## A Remarkable Collection of Babylonian Mathematical Texts: Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection: Cuneiform Texts IThe book analyzes the mathematical tablets which are in the possession of a private collector, Martin Schoyen. This collection contains all sorts of tablets, some similar to classical ones but also others with fascinating new material. Here the author translates their mathematical content, compares it with previous known material, then evaluates the period of the tablet and its purpose. This allows the author to provide new insights into the interpretation of some classical tablets, as for example Plimpton 322 which has an exclusive appendix. What makes this book so unique is the light being shed on Babylonian mathematics. For instance, new evidence of Babylonian familiarity with sophisticated mathematical objects is provided, including the knowledge of the three dimensional Pythagorean equation and the familiarity with the geometry of the icosahedron is new and unexpected. The author is a master of analysis of the errors found in the tablets. It is well known that computational errors in the tablets are revealing of the algorithms employed in the computations. The author exploits with mastery this clever technique to gain new insight in the mathematical reasoning behind the content of the tablets. From the analysis it becomes increasingly clear that Babylonians were outstanding calculators, probably only comparable in modern times with exhibition genius calculators. For example, it appears that schoolboys were familiar with the multiplication tables at least up to 25!. He also gives numerous geometrical possible explanations and interpretations of the tablets. Another very important finding is the use of the zero notation in novel contexts and periods. The book is very carefully written and organized, the tablets are classified according to their mathematical content and purpose, while useful drawings and pictures are provided for the most interesting tablets. The author makes a great effort to make the material accessible to both assyriologists and mathematicians. There is an introduction with basic background on babylonian mathematics and on numerous occasions the author reviews basic mathematical material |

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#### LibraryThing Review

User Review - KimMarie1 - LibraryThingI enjoy studying cuneiform texts and in particular ancient mathematics but I found this book quite hard to follow. The examples would often note explain in detail how one gets from point A to point D ... Read full review

### Contents

How to Get a Better Understanding of Mathematical Cuneiform Texts | 1 |

OldBabylonianArithmeticalHandTablets | 13 |

OldBabylonianArithmeticalTableTexts | 45 |

6 | 147 |

TheBeginningandtheEndoftheSumerianKingList | 231 |

Three Old Babylonian Mathematical Problem Texts from Uruk | 245 |

Three Problem Texts Not Belonging to Any Known Group of Texts | 295 |

Subtractive Notations for Numbers in Mathematical Cuneiform Texts | 355 |

Old Babylonian Combined Metrological Tables | 398 |

Old Akkadian Metric Division Exercises | 407 |

TSS 50 671 Shuruppak Sexagesimal Metric Division Exercises ED IIIa | 414 |

A Combined MetroMathematical Table Text | 419 |

A Parallel Text from Adab ED IIIb | 425 |

Plimpton 322 a Table of Parameters for igiigi bi Problems | 433 |

ManyPlace Squares of Squares in Late Babylonian Mathematical Texts | 453 |

VocabularyfortheMSTexts | 503 |

The Old Babylonian Combined Multiplication Table | 361 |

Cuneiform Systems of Notations for Numbers and Measures | 373 |

Old Babylonian Complete Metrological Tables | 385 |

The Complete Metrological tables for Systems LnNSOB and LcNSOB | 391 |

509 | |

521 | |

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### Common terms and phrases

30 ninda 60 sila a-na a.rá Akkadian appr area number asa5 Babylonian mathematical texts Babylonian mathematicians barig barley-corns bricks bùr clay tablet column combined multiplication table computed cube sides cubits cuneiform danna diagonal en.nam equal equalsided equilateral triangle exercises Friberg front geometric gín given number gú.bar hand copy hand tablet head number i-na igi.bi in.si inscribed King List Larsa lines lugal ma.na man-days many-place market rate metric algebra minas Nippur obverse Old Babylonian mathematical place value notation Plimpton 322 problem quadratic equation recombination text rectangle regular sexagesimal number reverse shekel Shuruppak sìla single multiplication tables Sippar solution procedure square side sub-tables sukud Sumerian Sumerian King List ta-mar table for system table of reciprocals table of squares table text transliteration transversal trapezoid Ur III Uruk weight