A hypothetical history of Old Babylonian mathematics: places, passages, stages, development

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Abstract

Most general standard histories of mathematics speak indiscriminately of “Babylonian” mathematics, presenting together the mathematics of the Old Babylonian and the Seleucid period (respectively 2000–1600 and 300–100 BCE) and neglecting the rest. Specialist literature has always known there was a difference, but until recently it has been difficult to determine the historical process within the Old Babylonian period.
It is still impossible to establish the details of this process with certainty, but a rough outline and some reasoned hypotheses about details can now be formulated. That is what I am going to present.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMax-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte. Preprint
Issue number436
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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