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Mathematics in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. (Matematika ve starověku Egypt a Mezopotámie.) (Czech) Zbl 1208.01002

Dějiny Matematiky / History of Mathematics 23. Prague: Prometheus (ISBN 80-7196-255-4). 371 p., open access (2003).
The book is divided into two main parts devoted to mathematics in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, respectively. Each part starts with a brief historical overview covering the origin and development of writing and the history of education in the particular civilization. The subsequent chapters present the topics of arithmetic (including number systems, notation and performing basic arithmetic operations), algebra and geometry, accompanied by problems from the contemporary practical life. All examples are thoroughly explained and commented on. The text is supplemented by numerous Egyptian and Mesopotamian mathematical sources and many illustrations.
The publication provides a comparison of the mathematical knowledge of the two cited ancient civilizations. The first part of the book describes almost all examples of Egyptian mathematics that have been preserved. Many more examples have survived from Mesopotamia, a careful selection of which is included in the second part. The text is written in a clear and readable style. The book is suitable not only for teachers and students, but also for anyone interested in mathematics and its history.
Contents: Preface (3–4). Egypt: J. Bečvář, Ancient Egypt (9–32). J. Bečvář, Mathematics in ancient Egypt: sources (33–38); Arithmetic (39–68); Sequences (69–73); Algebra (74–78); Geometry (79–104); Other problems (105–112); Time (113–121); Geometry in applications (122–138); Number mysticism (139); Greek records (140); Czech contributions (141); Bibliography (142–148). H. Vymazalová, Lessons from Egyptian mathematical texts (149–166). J. Bečvář, Lessons from Egyptian literary texts (167–178). Mesopotamia: M. Bečvářová, Ancient Mesopotamia (181-200). M. Bečvářová, Mathematics in ancient Mesopotamia: sources (201–206); Number notation (207–218); Arithmetic operations (219–234); Ancient Babylonian measures and weights (235–238); Sequences (239–247); Percentages (248–255); Linear equations and their systems (256–264); Quadratic equations (265–288); Biquadratic equations (289–294); Cubic equations (295–312); Plane geometry (313–327); The Pythagorean theorem (328–336); Pythagorean triangles (337–342); Solid geometry (343–364); A path to theoretical geometry? (365–371).

MSC:

01-02 Research exposition (monographs, survey articles) pertaining to history and biography
01A16 History of Egyptian mathematics
01A17 History of Babylonian mathematics
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