MAT 336 Stony Brook University
Word Problems from the Treviso Arithmetic  1478
[comments in square brackets]

(f. 35r) 1 and 1/2 pounds of saffron are worth 2 and 1/3 ducats [maybe $230; saffron is currently on sale on eBay for $205/lb.] how much would 1 and 1/4 ounces be worth. [One pound is 12 ounces, one ducat is 24 grossi, one grosso is 32 piccioli. Express your answer in grossi (g.) and piccioli (p.).]
Answer: If 1 and 1/2 pounds of saffron are worth 2 and 1/3 ducats then 1 and 1/4 ounces are worth g.3 p.28 and 4/9.

(f. 44r) I have 9 and 2/3 yards (braccia) of fabric 2 and 3/4 yds wide which I want to make into a robe. I want to line it with fabric 1 and 1/8 yds wide. I ask how much I will need.
Answer: I will need 23 and 17/27 yds. [The text has the wrong answer, due to a trivial arithmetic error, making 232x11=1552 instead of 2552.]

(f. 46v) Three merchants have invested their money as a company. Let's give them names to make this easier to understand. The first is Piero. The other is Polo. The third is Zuanne. Piero put in as his capital 112 ducats [maybe $11200]. Polo put in as his capital 200 ducats. Zuanne put in as his capital 142 ducats. And at the end of a certain period of time they have realized a profit of 563 ducats. I ask how much each man gets so that no one will be cheated.
Answer: You answer that Piero gets as profit ducats 138 g.21 p.11 and 190/454. Polo gets as profit ducats 248 g.0 p.13 242/454. Zuanne gets as profit ducats 176 g.2 p.7 and 22/454. No one will be cheated. The sum of the profit is duc.563 g.0 p.0454, which shows that this argument was done correctly.

(f. 46v) Two merchants, that is Sebastiano and Jacomo have invested their money to make profit as a company. Sebastiano contributed duc.350 on January 1, 1472. Jacomo contributed duc.500 g.14 on July 1, 1472. On January 1, 1474 they have realized a profit of ducats 622. I ask how much each one gets.
Answer: You answer that Sebastiano gets as profit duc.300 g.2 p.8 and 327456/417852. Jacomo gets as profit duc.321 g.21 p.23 and 90396/417852. The sum of the profit is duc.622 g.0 p.0.417852 so this sharing was done justly and well.

(f. 53v) A merchant has 40 marks of silver alloy [one mark is 8 ounces] with 6 and 1/2 ounces per of pure silver per mark. And he has 56 marks of another alloy, with 5 ounces of pure silver per mark. And he wants to make all of this into coinage which will contain 4 and 1/2 ounces of pure silver per mark. I ask how much coinage he will produce and how much copper he will have to add.
[Answer: The amount of coinage he can produce is 120 marks. The amount of copper he must add is 24 marks.]
Anthony Phillips
March 19 2004