Mathematics in Ancient Iraq
A Social History
By (author) Eleanor Robson
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Mathematics in Ancient Iraq by Eleanor Robson
Book DescriptionThis monumental book traces the origins and development of mathematics in the ancient Middle East, from its earliest beginnings in the fourth millennium BCE to the end of indigenous intellectual culture in the second century BCE when cuneiform writing was gradually abandoned. Eleanor Robson offers a history like no other, examining ancient mathematics within its broader social, political, economic, and religious contexts, and showing that mathematics was not just an abstract discipline for elites but a key component in ordering society and understanding the world. The region of modern-day Iraq is uniquely rich in evidence for ancient mathematics because its prehistoric inhabitants wrote on clay tablets, many hundreds of thousands of which have been archaeologically excavated, deciphered, and translated. Drawing from these and a wealth of other textual and archaeological evidence, Robson gives an extraordinarily detailed picture of how mathematical ideas and practices were conceived, used, and taught during this period. She challenges the prevailing view that they were merely the simplistic precursors of classical Greek mathematics, and explains how the prevailing view came to be. Robson reveals the true sophistication and beauty of ancient Middle Eastern mathematics as it evolved over three thousand years, from the earliest beginnings of recorded accounting to complex mathematical astronomy. Every chapter provides detailed information on sources, and the book includes an appendix on all mathematical cuneiform tablets published before 2007.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691091822
(229mm x 152mm x 38mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 8-Sep-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Eleanor Robson
Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture, Hardback (September 2011)
An authoritative guide to the Ancient Middle East as seen through the lens of cuneiform writing, the writing system of ancient Mesopotamia. Written by a team of international scholars, with chapter bibliographies and numerous illustrations, the Handbook is a state-of-the-art guide to the discipline as well as offering pathways for future research.
Oxford Handbook of the History of Mathematics, Paperback (February 2011)
This Handbook explores the history of mathematics, addressing what mathematics has been and what it has meant to practise it. Thirty-six self-contained chapters, each written by a specialist, provide a fascinating overview of 5000 years of mathematics and its key cultures for academics in mathematics, historians of science, and general historians.
Mathematics of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, and Islam, Hardback (July 2007)
Provides a collection of English translations of mathematical texts from five important ancient and medieval non-Western mathematical cultures, and puts them into historical and mathematical context. This book is intended for mathematics teachers who want to use non-Western mathematical ideas in the classroom.
Literature of Ancient Sumer, Paperback (April 2006)» View all books by Eleanor Robson
Sumerian is the world's oldest written language, first written down, in ancient Iraq, some 5000 years ago. These translations into modern English are the most comprehensive collection available of the world's first literature, encompassing narrative myths, lyrical hymns, proverbs, and love poetry,
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Author Biography - Eleanor Robson
Eleanor Robsonis reader in ancient Middle Eastern science at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge. Her books include Mesopotamian Mathematics, 2100-1600 BC and, edited with Jacqueline Stedall, The Oxford Handbook of the History of Mathematics.
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