The Transformation of Mathematics in the Early Mediterranean World: From Problems to Equations (Cambridge Classical Studies)

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9780511720000: The Transformation of Mathematics in the Early Mediterranean World: From Problems to Equations (Cambridge Classical Studies)

The transformation of mathematics from its ancient Greek practice to its development in the medieval Arab-speaking world is approached by focusing on a single problem proposed by Archimedes and the many solutions offered. From a practice of mathematics based on the localized solution (originating in the polemical practices of early Greek science), we see a transition to a practice of mathematics based on the systematic approach (grounded in the deuteronomic practices of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages). A radically new interpretation is accordingly offered of the historical trajectory of pre-modern mathematics.

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Book Description:

The transformation of mathematics from ancient Greece to the medieval Arab-speaking world is here approached by focusing on a single problem proposed by Archimedes and the many solutions offered. From a practice of mathematics based on the localized solution (and grounded in the polemical practices of early Greek science) we see a transition to a practice of mathematics based on the systematic approach (and grounded in the deuteronomic practices of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages). A radically new interpretation is thereby offered of the historical trajectory of pre-modern mathematics.

About the Author:

Reviel Netz is Associate Professor in the Department of Classics at Stanford University. He has published widely in the field of Greek mathematics: The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics: A Study in Cognitive History (1999) was runner-up for the Runciman Prize for 2000, and he is currently working on a complete English translation of and commentary on the works of Archimedes, the first volume of which was published in 2003. He has also written a volume of Hebrew poetry and an historical study of barbed wire.

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