The publishing of the *Ars magna* was an extraordinary event in the
history of polynomial equations. After long ages when every new treatise was
either a compendium of previous knowledge or a very modest original
contribution to algebra, the *Ars Magna* contained mostly totally new
discoveries: in fact apart from a brief chapter concerned with linear and
quadratic equations the rest of the book is dedicated to all the different
types of cubics and of quartics. The method of solving the quartic had been
discovered by Luigi Ferrari, a disciple of Cardano, ``under my request" as
Cardano wrote in the introduction to the book.

Thu Feb 26 17:04:11 CET 1998