The Pythagorean Theorem: A 4,000-Year History

Overview

"At last, a popular book that isn't afraid to print a mathematical formula in all its symbolic glory! Thanks to Eli Maor for proving—in his delightful, playful way—the eternal importance of a three-sided idea as old as humankind."—Dava Sobel, author of Longitude

"Eli Maor has brought four thousand years of history back to life, all based on the Pythagorean theorem but still giving the times a distinctly human look. This book is designed for readers who are inspired, or who want to be inspired, by the numbers that...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (29) from $2.89   
  • New (6) from $9.78   
  • Used (23) from $2.89   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$9.78
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(94)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
2007 Hardcover New Ships Fast! Satisfaction Guaranteed!

Ships from: Skokie, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$19.17
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(23411)

Condition: New
BRAND NEW

Ships from: Avenel, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$22.96
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(17608)

Condition: New
Brand New, Perfect Condition, Please allow 4-14 business days for delivery. 100% Money Back Guarantee, Over 1,000,000 customers served.

Ships from: Westminster, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$50.73
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(278)

Condition: New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$52.38
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:

(7)

Condition: New
2007 Hardcover New Book New and in stock. 6/10/2007. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you ... will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

Ships from: Morden, United Kingdom

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$65.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(177)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

"At last, a popular book that isn't afraid to print a mathematical formula in all its symbolic glory! Thanks to Eli Maor for proving—in his delightful, playful way—the eternal importance of a three-sided idea as old as humankind."—Dava Sobel, author of Longitude

"Eli Maor has brought four thousand years of history back to life, all based on the Pythagorean theorem but still giving the times a distinctly human look. This book is designed for readers who are inspired, or who want to be inspired, by the numbers that Eli uses to tell his story. Readers will learn about the mathematics of the time, but more important, they will understand the people and the ideas of that period. A monumental effort."—David H. Levy, National Sharing the Sky Foundation

"There's a lot more to the Pythagorean theorem than a + b = c, and you'll find it all in Eli Maor's new book. Destined to become a classic, this book is written with Maor's usual high level of skill, scholarship, and attention to detail. He's also got a sense of humor that will please a range of readers. As we used to say in the 1950s, 'Miss it and be square!'"—Paul J. Nahin, author of Chases and Escapes and Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula

"Eli Maor states that the Pythagorean theorem 'is arguably the most frequently used theorem in all of mathematics.' He then supports this claim by taking his reader on a journey from the earliest evidence of knowledge of the theorem to Einstein's theory of relativity and Wiles's proof of Fermat's last theorem, from the Babylonians around 1800 BCE to the end of the twentieth century. I think that the reader who makes the journey with Maor will be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. He is the first author who has sifted through all the mathematics, history of mathematics, and physics books and collected for us just the material directly related to the Pythagorean theorem."—Robert W. Langer, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

New Scientist - Ben Longstaff
This excellent biography of the theorem is like a history of thought written in lines and circles, moving from ancient clay tablets to Einstein's blackboards. . . . There is something intoxicating about seeing one truth revealed in so many ways. It all makes for hours of glorious mathematical distraction.
Times Higher Education Supplement - Peter M. Neumann
[The Pythagorean Theorem] is aimed at the reader with an interest in the history of mathematics. It should also appeal to most well-educated people...It is a story based on a theme and guided by a timeline...As a popular account of important ideas and their development, the book should be read by anyone with a good education. It deserves to succeed.
Choice - J. Johnson
Based on this recent book, Maor just keeps getting better. Already recognized for his excellent books on infinity, the number e, and trigonometry, Maor offers this new work as a comprehensive overview of the Pythagorean Theorem...If one has never read a book by Eli Maor, this book is a great place to start.
Mathematics Teacher - Michael C. Fish
Maor's book is a concise history of the Pythagorean theorem, including the mathematicians, cultures, and people influenced by it. The work is well written and supported by several proofs and exampled from Chinese, Arabic, and European sources the document how these unique cultures came to understand and apply the Pythagorean theorem. [The book] provides thoughtful commentary on the historical connections this fascinating theorem has to many cultures and people.
Mathematical Reviews - James J. Tattersull
This book will make for good supplementary reading for high school students, high school teachers, and those with a general interest in mathematics. . . . The author's enthusiasm for his subject is evident throughout the book.
Mathematics Magazine - Eric S. Rosenthal
This book goes beyond the theorem and its proofs to set it beautifully in the context of its time and subsequent history.
Mathematics and My Diary - Kuldeep
This is an excellent book on the history of the Pythagorean Theorem. . . . This book is suitable to any student who has basic knowledge of calculus but the layperson will also find it interesting. . . . Maor has an exceptional method of writing very technical mathematics in a seamlessly way.
From the Publisher
Honorable Mention for the 2007 Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Mathematics, Association of American Publishers

"This excellent biography of the theorem is like a history of thought written in lines and circles, moving from ancient clay tablets to Einstein's blackboards. . . . There is something intoxicating about seeing one truth revealed in so many ways. It all makes for hours of glorious mathematical distraction."—Ben Longstaff, New Scientist

"[The Pythagorean Theorem] is aimed at the reader with an interest in the history of mathematics. It should also appeal to most well-educated people...It is a story based on a theme and guided by a timeline...As a popular account of important ideas and their development, the book should be read by anyone with a good education. It deserves to succeed."—Peter M. Neumann, Times Higher Education Supplement

"Based on this recent book, Maor just keeps getting better. Already recognized for his excellent books on infinity, the number e, and trigonometry, Maor offers this new work as a comprehensive overview of the Pythagorean Theorem...If one has never read a book by Eli Maor, this book is a great place to start."—J. Johnson, Choice

