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The Transformation of Mathematics in the Early Mediterranean World: From Problems to Equations

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Overview

The transformation of mathematics from its ancient Greek practice to its development in the medieval Arab-speaking world is approached by focusing on a single problem proposed by Archimedes and the many solutions offered. From a practice of mathematics based on the localized solution (originating in the polemical practices of early Greek science), we see a transition to a practice of mathematics based on the systematic approach (grounded in the deuteronomic practices of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages). A radically new interpretation is accordingly offered of the historical trajectory of pre-modern mathematics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"For the true mathematics historian, this is a fascinating exploration, perhaps different from one's previous ideas of this time period. Highly recommended." M.D. Sanford, Felician College

"...engaging, provocative, and definitely worth reading and thinking about." MAA Reviews, Fernando Q. Gouvea

"...recommended reading—for its thought-provoking ideas and lively writing—for those with a serious interest in the mathematics of ancient Greece and medieval Islam." - Mathematical Reviews, J.L. Berggren

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521829960
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2010
  • Series: Cambridge Classical Studies Series
  • Pages: 198
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Reviel Netz is Associate Professor in the Department of Classics at Stanford University. He has published widely in the field of Greek mathematics: The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics: A Study in Cognitive History (1999) was runner-up for the Runciman Prize for 2000, and he is currently working on a complete English translation of and commentary on the works of Archimedes, the first volume of which was published in 2003. He has also written a volume of Hebrew poetry and an historical study of barbed wire.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. The problem in the world of Archimedes; 2. From Archimedes to Eutocius; 3. From Archimedes to Khayyam; Conclusion; References; Index.

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