The Grounde of Artes
The choice of title was not an idle gesture. Record took great care to make the foundations of his arithmetic as sound and durable as possible, as is apparent from the way in which he introduced the Hindu-Arabic place value system and his meticulous treatment of Numeration, the first topic he deals with in his first Edition of the book. This thoroughness he carries through the remainder of this Edition and into the second Edition that was augmented to deal with the arithmetic of fractions. A rigorous approach was not allowed to disregard the need for the presentation to be made as comprehensible as possible. Practical worked examples were used to illustrate procedures and were ones to which readers could relate, being posed in an English context using English units of measurement. In the first edition that dealt only with integers, the examples were chosen to be of interest to merchants and tradesmen but in the augmented edition examples dealt with issues of significance to the State, without overmuch regard for political correctness. Recorde’s treatment of the mathematics of alligation was the most extensive since Fibonacci. Of Continental authors of practical arithmetics, only Gemma Frisius can be demonstrated to have been consulted.