. ... of the longitude-finder of Plancius, p. 415 (fig.: 416).
Title page, p. 419

Van de Zeylstreken — The Sailings
1.  The contents of the treatise ..., p. 479 (fig.: 484)
2.  Stevin's predecessors: Apian, Nunes, Mercator, and Wright, p. 491
3.  Conclusion, p. 496

De Wijsentijt — The Age of the Sages, p. 591
-  Note, p. 609: originally intended to precede The Heavenly Motions

Index, p. 625;  Table of contents, p. 631



Vol. IV, The Art of War

1.  The significance of Simon Stevin to the military science of his time, p. 3
2.  Stevin's writings on the art of war, p. 5
3.  Stevin, as a military adviser ..., p. 16 (fig.: 18a)
fortress
De sterctenbouwing — The art of fortification
1.  Nature, lay-out and origin of the work, p. 31
2.  The dedication to Hendrick van Brienen, p. 34
3.  The English translation [manuscript], p. 34
4.  Appreciation of Stevin's Art of fortification, p. 36
Title page, p. 39

Nieuwe maniere van Sterctebou door spilsluysen — New manner of fortification by means of pivotted sluice-locks [in Vol. V]
-  Discussion, p. 235 (fig.: 239-)

Castrametatio, dat is Legermeting — The marking out of army camps
-  Introduction, p. 249 (fig.: 258a-d)
Title page, p. 261

Vant belegeren der steden en sterckten — Of besieging towns and fortresses
-  Introduction, p. 401 (fig.: 406)

Van de pyckschansen — Of pike redoubts
-  Introduction, p. 471

Index, p. 519;  Table of contents, p. 525;  map of the Netherlands, p. 526-7.



Vol. V, Engineering. Music. Civic life

Preface, p. VII
The works on engineering
-  Introduction, p. XI

The sailing chariot, p. 1 (fig. 1, 2, 3)

Contents and history of the patents of Simon Stevin, p. 9 (fig. 4-12)

On cogs and staves, p. 39
-  Introduction, p. 41 (fig. 13)
Van aldervolmaecste Cammen en staven — On the most perfect Cogs and staves, p. 47
sluice locks
Hydraulic engineering, p. 65
1.  Introduction, p. 67 (fig.)
2.  Sluices and locks, p. 69
3.  Pile foundations and cofferdams, p. 75
4.  The formation of peat and new land, p. 76
5.  On the scouring action of water, p. 79
6.  Dredging, p. 79

Nieuwe maniere van sterctebou door spilsluysen — New manner of fortification by means of pivotted sluice locks (fig. at p. 84)
-  Discussion in vol. IV, p. 235
Title page, p. 85

Vanden handel der waterschuyring — The essay on waterscouring, p. 201

mill The drainage mills, p. 309
1.  Introduction, p. 311 (fig. 20, 21)
2.  Stevin's calculations of windmills, p. 316
3.  Stevin's improvement of windmills, p. 322 (fig. 22)
4.  His contemporaries's reactions, p. 324 (fig. 23: handwriting)
[5.]  The manuscripts of "on mills", p. 327
6.  The location of Stevin's drainage milles, p. 329
7.  Stevin's estimate of a drainage mill, p. 329 (fig. 24, fig. 25-27; plate I, Ia-c, II, IIa, III, IIIa after p. 412)

Van de molens — On mills (revised by Golius, 1634), p. 335 (fig. 28)
Appendix I, 380; II, 386 (summary 391); III, 393; IV, 400; V (terms), 408

Music

Vande spiegheling der singconst — On the theory of the art of singing
-  Introduction. Simon Stevin's views on music, p. 415

Civic life

Vita politica. Het Burgherlick leven — Civic life
-  Introduction, p. 467
Title page, p. 471

General Index (vol. I - V), p. 583;  Contents of volume V, p. 607;  Errata (I - V), p. 609




Other sources:

-  E. J. Dijksterhuis, Simon Stevin: Science in the Netherlands around 1600 (The Hague 1970).
-  D. J. Struik, The Land of Stevin and Huygens (Springer, 1981; preview).
-  R. Vermij, The Calvinist Copernicans (KNAW, 2002): Ch. 4, 'Simon Stevin and the tradition of practical mathematicians'.
-  J.T. Devreese, G. Vanden Berghe, 'Simon Stevin, Flemish tutor of a Dutch Prince' (2002).
-  Jozef T. Devreese, Guido vanden Berghe, 'Magic is No Magic': The Wonderful World of Simon Stevin (WIT Press, 2007; preview).
-  Ch. van den Heuvel, 'De Huysbou' A reconstruction of an unfinished treatise on architecture, town planning and civil engineering by Simon Stevin (KNAW, 2006).
-  F. J. Dijksterhuis, 'Stevin, Huygens and the Dutch republic', in Nieuw Archief voor Wiskunde, juni 2008.


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