The Father of Accounting
Luca Pacioli was one of the greatest men of the Renaissance. He is also one of the least well known. This is surprising, for Luca Pacioli's manuscripts and ideas changed the way the world worked then, and continue to affect modern daily life. Luca Pacioli was born in Sansepulcro, in Tuscany. He was probably born during 1445. His family was poor, and Pacioli's future seemed very unpromising. Pacioli joined a Franciscan monastery in Sansepulcro and became an apprentice to a local businessman. The young Pacioli had always loved mathematics though, and he soon abandoned his apprenticeship to work as a mathematics scholar. Pacioli befriended the artist Piero della Francesca, one of the first and greatest writers and artists of perspective. Francesca and Pacioli journeyed over the Appenines, where Francesca gave Pacioli access to the library of Frederico, the Count of Urbino. The collection of four thousand books allowed Pacioli to further his knowledge of mathematics. Francesca also introduced Pacioli to Leon Baptist Alberti, who would become Pacioli's new mentor. Alberti brought Pacioli to Venice and arranged for him to tutor the three sons of the rich merchant Antonio de Reimpose. During this time, in the year 1470, Pacioli wrote his first manuscript at the age of twenty-five. The book was about algebra and was dedicated to the Reimpose boys. Alberti also introduced Pacioli to Pope Paul II. Paul encouraged Pacioli to become a monk and dedicate his life to God. After Alberti died in 1472, Pacioli took the pope's suggestion, and took the vows of Franciscan Minor. In 1475, Pacioli became a teacher at the University of Perugia, where he stayed for six years. He was the first lecturer to hold a chair in math at the University. In his lectures, Pacioli stressed the importance of putting theory to practical use. This emphasis on application of theory made him unique among his peers. While at the University of Perugia, Pacioli wrote...
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