LEONARDO BONACCI– THE MOST TALENTED WESTERN MATHEMATICIAN OF MIDDLE AGES
Leonardo Bonacci was actually named as Leonardo Pisano Fibonacci. Bonacci means lucky son (the son of a good fortune). He was born in 1170 in Pisa, Italy. His father GuglielmoBonacci was wealthy and kind of customs officer in the present day in the city of Bougie where wax candles were exported to France. So little Leonardo got his education in North Africa under Moors and then travelled around the Mediterranean Coast. He met many merchants and learned their arithmetic systems. There he realized the advantages of the “Hindu-Arabic” system than the others. Leonardo was sent to study calculation with an Arab master. He later travelled to Egypt, Syria, Sicily, Greece, and Provence, to study different numerical systems and methods of calculation. He travelled extensively all the time so he occasionally used to write his name as Leonardo Bigollo. Bigollo means a traveler in Tuscany.
He was the first person to introduce the Hindu-Arabic number system into Europe. In 1200, he returned to Pisa to use the knowledge he gained and wrote many books. During his tenure, printing was not yet found, so his books were handwritten and copying was little difficult. We still have some copies of his books like Practicageometriae, Liber abaci, Flos and Liber quadratorum. The famous Fibonacci’s achievement is the Fibonacci sequence. They are often used in modern computer science and in the counting of mathematical objects.
The then Roman Emperor, Frederick II came to know about Fibonacci’s works through the scholars at his court and then Fibonacci became guest at his court. One more member of Frederick’s Court named Johannes of Palermo presented a number of challenges to Fibonacci and Fibonacci solved most of them. Fibonacci was paid by the emperor in services provided by him to the city such as advice on matters of accounting and teaching the people of the city.
One of his books Liber abaci which were published in 1202 was totally based on arithmetic and algebra which he gained knowledge through his travel. The book pretty famous and widely got copied and this was the book which introduced the Hindu-Arabic place valued decimal system and the use of Arabic numerals into Europe.
Leonardo was never married and he died around 1250 in Pisa, Italy. His statue was constructed and erected in Pisa in 19th century. Today we can find it in the western gallery of the campasanto, which is a historical cemetery on the Piazza Dei Miracoli.