新編算學啓蒙 | 신편산학계몽 | Sinp'yŏn Sanhak kyemong
The Revised Text on Mathematics is a Korean revised edition of the Chinese original printed in 1299 in the Yuan Dynasty of China. The Korean revised edition was printed in woodblock by Kim Si-jin in 1660 (1st year of King Hyeonjong’s reign), consisting of three chapters bound in one volume.
The Chinese original, Text on Mathematics (算學啓蒙) , was compiled by Zhu Shijie (朱世傑) in 1299 in the Yuan (元) Dynasty of China, and was composed of 20 chapters and 259 problems. As implied in the title of the book, it was an introductory beginning textbook for laymen and written in common language. The author, Zhu Shijie (1249–1314), courtesy name Hanqing (漢卿), pseudonym Songting (松庭), was one of the greatest Chinese mathematicians during the Yuan Dynasty. In addition to Text on Mathematics, Zhu Shijie also wrote Precious Mirror of the Four Elements (四元玉監) and made a remarkable contribution to mathematics in China.
Interestingly, all later versions of Zhu Shijie’s Text on Mathematics were based on Korean versions, as the book became lost in China during the Mind dynasty until the Qing dynasty mathematician Luo Shilin (羅士琳) obtained a Korean printed edition of the book in Liulichang (琉璃廠), Beijing, and re-printed in Yangzhou. Since then, the book was reprinted in China several times.
In Joseon, the book was initially printed by Gyeongo type in1450 based on the original Chinese version, and reprinted several times based on the movable type edition of 1450 (32nd year of King Sejong’s reign) . The book was widely used as an introductory text during the Joseon dynasty along with the Yang Hui Arithmetic (楊輝算法) and the Xiang Ming Arithmetic (祥明算法).
The contents include the overall explication and first, second and third chapters, which encompass diverse themes ranging from multiplication of natural numbers to figures and portions and linear simultaneous equations. The book also showed how to measure different two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional solids.
The edition from the McCormick Collection is a woodblock print version reprinted in threechapters bound in one volume by Kim Si-jin (金始振) in 1660 (1st year of King Hyeonjong’s reign). In this reprinted edition, Kim wrote that the book was compiled based on the initial version printed in Joseon, which was inherited in the family of Gyeong Seon-jing (慶善徵), a middle-class mathematician. At the beginning, this edition contains “Preface to The Revised Text on Mathematics (重刊算學啓蒙序)” written by Kim Si-jin, the then Magistrate of Jeongju, in the 1660 (17th year of reign title Shunzhi of the Qing dynasty), followed by “Preface to the Text on Mathematics (算學啓蒙序)” by Zhaocheng (趙城), the overall explication, the first, second and third chapters. The book also has a supplement titled “Method of Calculating the Distance from Land to an Island in the Sea (望海島術)” following the third chapter.
This book is a rare edition with information of the publication clearly specified.