Number theory. An approach through history from Hammurapi to Legendre. Reprint of the 1984 edition. (English) Zbl 1149.01013

Modern Birkhäuser Classics. Basel: Birkhäuser (ISBN 978-0-8176-4565-6/pbk; 978-0-8176-4571-7/ebook). xxii, 376 p. (2007).
In his “approach through history”, André Weil goes through the results obtained by Fermat, Euler, Lagrange and Legendre that are still relevant for today’s mathematicians, and explains how their work is related to modern developments like curves of genus \(1\), the group law on elliptic curves and infinite descent, quadratic reciprocity, binary quadratic forms, and Hasse’s Local-Global principle. Its masterful exposition and the historical accuracy have made this a book which fully deserves its success.
The first edition (1984) has been reviewed in Zbl 0531.10001.


11-03 History of number theory
01A05 General histories, source books
01A45 History of mathematics in the 17th century
01A50 History of mathematics in the 18th century
01-02 Research exposition (monographs, survey articles) pertaining to history and biography
11-02 Research exposition (monographs, survey articles) pertaining to number theory