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

Cambridge University Press (2004)

Authors
Reviel Netz
Stanford University
Abstract
The transformation of mathematics from ancient Greece to the medieval Arab-speaking world is here approached by focusing on a single problem proposed by Archimedes and the many solutions offered. In this trajectory Reviel Netz follows the change in the task from solving a geometrical problem to its expression as an equation, still formulated geometrically, and then on to an algebraic problem, now handled by procedures that are more like rules of manipulation. From a practice of mathematics based on the localized solution we see a transition to a practice of mathematics based on the systematic approach. With three chapters ranging chronologically from Hellenistic mathematics, through late Antiquity, to the medieval world, Reviel Netz offers an alternate interpretation of the historical journey of pre-modern mathematics.
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Reprint years 2007, 2010, 2011
ISBN(s) 9780511207099   9780521041744   9780511720000   9780521829960
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