André Tacquet

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Cylindricorum et annularium libri, 1651
Title page of his Elementa Geometriae...'

André Tacquet (23 June 1612 Antwerp – 22 December 1660 Antwerp, also referred to by his Latinized name Andrea Tacquet[1]) was a Brabantian mathematician and Jesuit priest. Tacquet adhered to the methods of the geometry of Euclid and the philosophy of Aristotle and opposed the method of indivisibles.


André Tacquet was born in Antwerp, and entered the Jesuit Order in 1629. From 1631 to 1635, he studied mathematics, physics and logic at Leuven. Two of his teachers were Grégoire de Saint-Vincent and Francois d'Aguilon.[citation needed]

Tacquet became a brilliant mathematician of international fame and his works were often reprinted and translated (into Italian and English). His most famous work, which influenced the thinking of Blaise Pascal and his contemporaries, is Cylindricorum et annularium (1651). In this book Tacquet presented how a moving point could generate a curve and the theories of area and volume.[2]

He died in Antwerp.

In honor of André Tacquet, his name has been given to a small crater in the northeast part of the Moon, near the southern edge of Mare Serenitatis.

Opposition to the method of indivisibles[edit]

Tacquet claimed in his 1651 book Cylindricorum et annularium libri IV that

[the method of indivisibles] makes war upon geometry to such an extent, that if it is not to destroy it, it must itself be destroyed.[3]

The Jesuat Stefano degli Angeli provided a detailed response, defending Cavalieri's method.


  • 1651: Cylindricorum et annularium libri IV (Antwerp) full text
  • 1654: Elementa geometriae (Antwerp)
  • 1656: Arithmeticae theoria et praxis (Louvain)
  • 1659: Cylindricorum et annularium liber V (Antwerp) full text
  • 1725: Elementa Euclideae, geometriae (Amsterdam) full text

See also[edit]


  1. ^ O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Andrea Tacquet", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews
  2. ^ Joseph MacDonnell André Tacquet, S.J. (1612–1660) and his treatment of the method of exhaustion from Fairfield University
  3. ^ Amir Alexander (2014). Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World. Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0374176815., p. 119