Luca Pacioli

L’altro giorno mi sono imbattuta in un romanzo scritto da W.A.W. Parker su Luca Pacioli intitolato: “The Divine Proportions of Luca Pacioli.”

The other day, I came across a novel written by W.A.W. Parker about Luca Pacioli called “The Divine Proportions of Luca Pacioli.”

Hai mai sentito parlare di Luca Pacioli? Nemmeno io!

Have you ever heard of Luca Pacioli? Neither had I!

Si scopre che era un matematico che vise durante il primo Rinascimento in Italia. Ho pensato: perfetto! L’argomento e le personalità trattati in questo libro, per cominciare, hanno colpito il mio punto debole. Ed essendo una scrittrice di tre romani ambientati nello stesso periodo, non vedevo l’ora di immergermi nella storia. Però mentre sono un amante dell’arte e della storia, devo confessare che la matematica non è affatto uno dei miei punti forti… tuttavia, mi è piaciuto molto questo romanzo!

Turns out, he was a mathematician who lived during the early Renaissance in Italy. I thought — perfect! The topic and personalities covered in this book, to begin with, hit my sweet spot. And being an author myself of three novels set at this same time, I couldn’t wait to dive into the story. Although I’m a lover of art and history, I must confess math definitely isn’t one of my strong suits… nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel!

La storia è raccontata in mondo chiaro e divertente e ti senti come se fossi davvero nella testa del personaggio mentre ti racconta della sua vita sul suo letto morente. Luca e tutti I meravigliosi uomini e donne che incontra nell’arco della sua vita sono interpretati brillantemente dall’autore. La scrittura è fluid e ho seguito le avventure e le spiegazioni di Luca, senza mai perdere interesse!

The story is told clearly and enjoyably, and you feel like you are actually inside the character’s head as he tells you about his life on his dying bed. Luca and all the wonderful men and women he meets over the arc of his life are portrayed brilliantly by the author. The writing was fluid, and I followed along with Luca’s adventures and mathematical explanations, never losing interest!

Mi è piaciuto così tanto il libro che ho contattato W.A.W Parker e gli ho chiesto se gli sarebbe piaciuto scrivere un post sul suo nuovo romanzo e sono flice che abbia accettato.

I enjoyed the book so much I reached out to W.A.W Parker and asked if he’d like to write a guest post about his new novel, and I’m delighted he accepted.


Ecco il signor Parker per raccontarci
un po’ di più su Luca Pacioli.

Now here is Mr. Parker to tell us
a little more about Luca Pacioli.
Luca Pacioli

Born into meager circumstances, Luca Pacioli pretty much encapsulates the possibility and promise of the Renaissance.

He may not be a flashy name (most people who have heard of him are accountants because he codified the double-entry bookkeeping method), but he helped form the backbone of the Renaissance by bringing the combined knowledge of his age to the masses. He wrote books about mathematics, chess, and the divine proportion (which we know now as the golden ratio). And he wrote in the common tongue (High Renaissance Italian) instead of Latin (the language of academia at the time) so that everyone could understand him, and be a part of the greatest discoveries of their day.

Photo Credit: Studentessa Matta, Deposit Photo

I had to fictionalize much of his childhood, but that gave me a big opportunity to dive into Italian history and figure out what might have set him on his path, including watching a game called the Battle of the Stones, which was, you guessed it, a game where people threw rocks at each other in an open field.

Additionally, when a child was born in his town, they would place a bean in a box. Black beans for boys and white beans for girls. But they never took a bean away when someone died. So, for a young Luca wanting to know the population of his town, it’s an infuriating system because it’s a way of keeping track of people, without actually keeping track of them. And because they never take a bean away, there are no checks and balances. There are no debits to the credits, which is something that Luca becomes much more involved with later in life when he codifies double-entry bookkeeping.


Probably my favorite scene to write, though, was one with Leonardo da Vinci. Later in life, Luca and Leonardo both leave Milan together after the French invade. They flee to Mantua and to stay with the Marchesa Isabella d’Este, who teaches them Queen’s Chess, a new, faster version of chess. “A la rabiosa,” they called it, which means: to the rabid. It was a new style of chess that just so happens to be the version we know in the West today. (In China they still play by the old rules) In this version, the queen (formerly a vizier, an advisor to the king) is much more powerful, meaning games are much less likely to end in a draw. I loved writing the scene where Isabella d’Este basically schools Luca and Leonardo da Vinci in the new rules of chess, and then proceeds to dominate them in a game, showing how deft and skilled a woman can be when she’s given power.

Of note: There’s an Easter egg involving the Fibonacci sequence in the novel, and I will personally give $112.35 to the first person to figure it out, and also why it’s an Easter egg (the why is important!) If you know why it’s that specific amount, you already have a leg up on the competition.

Grazie to W.A.W. Parker per avere
partecipato nel blog!

Big thanks to the author of “The Divine Proportions
of Luca Pacioli” for participating on the blog!

You can find “The Divine Proportions of Luca Pacioli” on Amazon by clicking on the button below.

Vuoi sapere di più? If you would like to learn more about W.A.W. Parker and his novel Luca Pacioli, click here to listen to a podcast in English about the novel.

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