Tudor maths test

The rule and question of a catte. There is a catte at the fote of a tre the length of 300 fote. This catte goeth upwarde eche daye 17 fote, and descendeth eche nyght 12 fote. I demand in how longe tyme shall she be at ye toppe.

Answere. Take vp and abate the nyght of the daye. That is 12 of 17, and there remayneth 5, therefore the catte mounteth eche daye 5 fote. Deuyde now 300 by 5 & therof cometh 60, dayes then she shal be at the toppe.

Taken from the oldest known English arithmetic book: An Introduccion For To Lerne And To Rekyn With The Pen, & With The Counters (1536).

Should I ask this question (in Tudor English, naturally) at my next interview? There is of course, the small matter of the given answer being wrong. The catte shall be at the toppe of the tre at ye ende of daye 58.

2 Responses to “Tudor maths test”

  1. Anonymous says:

    17 feet in a whole day? That's one dithering pusscat. Bonzo did 20 feet in about 10 seconds when next door's dog, Rock, (because that's how hard he is) barked at him. He then went up a branch equivalent of a cul-de-sac and ended up swinging precariously from what can only be described as a twig, crying piteously. I was 8 and a half months pregnant and standing on a chair underneath said twig, also crying piteously. Luckily he fell on our side of the wall, not Rock's, and landed on his feet unharmed. It was a truly traumatic event for us both. Emily


  2. elbeno says:

    The one in the book was obviously a “lyght catte whych cannot be extendede, nor suffers the resistanse of ye aether”.


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