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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Math History Guide: The History of Babylonian Mathematics

Mathematics has long been a unifying element across cultures around the globe. Beginning first as a tool used for counting and practical problems, Mathematics eventually came to be an intellectual interest producing theories and ideas that described the world. As one of the most pursued sciences, Math has built off itself creating new ideas on the backs of old ones. The study of Math history attempts to document and understand the path that Mathematics has taken from antiquity to now. Below you may read our guide series on the History of Babylonian Mathematics in three parts.

These documents are meant to be a quick introduction to some of the themes and ideas from one of the early civilizations of Math History. Within this series we have left out minor discoveries or examples in preference for ideas that are important in the context of modern Mathematics. Babylonian Mathematics was essential in helping to spread ideas that led to the further development of Math in later civilizations. This series is separated into three parts, the Babylonian writing system and its modern translation, general arithmetic problems and how they were solved, and mathematical results relating to modern day notions.

If you are interested in this series and would like to learn more about Math History as a field or the cultures we did not cover in this series, there is a short list at the end of this post with resources and texts to look into. We also have another blog post introducing our YouTube mini-series on the History of Greek Mathematics that you may watch. The history of Mathematics is populated with numerous individuals and ideas who helped to shape modern Mathematics today, and they are just as important as the ones we choose to include in this short guide. Egyptian, Greek, Chinese, Roman, Islamic and countless other cultures contributed to the overall growth of Mathematical knowledge.

We hope you enjoy this short guide on the History of Babylonian Mathematics!

The Babylonian Writing System and its Modern Translation (Part 1)

General Arithmetic Problems and Solutions (Part 2)

Mathematical Result relating to Modern Day Math (Part 3)

If you would like to explore more about Math history we encourage you to watch our YouTube mini-series on the History of Greek Mathematics or check out these titles as they give both a broader context to the the development of Mathematics and a more detailed look at some of the problems and results we covered here as well as ones we did not.

Suggested Titles:

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