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Van Schooten's Prime Table

Prime table up to 10,000

In 1657, Frans van Schooten published a table of prime numbers up to 10,000. While van Schooten's table included only a list of primes, Paul Guldin had published a table giving factors of numbers up to 10,000 (and hence implicitly listing primes in that range as numbers possessing no nontrivial factors) 16 years previously.

Van Schooten's Prime Table

In 1657, Frans van Schooten published a table of primes to 10,000. The table appeared in his work Exercitationes Mathematicae, which was an early attempt to develop general methods for solving problems with numbers. Amusingly, the prime number 809 was accidentally omitted in the original Latin version, though this error was corrected in the 1659 Dutch version.

Artifact dimensions

5.9 in. × 7.6 in.

Artifact origin

Leiden, Netherlands


Primes timeline The Sieve of Eratosthenes Cataldi's Divisor Table Guldin's Factor Table Van Schooten's Prime Table Turing's Zeta Function Machine SWAC Computes New Mersenne Primes

Interactive Content

Computational Explanation

Other Resources

Additional Reading

  • Bullynck, M. "Factor Tables 1657–1817, with Notes on the Birth of Number Theory." Revue d'Histoire des Mathematiques, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 133–216, 2010.
  • van Schooten, F. Exercitationes Mathematicae. Leiden, Netherlands: Elsevier, pp. 394–403, 1657.
  • van Schooten, F. Mathematische oeffeningen, begrepen in vijf boecken. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Gerrit van Goedesbergh, 1659.