This paper considers the printing of Pacioli’s Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita (Summa) in 1494. In particular, it attempts to answer the question, how many copies of Summa were printed in 1494? It does so through consideration of the printing process, the printer of Summa, the size of the book, survival rates of other “serious” books of the period, and the dates it contains revealing when parts of it were completed. It finds that more copies were published than was previously suggested, and that the survival rate of copies has probably as much to do with the manner in which it was treated once acquired as in the number of copies printed.
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