Netz, Reviel 1968–

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Netz, Reviel 1968–

PERSONAL:

Born 1968, in Tel Aviv, Israel. Education: Tel Aviv University, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1986, M.A. (summa cum laude), 1992; Cambridge University, Ph.D.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of Classics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Scholar, educator, writer, poet, and editor. Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel, teaching assistant, 1991-92, visiting lecturer, 1996-97; Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, British Council Scholar, 1992-93, invited lecturer, 1995-97, research fellow at Gonville and Caius College, 1996-99, affiliated lecturer, 1997-99; Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, postdoctoral fellow, 1998-99; Stanford University, Stanford, CA, assistant professor in classics and philosophy, 1999—.

Visiting member, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, 1996, 2000, 2002.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Lessing Institute for European History and Civilisation Award, 1993; Hare Prize, 1997, for best Cambridge dissertation on a classical theme; the President's Amos Foundation for Writers and Scholars Prize, 1998, for poetry; Hellenic Foundation Prize, 1998, for the best United Kingdom dissertation on ancient science and philosophy; Runciman Award, 2000, for The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics: A Study in Cognitive History; AMOS Prize for poetry and President's Prize, for Adayin ba-huc. Recipient of several fellowships, including British Council Fellowship, 1992-93; AVI Fellowship, 1993-95; Harold Hyam Wingate Fellowship, 1993-95; MacNamara Faculty Fellowship, Stanford University, 2000-01; and Reid Hall Fellowship, Columbia University, 2002.

WRITINGS:

'Adayin ba-huc: shirim (poetry, in Hebrew), Shufra lesifrut yafah (Tel Aviv, Israel), 1998.

The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics: A Study in Cognitive History, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1999.

(Editor and translator) Archimedes, The Works of Archimedes: Translated into English, Together with Eutocius' Commentaries, with Commentary, and Critical Edition of the Diagrams, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2004.

The Transformation of Mathematics in the Early Mediterranean World: From Problems to Equations, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Barbed Wire: An Ecology of Modernity, Wesleyan University Press (Middletown, CT), 2004.

(With William Noel) The Archimedes Codex: How a Medieval Prayer Book Is Revealing the True Genius of Antiquity's Greatest Scientist, Da Capo Press (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor to In Science and Mathematics in Greek Culture, edited by T. Rihll and C. Tuplin, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2002. Contributor to periodicals, including London Review of Books, Pragmatics and Cognition, Mediterranean Historical Review, Classical Quarterly, Archive for History of Exact Sciences, Revue d'Histoire des Mathématiques, Pragmatics and Cognition, and Physics Today.

The Archimedes Codex has been published in fifteen languages.

SIDELIGHTS:

Reviel Netz is a scholar and editor whose primary areas of interest are ancient science and philosophy, history and philosophy of mathemat- ics, history of the longue durée (a French school for the study of history), paleography, and the transformations of late antiquity. His research involves the wider issues of the history of cognitive practices, such as visual culture, the history of the book, and literacy and numeracy. He has written extensively on these topics, including serving as author, coauthor, and editor of several books.

In The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics: A Study in Cognitive History, Netz focuses on the phenomenon of deductive argument in classical Greek mathematics and makes his case that this achievement was a momentous development in intellectual history. The author also provides a close description of the practices of Greek mathematics. "Reviel Netz has written a stimulating book about diagrams and mathematics, telling us facts that we all know, but hardly ever thought of," wrote Christian Marinus Taisbak in a review for Mathematical Association of America: MAA Online.

Netz is the editor and translator of The Works of Archimedes: Translated into English, Together with Eutocius' Commentaries, with Commentary, and Critical Edition of the Diagrams, the first book in a proposed three-volume collection of the famous Greek scientist's works. The volume's translated works include On the Sphere and Cylinder.

Writing in the book's introduction, the author notes: "Archimedes was not only an outstanding mathematician and scientist (clearly the greatest of antiquity) but also a very influential one. Throughout antiquity and the middle ages, down to the scientific revolution and even beyond, Archimedes was a living presence for practicing scientists, an authority to emulate and a presence to compete with. While several distinguished studies of Archimedes had appeared in the English language, he can still be said to be the least studied of the truly great scientists. Clearly, the history of science requires a reliable translation that may serve as basis for scholarly comment."

Accompanying this translation is the first scientific edition of Archimedes's diagrams, which incorporates new information from the recently discovered Archimedes Palimpsest. Netz also includes the first English translation of Eutocius's commentary and provides his own analysis of Archimedes's work from contemporary research perspectives. "In general the translation has been made consistently and with care," wrote Alexander Jones for the Notices of the American Mathematical Society Web site. Eleanor Dickey, in a review for the Bryn Mawr Classical Review, commented: "The translation itself is probably the best ever done in terms of faithfulness to the text and to Archimedes' own way of thinking."

In The Transformation of Mathematics in the Early Mediterranean World: From Problems to Equations, the author takes a single mathematical problem proposed by Archimedes and follows its history from its first statement to the many solutions that were offered in early Mediterranean mathematics. The problem comes from the Greek mathematician's Second Book on the Sphere and Cylinder.

