*Victor J. Katz and Karen Hunger Parshall*

- Published in print:
- 2014
- Published Online:
- October 2017
- ISBN:
- 9780691149059
- eISBN:
- 9781400850525
- Item type:
- chapter

- Publisher:
- Princeton University Press
- DOI:
- 10.23943/princeton/9780691149059.003.0004
- Subject:
- Mathematics, History of Mathematics

This chapter traces the development of mathematics in the vibrant research and cultural complex that began to coalesce around the Museum and Library in Alexandria around 300 BCE. This distinguished ...
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This chapter traces the development of mathematics in the vibrant research and cultural complex that began to coalesce around the Museum and Library in Alexandria around 300 BCE. This distinguished scholastic history lasted even during the Roman takeover of the city in 27 BCE, as scholars continued to gather and work at the Museum despite the unsettled social climate. Among them, Diophantus (fl. 250 CE) produced one of the first Greek texts that can be said to have both a heritage and a history that may be termed algebraic—namely, his compilation of problems entitled Arithmetica. Only ten books remain of the original thirteen Arithmetica, and the chapter provides a sampling of these.Less

This chapter traces the development of mathematics in the vibrant research and cultural complex that began to coalesce around the Museum and Library in Alexandria around 300 BCE. This distinguished scholastic history lasted even during the Roman takeover of the city in 27 BCE, as scholars continued to gather and work at the Museum despite the unsettled social climate. Among them, Diophantus (*fl.* 250 CE) produced one of the first Greek texts that can be said to have both a heritage and a history that may be termed algebraic—namely, his compilation of problems entitled *Arithmetica*. Only ten books remain of the original thirteen *Arithmetica*, and the chapter provides a sampling of these.

*Judith Herrin*

- Published in print:
- 2013
- Published Online:
- October 2017
- ISBN:
- 9780691153018
- eISBN:
- 9781400845224
- Item type:
- chapter

- Publisher:
- Princeton University Press
- DOI:
- 10.23943/princeton/9780691153018.003.0015
- Subject:
- History, World Medieval History

This chapter examines how the mathematical mysteries of Diophantus were preserved, embellished, developed, and enjoyed in Byzantium by many generations of amateur mathematicians like Pierre de ...
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This chapter examines how the mathematical mysteries of Diophantus were preserved, embellished, developed, and enjoyed in Byzantium by many generations of amateur mathematicians like Pierre de Fermat, who formulated what became known as Fermat's last theorem. Fermat was a seventeenth-century scholar and an amateur mathematician who developed several original concepts in addition to the famous “last theorem.” One of his sources was the Arithmetika, a collection of number problems written by Diophantus, a mathematician who appears to have flurished in Alexandria in the third century AD. It was through the Greek text translated into Latin that Fermat became familiar with Diophantus's mathematical problems, and in particular the one at book II, 8, which encouraged the formulation of his own last theorem. Fermat's last theorem claims that “the equation xn + yn = zn has no nontrivial solutions when n is greater than 2”.Less

This chapter examines how the mathematical mysteries of Diophantus were preserved, embellished, developed, and enjoyed in Byzantium by many generations of amateur mathematicians like Pierre de Fermat, who formulated what became known as Fermat's last theorem. Fermat was a seventeenth-century scholar and an amateur mathematician who developed several original concepts in addition to the famous “last theorem.” One of his sources was the *Arithmetika*, a collection of number problems written by Diophantus, a mathematician who appears to have flurished in Alexandria in the third century AD. It was through the Greek text translated into Latin that Fermat became familiar with Diophantus's mathematical problems, and in particular the one at book II, 8, which encouraged the formulation of his own last theorem. Fermat's last theorem claims that “the equation *xn* + *yn* = *zn* has no nontrivial solutions when *n* is greater than 2”.