### Abstract

Mathematics plays a major role in Der Untergang des Abendlandes – in

outspoken contrast to two other grand and famous syntheses from the same

epoch. In total, H. G. Wells’ slightly more extensive Outline of History from [1920]

thus offers no more than 12 references to the topic, all of them with any depth:

– In Confucius’ China, the literary class was taught mathematics as one of the

“Six Accomplishments” (p. 132);

– sound mathematical work was done in Alexandria (p. 197);

– Arabic mathematics built on that of the Greek (p. 336),

– and al-Khwa¯rizmı¯ was a mathematician (p. 336);

– the Mongol court received Persian and Indian astronomers and mathematicians (p. 374);

– mathematics and other sciences have been applied in war (p. 448);

– Napoleon had been an industrious student of mathematics as well as history

(p. 487);

– James Watt was a mathematical instrument maker (p. 506);

– the mathematical level of English post-Reformation universities was poor

(p. 525),

– but mathematics was compulsory at Oxford (p. 526);

– in post-1871 Germany, mathematics teaching might be interrupted by “long

passages of royalist patriotic rant” (p. 551);

– and finally, without the word “mathematics”, our “modern numerals are

Arabic; our arithmetic and algebra are essentially Semitic sciences” (p. 108).

outspoken contrast to two other grand and famous syntheses from the same

epoch. In total, H. G. Wells’ slightly more extensive Outline of History from [1920]

thus offers no more than 12 references to the topic, all of them with any depth:

– In Confucius’ China, the literary class was taught mathematics as one of the

“Six Accomplishments” (p. 132);

– sound mathematical work was done in Alexandria (p. 197);

– Arabic mathematics built on that of the Greek (p. 336),

– and al-Khwa¯rizmı¯ was a mathematician (p. 336);

– the Mongol court received Persian and Indian astronomers and mathematicians (p. 374);

– mathematics and other sciences have been applied in war (p. 448);

– Napoleon had been an industrious student of mathematics as well as history

(p. 487);

– James Watt was a mathematical instrument maker (p. 506);

– the mathematical level of English post-Reformation universities was poor

(p. 525),

– but mathematics was compulsory at Oxford (p. 526);

– in post-1871 Germany, mathematics teaching might be interrupted by “long

passages of royalist patriotic rant” (p. 551);

– and finally, without the word “mathematics”, our “modern numerals are

Arabic; our arithmetic and algebra are essentially Semitic sciences” (p. 108).

Originalsprog | Engelsk |
---|---|

Titel | Oswald Spenglers Kulturmorphologie : Eine multiperspektivische Annäherung |

Redaktører | Sebastian Fink, Robert Rollinger |

Antal sider | 18 |

Udgivelses sted | Wiesbaden |

Forlag | Springer VS |

Publikationsdato | 2018 |

Sider | 207-224 |

ISBN (Trykt) | 978-3-658-14040-3 |

ISBN (Elektronisk) | 978-3-658-14041-0 |

Status | Udgivet - 2018 |

Navn | Universal- und kulturhistorische Studien. Studies in Universal and Cultural History |
---|---|

ISSN | 2524-3780 |

## Citer dette

Høyrup, J. (2018). Spengler and Mathematics in a Mesopotamian Mirror. I S. Fink, & R. Rollinger (red.),

*Oswald Spenglers Kulturmorphologie: Eine multiperspektivische Annäherung*(s. 207-224). Springer VS. Universal- und kulturhistorische Studien. Studies in Universal and Cultural History