Why the Sciences of the Ancient World Matter

Mathematics, Administrative and Economic Activities in Ancient Worlds

Editors: Michel, Cécile, Chemla, Karine (Eds.)

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  • Combines perspectives from history of mathematics, economics and administrative history with textual, and archaeological perspectives
  • Offers new interpretations of administrative and economic texts, drawing on an analysis of their connections with mathematical activities
  • Discusses the variety of mathematical cultures in Mesopotamia, in the South Asian subcontinent, in China and in Medieval Europe
  • Sheds light on key basic mathematical concepts like area and volume
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eBook 93,08 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-48389-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 114,39 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-48388-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions & severe weather in the US may cause delays
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
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About this book

This book focuses on the ancient Near East, early imperial China, South-East Asia, and medieval Europe, shedding light on mathematical knowledge and practices documented by sources relating to the administrative and economic activities of officials, merchants and other actors. It compares these to mathematical texts produced in related school contexts or reflecting the pursuit of mathematics for its own sake to reveal the diversity of mathematical practices in each of these geographical areas of the ancient world. Based on case studies from various periods and political, economic and social contexts, it explores how, in each part of the world discussed, it is possible to identify and describe the different cultures of quantification and computation as well as their points of contact. The thirteen chapters draw on a wide variety of texts from ancient Near East, China, South-East Asia and medieval Europe, which are analyzed by researchers from various fields, including mathematics, history, philology, archaeology and economics. The book will appeal to historians of science, economists and institutional historians of the ancient and medieval world, and also to Assyriologists, Indologists, Sinologists and experts on medieval Europe.

About the authors

Cécile Michel is a Senior Researcher at the laboratory ArScAn, at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), (CNRS, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Université Paris Nanterre, Ministère de la Culture) and a Professor at Hamburg University. An Assyriologist, she works on Assyrian and Babylonian cuneiform texts from the 2nd millenium BC and conducts research on social and economic history, gender studies, material culture, education, mathematics and literacy. She is a member of the international team in charge of the decipherment of the private archives of Assyrian merchants excavated in central Anatolia. Her publications include Correspondance des marchands de Kaniš au début du IIe millénaire av. J.-C. (Le Cerf, 2001), Women in Aššur and Kaneš from the private archives of Assyrian merchants of the early 2nd millennium BC (SBL, in press), Richesse et sociétés (ed. with C. Baroin, De Boccard 2013), Wool Economy in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean: from the Beginnings of Sheep Husbandry to Institutional Textile Industry (ed. with C. Breniquet, Oxbow Books 2014), and The Role of Women in Work and Society in the Ancient Near East (ed. with B. Lion, Walter de Gruyter 2016).
Karine Chemla is a Senior Researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), laboratory SPHERE (CNRS & Université de Paris. Her research focuses the historical anthropological aspects of the relationship between mathematics and the various cultures in the context of which it is practiced. Chemla published Les Neuf Chapitres (with Guo Shuchun, Dunod, 2004), and edited The History of Mathematical Proof in Ancient Traditions (Cambridge University Press, 2012); Texts, Textual Acts and the History of Science (with J. Virbel, Springer, 2015); The Oxford Handbook of Generality in Mathematics and the Sciences (with R. Chorlay and D. Rabouin, Oxford University Press, 2016); Numerical Tables and Tabular Layouts in Chinese Scholarly Documents (Special issues of East Asian Science, Technology and Medicine, 43 (2016, March 2017) & 44 (2016, April 2017)); and Cultures without culturalism: The making of scientific knowledge (with Evelyn Fox Keller, Duke University Press, 2017). Chemla is a member of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (2005), of the Academia Europaea (2013), and of the American Philosophical Society (2019).

Table of contents (13 chapters)

Table of contents (13 chapters)
  • Mathematics, Administrative and Economic Activities in Ancient Worlds: An Introduction

    Pages 1-48

    Michel, Cécile (et al.)

  • A Comparative Study of Prices and Wages in Royal Inscriptions, Administrative Texts and Mathematical Texts in the Old Babylonian Kingdom of Larsa

    Pages 51-80

    Michel, Cécile (et al.)

  • Computation in the Arthaśāstra

    Pages 81-124

    McClish, Mark

  • Official Salaries and State Taxes as Seen in Qin-Han Manuscripts, with a Focus on Mathematical Texts

    Pages 125-155

    Peng 彭浩, Hao

  • Insights into the Administration of Ancient Irrigation Systems in Third Millennium BCE Mesopotamia

    Pages 159-200

    Rost, Stephanie

Buy this book

eBook 93,08 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-48389-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 114,39 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-48388-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions & severe weather in the US may cause delays
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Mathematics, Administrative and Economic Activities in Ancient Worlds
Editors
  • Cécile Michel
  • Karine Chemla
Series Title
Why the Sciences of the Ancient World Matter
Series Volume
5
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-48389-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-48389-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-48388-3
Series ISSN
2662-9933
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VI, 568
Number of Illustrations
127 b/w illustrations, 35 illustrations in colour
Topics