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Taming the Unknown – A History of Algebra from Antiquity to the Early Twentieth Century - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Taming the Unknown: A History of Algebra from Antiquity to the Early Twentieth Century

Victor J. Katz and Karen Hunger Parshall


What is algebra? For some, it is an abstract language of x's and y's. For mathematics majors and professional mathematicians, it is a world of axiomatically defined constructs like groups, rings, and fields. This book considers how these two seemingly different types of algebra evolved and how they relate. The book explores the history of algebra, from its roots in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, China, and India, through its development in the medieval Islamic world and medieval and early modern Europe, to its modern form in the early twentieth century. Defining algeb ... More

Keywords: algebra, groups, rings, fields, analytic geometry, equations, curves, symbolism, ancient civilization

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780691149059
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691149059.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Victor J. Katz, author
University of Virgina

Karen Hunger Parshall, author
University of Virgina