A History of Elementary Mathematics by Florian Cajori

By Florian Cajori

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23), the Babylonians took the ratio of the circumference to the diameter equal to 3, a de Of geometrical demonstrations there mind the intuitive cidedly inaccurate value. is no "As trace. " We begin our account of Egyptian geometry with the geo metrical problems of the Ahmes papyrus, which are found in the middle of the arithmetical matter. Calculations of the solid contents of barns precede the determination of areas. 1 Not knowing the shape of the barns, we cannot verify the cor rectness of the computations, but in plane geometry Ahmes's He considers the area of land in the forms of square, oblong, isosceles triangle, isosceles trapezoid, and circle.

Eaoii bar stands for each dot for 1. Thus, is 2, ^ is 6. The zero is 5, repre sented by a symbol that looks roughly like a half-closed eye. 37 was Accordingly, expressed by the symbols for 17 (three bars and two dots) in the kin place, and one dot representing 20 in the uinal place, higher up. The numbers were written vertically. To write 360, the Maya drew two zeros, one above the other, with a dot in third place, above the zeraa. largest number found in the codices is 12,489,781. 1 S. G. MOELET, Introduction WasMngton, 1915.

Pp. and endeavours to give a KOME 37 Diophantus could teach them nothing in the way of general methods. The result is that the modern theory of numbers is quite distinct and a decidedly higher and nobler science than Diophantine Analysis. Modern disciples of Diophantus usually display the weaknesses of their master and for that reason have failed to make substantial contributions to the subject. Of special interest to us is the method followed by Diophan tus in solving a linear determinate equation.

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