A Remarkable Collection of Babylonian Mathematical Texts: Manuscripts in the Sch°yen Collection: Cuneiform Texts I

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Springer Science & Business Media, Oct 1, 2007 - Mathematics - 536 pages
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The sub-collection of mathematical cuneiform texts in the Sch°yen Collection makes a substantial addition to the known corpus of such texts. It contains 121 texts, not counting 151 multiplication tables and 53 small weight stones. According to the catalog at the end of the Index of Subjects below, where those 121 mathematical texts are ordered by content, nearly all known kinds, and some new kinds, of mathematical cun- form texts are represented in the collection. Therefore it has been possible to organize the present work as a broad general account of Mesopotamian mathematics, illustrated mainly by texts from the Sch°yen Collection, but occasionally also by previously published texts. The general disposition of the book is borrowed from my own concise but comprehensive survey of Mesopotamian mathematics in the article on “Mathematics” in Reallexikon der Assyriologie, vol. 7 (1990). My ambition has been to make the account easily accessible to all kinds of readers, yet still as detailed and exhaustive as possible. For that purpose, there is, for instance, an introductory Chapter 0 on “how to get a b- ter understanding of mathematical cuneiform texts”. The chapter begins with a discussion of the danger of unintentional anachronisms in translations of pre-Greek mathematical texts, and continues with a presentation of the kind of “conform” transliterations, translations, and interpretations, true to the original, that will be used throughout the book in discussions of individual texts.
 

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User Review  - KimMarie1 - LibraryThing

I 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

V
1
VI
2
VII
3
VIII
6
IX
13
XII
18
XIII
22
XIV
23
LXVI
355
LXVII
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LXVIII
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LXIX
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LXX
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LXXIII
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LXXIV
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LXXV
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XV
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XVI
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XIX
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XX
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XXI
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XXII
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XXIII
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XXIV
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XXV
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XXVIII
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XXIX
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XXX
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XXXI
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XXXII
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XXXIV
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XXXVI
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XXXVII
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XXXVIII
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XXXIX
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XL
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XLI
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XLII
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XLV
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XLVI
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XLVIII
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XLIX
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L
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LI
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LII
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LIII
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LIV
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LV
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LVI
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LVIII
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LX
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LXI
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LXII
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LXIII
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LXIV
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LXV
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LXXVI
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LXXVII
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LXXVIII
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LXXIX
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LXXX
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LXXXII
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LXXXIII
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LXXXVI
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LXXXVII
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LXXXVIII
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LXXXIX
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XC
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XCII
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XCIII
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XCIV
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XCV
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XCVI
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XCVII
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XCVIII
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XCIX
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C
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CI
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CIII
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CIV
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CV
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CVII
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CVIII
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CIX
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CX
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CXI
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CXII
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CXIII
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CXIV
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CXV
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CXVI
465
CXVIII
503
CXIX
509
CXX
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CXXI
521
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Page 3 - Any of these translations have their own merits and demerits: it is almost impossible to find a satisfactory translation for any Old Babylonian mathematical word in modern English, as the concepts behind them are so different from ours.

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