Magnitskii, Leontii

Magnitskii, Leontii Filippovich


Born June 9(19), 1669; died Oct. 19 (30), 1739. Russian mathematician and teacher.

According to some sources, Magnitskii studied at the Slavonic-Greco-Latin Academy in Moscow. From 1701 to the end of his life he taught mathematics at the School of Mathematical and Navigational Sciences. In 1703 he published his Arithmetic, which until the mid-18th century was the basic textbook of mathematics in Russia. Owing to its scientific-methodological and literary qualities, Magnitskii’s Arithmetic continued to be used even after the appearance of other books on mathematics that corresponded better to the new level of science. Magnitskii’s book was more an encyclopedia of mathematical knowledge than an arithmetic textbook, and much of the information in it appeared for the first time in Russian literature. The book played a great role in the dissemination of mathematical knowledge in Russia. M. V. Lomonosov studied from this book and called the textbook the “gates of knowledge.”


Gnedenko, B. V. Ocherki po istorii matematiki v Rossii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Prudnikov, V. E. Russkie pedagogi-matematiki XVIII-XIX vv. Moscow, 1956.