"The route I have chosen starts with Archimedes himself and ends (largely speaking) with Omar Khayyam," the author writes in the book's introduction. "I discuss the solutions offered by Hellenistic mathematicians working immediately after Archimedes, as well as the comments made by a late Ancient commentator; finally, I consider the solutions offered by Arab mathematicians prior to Khayyam and by Khayyam himself, with a brief glance forward to an Arabic response to Khayyam." In a review of The Transformation of Mathematics in the Early Mediterranean World for the Bryn Mawr Classical Review Web site, Anne Mahoney noted: "The present book is useful reading not only for historians of mathematics, but for anyone interested in how the Greeks understood the world."

In The Archimedes Codex: How a Medieval Prayer Book Is Revealing the True Genius of Antiquity's Greatest Scientist, Netz and coauthor William Noel describe the discovery of the lost works of Archimedes as part of a palimpsest from a medieval prayer book created during the thirteenth century. Throughout the text, the authors provide a revealing analysis of the full range of mathematical discoveries that were found.

In the book's preface, the authors note: "This is the true and remarkable story of the book and the texts its contains. It reveals how these texts survived the centuries, how they were discovered, how they disappeared again, and how they eventually found a champion. This is also the story of how patient conservation, cutting-edge technology, and dedicated scholarship brought the erased texts back to light. When they started in 1999, the members of the team working on the book had little idea of what they would uncover. By the time they finished, they had discovered completely new texts from the ancient world and had changed the history of science."

The Archimedes Codex has received numerous favorable reviews. In a review for the Curled Up with a Good Book Web site, Dave Roy noted: "The contributions of both authors make The Archimedes Codex what it is. While the math part can get a little slow at times, overall the topic is a fascinating one, and both Netz and Noel are able to entice the reader to follow along with them on this unknown trail (whether mathematical or historical)." Gilbert Taylor, writing in Booklist referred to the book as "a thrilling story of the ancient world lost, found, and explained."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Archimedes, The Works of Archimedes: Translated into English, Together with Eutocius' Commentaries, with Commentary, and Critical Edition of the Diagrams, edited by Netz Reviel, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Netz, Reviel, The Transformation of Mathematics in the Early Mediterranean World: From Problems to Equations, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Netz, Reviel, and William Noel, The Archimedes Codex: How a Medieval Prayer Book Is Revealing the True Genius of Antiquity's Greatest Scientist, Da Capo Press (New York, NY), 2007.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 15, 2007, Gilbert Taylor, review of The Archimedes Codex: How a Medieval Prayer Book Is Revealing the True Genius of Antiquity's Greatest Scientist, p. 10.

British Journal for the History of Science, December, 2006, Alain Bernard, review of The Works of Archimedes: Translated into English, Together with Eutocius' Commentaries, with Commentary, and Critical Edition of the Diagrams, p. 604.

Choice, February, 2005, M.D. Sanford, review of The Transformation of Mathematics in the Early Mediterranean World: From Problems to Equations, p. 1058.

Classical Philology, January, 2006, Alain Bernard, "The Problem in the World of Archimedes," p. 74.

Current Anthropology, February, 2006, Robert Emmett, "The Cutting Edge: An Environmental History of Modernity," p. 204.

Internet Bookwatch, January, 2008, review of The Archimedes Codex.

Isis, March 1, 2003, J.L. Berggren, review of The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics: A Study in Cognitive History, p. 134.

Journal of American Studies, April, 2006, Stephen F. Mills, review of Barbed Wire: An Ecology of Modernity, p. 192.

Journal of Hellenic Studies, annual, 2003, Richard Wallace, review of The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics, p. 259; January 1, 2005, Philippa Lang, review of The Works of Archimedes, p. 193.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2007, review of The Archimedes Codex.

Mathematics, December, 2004, review of The Works of Archimedes, p. 405; February, 2008, Paul J. Campbell, review of The Archimedes Codex, p. 70.

Nature, November 15, 2007, Brian Clegg, "Archimedes' Secrets Revealed," review of The Archimedes Codex, p. 352.

Publishers Weekly, July 23, 2007, review of The Archimedes Codex, p. 57.

Reference & Research Book News, February, 2008, review of The Archimedes Codex.

SciTech Book News, June, 2006, review of The Works of Archimedes.

Science News, December 15, 2007, review of The Archimedes Codex, p. 383.

Times Literary Supplement, May 27, 2005, Edward N. Luttwak, "Twisted Logic," review of Barbed Wire, p. 8; October 12, 2007, Andrew Benedict-Nelson, review of The Archimedes Codex, p. 34.

ONLINE

Bryn Mawr Classical Review,http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/ (July 14, 2004), Eleanor Dickey, review of The Works of Archimedes; (October 25, 2004), Anne Mahoney, review of The Transformation of Mathematics in the Early Mediterranean World.

Central European University Web site,http://web.ceu.hu/ (June 18, 2008), faculty profile of author.

Curled Up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (June 18, 2008), Dave Roy, review of The Archimedes Codex.

London Review of Books,http://www.lrb.co.uk/ (June 18, 2008), brief profile of author.

Mathematical Association of America: MAA Online,http://www.maa.org/ (June 18, 2008), Christian Marinus Taisbak, review of The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics.

Notices of the American Mathematical Society,http://www.ams.org/notices/ (June 18, 2008), Alexander Jones, review of The Works of Archimedes.

Stanford University Web site,http://stanford.edu/ (June 18, 2008), faculty profile of author.