## The History of Mathematics## Mathematics After the Middle Ages |

## Who explained the nature of logarithms? |

Scottish mathematician John Napier (1550–1617) first had the idea about logarithms in 1594. It took him twenty years, until 1614, to publish a canon of logarithms called *Mirifici logarithmorum canonis descripto (Description of the wonderful canon of logarithms).* The canon explains the nature of logarithms, gives their rules of use, and offers logarithmic tables. (For more about logarithms, see “Algebra.”)