I often became amazed watching those Discovery channel documentaries of the 90's regarding advances in science in the times of the Renaissance and I always wondered what kinds of mathematical tools were available to western scientists to perform their computations?.

Since logarithms were not "invented" what instruments did they used?. I had read in Wikipedia that Prosthaphaeresis were used by navigators to ease their calculations. But other than these tables or some trigonometric functions, what did they used. Abacus? the Soroban or Suanpan?.

Did astronomers, physicists, mathematicians understood functions as we know today?. I mean as a wave. I doubt they did have a cartesian system at hand since I'm referring to the 16th century.

Is there a place where I can read about this, let's say a timeline or a short summary?.


closed as too broad by gebruiker, Chris Custer, Brian Borchers, Isaac Browne, Mauro ALLEGRANZA Apr 14 '18 at 7:52

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.