The Mathematics of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, and Islam. A Sourcebook

This is the first book collecting the English translations of the historical mathematical texts from the five ancient and medieval non-Western mathematical cultures. It is the biggest sourcebook containing the newest fruit of historical research and that is why the book can replace older sources for the history of mathematics. The book is divided into five sections: Egypt (written by A. Imhausen), Mesopotamia (by E. Robson), China (by J. W. Dauben), India (by K. Plofker) and Islam (by J. L. Berggen). Each chapter starts with a detailed introduction that gives an overview of each culture, historical and social contexts, events and heritages, discovery of writing, origin of mathematics, numerical systems, etc. Then a deeper analysis of mathematical sources is presented. The authors of each part are renowned experts in their fields; they have carefully selected key mathematical texts, they provide new translations and in many cases they give new interpretations, commentaries and notes. They explain the mathematical skills and knowledge of the ancient and medieval non-Western mathematicians and they analyse the role of mathematics in these civilizations and its impact on their developments. The book can be recommended to students, teachers, historians and mathematicians as well as anyone who wants to understand the depth and power of ancient mathematics and who wants to learn about mathematical ideas and their use in the daily life of non-Western cultures.

Reviewer: 
mbec
Book details
Author:  Publisher: 
Published: 
2007
ISBN: 
978-0-691-11485-9
Price: 
USD 75
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