chapter  4
The Beginnings of Scientific Terminology in Polish
Kłos’s Algorithmus (1538) and Grzepski’s Geometria (1566)
ByJerzy Biniewicz
Pages 15

The beginnings of scientific discourse in the Polish language can be traced to the sixteenth century. An analysis of sixteenth-century texts in Polish on the basics of bookkeeping and geometry reveals a vision of the world that blends intersecting discourses: theological, scientific, and didactic. The first handbook of mathematics in Polish was Algorithmus by Tomasz Klos, which contained the basics of merchant arithmetic. Another book that attempts to combine mathematical abstraction and theoretical models in everyday economic practice is S. Grzepski's Geometria, the first Polish work on Euclid's Elements. Naturally, folk terms and traditional-professional terms in Polish didactic discourse survived, since scientific and scientific-didactic texts describing the world of abstraction made use of vocabulary from the sphere of material practice when they referred to activities such as crafts or trade. Polish Renaissance scholars wanted to share their knowledge of mathematics and geometry with practitioners and students and to do so drew on European academic and didactic discourse.