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Mathematical shapes for fortifications. The Art of War c1684.

Mathematical shapes for fortifications. The Art of War c1684.

by Mallet, Alain Manesson

Small 17thC antique print of Endegalegre fortification diagrams, with riverside view below.

Alain Manesson Mallet (1630-1706) studied mathematics and geometry at the College of Burgundy, under the military engineer, Philippe Mallet (1606-1679). Allain Manesson then became a musketeer in the regiment of guards of Louis XIV. In 1663 he left for Portugal to enter the service of Alfonso VI. Under Marshal Schomberg Mallet served as an engineer and rose to the rank of sargento-mor (equivalent to commander) of artillery and inspector of fortifications. He greatly assisted in Portugal's fortification against Spain during the Portuguese War of Independence. After the 1668 signing of the Treaty of Independence Mallet returned to France, and was appointed mathematics teacher of the pages of the King in Little Stable, Versaille (reserved for the sons of noble families dating back to 1550 or earlier).

As master of mathematics Mallet had time to write. In 1671 his first publication was on military science and the art of siege warfare. It was so successful that it was translated into German the following year. In 1684 Mallet published his updated work Travaux de Mars, ou l’art de la Guerre, “on observations I’ve made on the art of war”, with engraved diagrams for the fortifications of cities and towns throughout Europe and small scenes “to inspire young nobles to learn to draw, because in fortifications, drawing is not simply a noble propriety, but an absolute necessity”.

Approximate page size: 205 x 135 mm (8 x 5.25 inches). Heavily inked typeface on the reverse is showing through the hand-made paper.

Stock Number: apAMM75Price: $60.00