Mathematics: Toolkit Introduction

First page of pepper calculations
First page of Michael's calculations regarding a cargo of pepper [Click to enlarge.]

Michael used many different tools for diverse tasks. Many of the items in his toolkit were mathematical. In fact, mathematics takes up more of his manuscript than any other subject.

A characteristic feature of Michael's mathematics is the statement and solution of practical commercial problems. By stating problems and writing out their solution, Michael provided himself with a reference text he could use whenever he needed to remember a particular method. The very first page of his manuscript contains a commercial problem concerning a cargo of pepper.

Michael typically provided multiple solutions to each problem, using two or three of his favorite mathematical tools. Follow Michael as he determines the value of a cargo of pepper using: