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Ortega, Juan de

1. Dates
Born: Madrid, before 1512 died, probably Spain, after 1542
Died: fl
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
2. Father
Occupation: No Information
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: Madrid, Spain
Career: Italy and Spain
Death: probably Spain
4. Education
Schooling: No University
One source says he was educated in Paris, but his pattern of life makes this seem dubious to me.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic
A Dominican.
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Mathematics
Tractado subtilisimo d'aritmetica y de geometria, (Barcelona, 1516), a work largely of practical mathematics, of interest because it gives values for square roots that seem to indicate some method. The work was translated into French and Italian, and edition in Spanish in 34, 37, and 42.
Cursus quattuor mathematicarum artium liberalium, (Paris, 1516).
7. Means of Support
Primary: Schoolmaster
He is reported to have taught arithmetic and geometry, privately and publicly in Spain and Italy. Clearly it was commercial arithmetic and geometry, not a university subject.
8. Patronage
Type: None
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Applied Math
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
  1. José Maria Lopez Piñero, et al., Diccionaria historico de la ciencia moderna en España, 2 vols. (Barcelona: Ediciones Peninsula, 1983). Jose Maria Lopez Pinero, Ciencia y tecnica en la sociedad espanola de los siglos XVI y XVII, (Barcelona: Labor, 1979), p. 174.
  2. Cantor, Vorlesungen, 2, 388.
Not Available and Not Consulted
  1. J. Ray Pastor, "Los matematicos expañoles del siglo XVI," Biblioteca scientia, #2 (1926), 67. I gather that Rey Pastor has been a major figure in insisting on the significance of Ortega's method of square roots.
  2. G. Enestrom, Biblioteca Mathematica, s. III, 14 (1914), 175-6.
  3. The fact is, there is precious little information about Ortega.
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

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©1995 Al Van Helden
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