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A History of Elementary Mathematics (1898)

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A History of Elementary Mathematics (1898)

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    Available in PDF Format | A History of Elementary Mathematics (1898).pdf | Unknown
    Florian Cajori
Excerpt from book: MIDDLE AGES. THE HINDOOS. The first people who distinguished themselves in mathematical research, after the time of the ancient Greeks, belonged, like them, to the Aryan race. It was, however, not a European, but an Asiatic nation, and had its seat in far-off India. Unlike the Greek, Indian society was fixed into castes. The only castes enjoying the privilege and leisure for advanced study and thinking were the Brahmins, whose prime business was religion and philosophy, and the Kshatriyns, who attended to war and government. Of the development of Hindoo mathematics we know but little. A few manuscripts bear testimony that the Indians had climbed to a lofty height, but their path of ascent is no longer traceable. /It would seem that Greek mathematics grew up under more favourable conditions than the Hindoo, for in Greece it attained an independent existence, and was studied for its own sake, while Hindoo mathematics always remained merely a servant to astronomy. Furthermore, in Greece mathematics was a science of the people, free to be cultivated by all who had a liking for it: in India, as in Egypt, it was in the hands chiefly of the priests. Again, the Indians were in the habit of putting into verse all mathematical results they obtained, and of clothing them in obscure and mystic language,which, though well adapted to aid the memory of him who already understood the subject, was often unintelligible to the uninitiated. Although the great Hindoo mathematicians doubtless reasoned out most or all of their discoveries, yet they were not in the habit of preserving the proofs, so that the naked theorems and processe's of operation are all that have come down to our time. Very different in these respects were the Greeks. Obscurity of language was generally avoided, and proo...   show more
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  • PDF | 226 pages
  • Florian Cajori
  • General Books LLC
  • Unknown
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