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Methods of area calculation in the mathematical books and the land system of mid-ancient China. (Chinese. English summary) Zbl 1224.01006

Summary: By comparing the problems concerning area calculation among several mathematics books with each other and analyzing the land policies in the Mid-Ancient Period, this article points out that the Wucao Suanjing seeks extensiveness more than accuracy in the methods of area calculation, and this characteristic is closely related to the Equal Field System (Juntian System), which made the fields to be frequently measured and frequently divided into smaller ones as well. These methods became more exact and classified in such subsequent mathematical books as Dunhuang Suanjing and Xiahou Yang Suanjing. When the latter book was compiled, the Equal Field System had declined. The article indicates that social elements can influence not only the objects dealt with mathematics, but also influence the expression of the mathematical texts.

MSC:

01A25 History of Chinese mathematics

Biographic References:

Yang, Xiahou
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