The mathematicians János Bolyai occupies an interesting place in the history of mathematics for the development of hyperbolic geometry. Certain quotations from letters between him and his father (the mathematician Farkas Bolyai) and letters between him and Gauss have become quite famous (for example, see the first paragraph of this Wikipedia entry, or the beginning of this book review).

Is there any place online I can view the full letters (preferably with English translations) involving János Bolyai? So far, I have only managed to find one complete letter on this mathematics history website, and would be interested in finding more.

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    Welcome to History. While I think the question is on-topic here, maybe you want to check if you can post it also at the History of Science and Mathematics site, since it seems it would be more in line with the audience (check their FAQs, though).
    – SJuan76
    Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 19:16
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    Just to make sure: you really want: not handwritten original/facsimiles, nor transliterated/transcribed Hungarian/German letters, but translated ones, presumably into English? Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 22:16
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    Yes, I'm mainly looking for English translations of the letters (and edited the original question to specify that). But fully transcribed versions of the original letters would be interesting to see as well.
    – Naysh
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 15:36
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    I wasn't able to find the translated works. As given in the answer below, only the source for the originals. But, if you are in the USA, then check out the Library of Congress if possible. They pretty much have everything. Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 16:58

1 Answer 1


A collection of his letters translated into English is sadly unknown to me.

The orignals are at

Besides the hundreds of manuscript volumes, the scientific-historical legacy of the two Bolyai brothers, which comprises almost 20000 pages, embodies an outstanding value. The Institute also holds an archive collection.

Biblioteca Teleki-Bolyai, Mures, Romania

A few collections of his original letters seem to be printed in various books: bibliography

A few more transcribed and online are at

Scientia Spatii, five letters

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