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    Lengths, Widths, Surfaces: A Portrait of Old Babylonian Algebra and Its Kin (Graduate Texts in Mathematics) (Hardback) By (author) Jens Hoyrup

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    DescriptionIn this examination of the Babylonian cuneiform "algebra" texts, based on a detailed investigation of the terminology and discursive organization of the texts, Jens Hoyrup proposes that the traditional interpretation must be rejected. The texts turn out to speak not of pure numbers, but of the dimensions and areas of rectangles and other measurable geometrical magnitudes, often serving as representatives of other magnitudes (prices, workdays, etc...), much as pure numbers represent concrete magnitudes in modern applied algebra. Moreover, the geometrical procedures are seen to be reasoned to the same extent as the solutions of modern equation algebra, though not built on any explicit deductive structure.


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  • Full bibliographic data for Lengths, Widths, Surfaces

    Title
    Lengths, Widths, Surfaces
    Subtitle
    A Portrait of Old Babylonian Algebra and Its Kin
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Jens Hoyrup
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 476
    Width: 156 mm
    Height: 234 mm
    Thickness: 26 mm
    Weight: 851 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780387953038
    ISBN 10: 0387953035
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: MAT
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S7.8
    B&T Book Type: NF
    LC subject heading:
    B&T Merchandise Category: TXT
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: HBT
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 01
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    BIC subject category V2: PBX
    B&T General Subject: 710
    BISAC V2.8: SCI034000
    Ingram Subject Code: MA
    LC subject heading:
    BIC subject category V2: PBF
    B&T Approval Code: A51050000
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 16220
    B&T Approval Code: A51350000
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: MAT015000
    DC22: 510/.935, 510.935
    LC subject heading:
    Libri: MATH3565
    DC21: 512.009
    Libri: ALGE3000
    LC classification: QA22 .H83 2002
    LC subject heading:
    LC classification: D1-DX301, QA1-939, QA21-27
    LC subject heading:
    Thema V1.0: PBX, NHT, PBF
    Edition
    2000
    Edition statement
    2002 ed.
    Illustrations note
    biography
    Publisher
    Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
    Imprint name
    Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
    Publication date
    01 March 2002
    Publication City/Country
    New York, NY
    Review quote
    From the reviews: J. Hoyrup Lengths, Widths, Surfaces A Portrait of Old Babylonian Algebra and its Kin "A valuable addition to the literature of the ancient Babylonians, the subsequent Seleucid mathematics and their relations with other (later) mathematics. Drawing on studies of the culture in which the texts were developed, it contains extensive 'conformal translations' of the most important texts, as well as analyses of them and interpretations of the pictures that emerge."-THE AUSTRALIAN MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY "Hoyrup has drawn together and updated the key insights of his intellectual journey of the past 15 years and presented them in one unified, handsomely produced volume. ... it contains a wealth of information and can be minded by the interested reader for years to come. It is a worthy testament to a career of deep scholarship." (Duncan J. Melville, Historia Mathematica, Vol. 33, 2006)
    Table of contents
    I. Introduction / II. A New Reading / III. Select Textual Examples / IV. Methods / V. Further 'Algebraic' Texts / VI. Quasi-Algebraic Geometry / VII. Old Babylonian 'Algebra': A Global Characterization / VIII. The Historical Framework / IX. The 'Finer Structure' of the Old Babylonian Corpus / X. The Origin and Transformations of Old Babylonian Algebra / XI. Repercussions and Influences / XII. Index of Tablets / XIII. Index of Akkadian and Sumerian Terms and Key Phrases / XIV. Name Index / XV. Subject Index / XVI. Abbreviations and Bibliography