Legacy of the Luoshu
This fascinating book describes the luoshu (i.e. the magic square of order three) from Chinese origins and legends, its role in the development of Chinese mathematical thinking and teaching and its association with the rise of Chinese science and philosophy. For the first time, the author shows the mystical origins of the luoshu, the traditional method of its construction and the earliest references to it. Then he describes the later Chinese variations of the luoshu, constructions of higher order magic squares and later Chinese works on magic number arrangements. The author also reviews a wide scope of relations of the luoshu with sociology, cosmology, numerology, metaphysics, philosophy, religion, mythology and many other topics. He also analyses the process of incorporation of the luoshu into Islamic astrology and alchemy, its way into cabbalistic tradition and its role in the Western European spiritual meaning in numbers. Some miscellanea illustrating the flourishing development of the luoshu in China are included. Many explanatory notes on each chapter, the bibliography, illustration acknowledgments and the index are added at the end of the book. The book is very well illustrated. It can be recommended to anybody interested in the properties of numbers, roots of number theory and the history of mathematics, as well as Chinese mathematical tradition.