Sources and Studies in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences

A Remarkable Collection of Babylonian Mathematical Texts

Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection: Cuneiform Texts I

Authors: Friberg, Jöran

  • Author is a leading authority on Babylonian mathematics
  • Includes analysis of tablets which have never been studied before
  • Provides new insight into Babylonian understanding of sophisticated mathematical objects
  • More than 300 figures, many in color
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eBook $179.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-387-48977-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $229.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-387-34543-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This new text from Jöran Friberg, the leading expert on Babylonian mathematics, presents 130 previously unpublished mathematical clay tablets from the Norwegian Schøyen collection, and provides a synthesis of the author's most important work. Through a close study of these tablets, Friberg has made numerous amazing discoveries, including the first known examples of pre-Classical labyrinths and mazes, a new understanding of the famous table text Plimpton 322, and new evidence of Babylonian familiarity with sophisticated mathematical ideas and objects, such as the three-dimensional Pythagorean equation and the icosahedron.

In order to make the text accessible to the largest possible audience, the author has included an introductory chapter entitled, "How to get a better understanding of mathematical cuneiform texts." Throughout the text he avoids anachronisms and makes every effort to teach the reader to do the same. The approach in this book is inherently pedagogical, as Friberg illustrates all the steps of the process of interpretation and clearly explains the mathematical ideas, including terminology, metrological systems, and methods of calculation. Drawings and color photos of a large selection of tablets are also included. Particularly beautiful hand copies of the most complicated texts were made by Farouk Al-Rawi, professor of Ancient Languages and Archaeology at Baghdad University.

While the book is reader-friendly, it remains as detailed and exhaustive as possible. It is the most comprehensive treatment of a set of Babylonian mathematical texts ever published and will open up this subject to a new generation of students, mathematicians, and historians of science.

Jöran Friberg is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. He has recently published the book Unexpected Links Between Egyptian and Babylonian Mathematics (World Scientific 2005), and its sequel Amazing Traces of a Babylonian Origin in Greek Mathematics (World Scientific 2007).

Reviews

From the reviews:

"This fascinating book presents 121 unpublished mathematical clay tablets from the Norwegian Schøyen Collection … . The book is divided into 12 chapters, 10 appendices, a vocabulary for MS texts, an index of subjects … and a large list of references. … Many pictures, drawings and coloured photos of the most interesting tablets are also included. … opens up Babylonian mathematics to a new generation of mathematicians, historians of science and mathematics, teachers and students. It can therefore be recommended to a wide audience." (European Mathematical Society Newsletter, June, 2008)

"We welcome the book under review, a study of the Martin Schøyen collection … . this collection include exemplars of virtually every known type of mathematical tablet, as well as some types of tablets that have never been published. … Friberg’s book will be invaluable for anyone studying Mesopotamian mathematics, as it provides so many more examples of mathematical ideas that were used by the scribes. … Any good library in the history of mathematics should possess copies … ." (Victor J. Katz, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2008 h)


Table of contents (11 chapters)

  • Old Babylonian Arithmetical Hand Tablets

    Friberg, Jöran

    Pages 13-44

  • Old Babylonian Arithmetical Table Texts

    Friberg, Jöran

    Pages 45-99

  • Old Babylonian Metrological Table Texts

    Friberg, Jöran

    Pages 101-126

  • Mesopotamian Weight Stones

    Friberg, Jöran

    Pages 127-136

  • Neo-Sumerian Field Plan Texts (Ur III)

    Friberg, Jöran

    Pages 137-146

Buy this book

eBook $179.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-387-48977-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $229.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-387-34543-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
A Remarkable Collection of Babylonian Mathematical Texts
Book Subtitle
Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection: Cuneiform Texts I
Authors
Series Title
Sources and Studies in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences
Copyright
2007
Publisher
Springer-Verlag New York
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag New York
eBook ISBN
978-0-387-48977-3
DOI
10.1007/978-0-387-48977-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-387-34543-7
Series ISSN
2196-8810
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XX, 536
Number of Illustrations and Tables
259 b/w illustrations
Topics