"Maor's book is a concise history of the Pythagorean theorem, including the mathematicians, cultures, and people influenced by it. The work is well written and supported by several proofs and exampled from Chinese, Arabic, and European sources the document how these unique cultures came to understand and apply the Pythagorean theorem. [The book] provides thoughtful commentary on the historical connections this fascinating theorem has to many cultures and people."—Michael C. Fish, Mathematics Teacher

"This book will make for good supplementary reading for high school students, high school teachers, and those with a general interest in mathematics. . . . The author's enthusiasm for his subject is evident throughout the book."—James J. Tattersull, Mathematical Reviews

"This book goes beyond the theorem and its proofs to set it beautifully in the context of its time and subsequent history."—Eric S. Rosenthal, Mathematics Magazine

"This is an excellent book on the history of the Pythagorean Theorem. . . . This book is suitable to any student who has basic knowledge of calculus but the layperson will also find it interesting. . . . Maor has an exceptional method of writing very technical mathematics in a seamlessly way."—Kuldeep, Mathematics and My Diary

New Scientist
This excellent biography of the theorem is like a history of thought written in lines and circles, moving from ancient clay tablets to Einstein's blackboards. . . . There is something intoxicating about seeing one truth revealed in so many ways. It all makes for hours of glorious mathematical distraction.
— Ben Longstaff
Times Higher Education Supplement
[The Pythagorean Theorem] is aimed at the reader with an interest in the history of mathematics. It should also appeal to most well-educated people...It is a story based on a theme and guided by a timeline...As a popular account of important ideas and their development, the book should be read by anyone with a good education. It deserves to succeed.
— Peter M. Neumann
Choice
Based on this recent book, Maor just keeps getting better. Already recognized for his excellent books on infinity, the number e, and trigonometry, Maor offers this new work as a comprehensive overview of the Pythagorean Theorem...If one has never read a book by Eli Maor, this book is a great place to start.
— J. Johnson
Mathematics Teacher
Maor's book is a concise history of the Pythagorean theorem, including the mathematicians, cultures, and people influenced by it. The work is well written and supported by several proofs and exampled from Chinese, Arabic, and European sources the document how these unique cultures came to understand and apply the Pythagorean theorem. [The book] provides thoughtful commentary on the historical connections this fascinating theorem has to many cultures and people.
— Michael C. Fish
Mathematical Reviews
This book will make for good supplementary reading for high school students, high school teachers, and those with a general interest in mathematics. . . . The author's enthusiasm for his subject is evident throughout the book.
— James J. Tattersull
Mathematics Magazine
This book goes beyond the theorem and its proofs to set it beautifully in the context of its time and subsequent history.
— Eric S. Rosenthal
Mathematics and My Diary
This is an excellent book on the history of the Pythagorean Theorem. . . . This book is suitable to any student who has basic knowledge of calculus but the layperson will also find it interesting. . . . Maor has an exceptional method of writing very technical mathematics in a seamlessly way.
— Kuldeep
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691125268
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 5/21/2007
  • Pages: 286
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Eli Maor teaches the history of mathematics at Loyola University in Chicago. He is the author of "Venus in Transit, Trigonometric Delights, e: The Story of a Number", and "To Infinity and Beyond: A Cultural History of the Infinite" (all Princeton).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Color Plates ix
Preface xi
Prologue: Cambridge, England, 1993 1
Chapter 1: Mesopotamia, 1800 bce 4
Sidebar 1: Did the Egyptians Know It? 13
Chapter 2: Pythagoras 17
Chapter 3: Euclid's Elements 32
Sidebar 2: The Pythagorean Theorem in Art, Poetry, and Prose 45
Chapter 4: Archimedes 50
Chapter 5: Translators and Commentators, 500-1500 ce 57
Chapter 6: François Viète Makes History 76
Chapter 7: From the Infinite to the Infinitesimal 82
Sidebar 3: A Remarkable Formula by Euler 94
Chapter 8: 371 Proofs, and Then Some 98
Sidebar 4: The Folding Bag 115
Sidebar 5: Einstein Meets Pythagoras 117
Sidebar 6: A Most Unusual Proof 119
Chapter 9: A Theme and Variations 123
Sidebar 7: A Pythagorean Curiosity 140
Sidebar 8: A Case of Overuse 142
Chapter 10: Strange Coordinates 145
Chapter 11: Notation, Notation, Notation 158
Chapter 12: From Flat Space to Curved Spacetime 168
Sidebar 9: A Case of Misuse 177
Chapter 13: Prelude to Relativity 181
Chapter 14: From Bern to Berlin, 1905-1915 188
Sidebar 10: Four Pythagorean Brainteasers 197
Chapter 15: But Is It Universal? 201
Chapter 16: Afterthoughts 208
Epilogue: Samos, 2005 213
Appendixes 219-237
Chronology 241
Bibliography 247
Illustrations Credits 251
Index 253

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2007

    A Book Long Awaited For

    The Pythagorean Theorem is the 'Crown Jewel' of mathematics, and as such, sorely needed a popular exposition. Eli Maor is the first science author in 80 years to step up to this daunting plate! Note: Elisha Loomis wrote his last edition of the Pythagorean Pythagorean Proposition back in the 1920s. Dr. Maor's book is a wealth of information expertly put together in an entertaining and highly readable fashion. As a mathematics teacher for a local community college, I would love to teach a math appreciation course using nothing but Dr. Maor's book since he incorporates so many related ideas and rabbit trails into the major flow of his discourse. Believe me, the Pythagorean Theorem is the underpinning of our modern technical society, forming the basis for everything from cell phones to super-tall skyscrapers to interplanetary probes. In short, we simply can not live our modern technology-filled life without the Pythagorean Theorem. And...any serious student of mathematics needs to understand this via Dr. Maor's book. Go out and purchase, read, and behold!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)