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A Discourse Concerning Algebra: English Algebra to 1685 by Jacqueline A. Stedall

By Jacqueline A. Stedall

A Discourse touching on Algebra, offers a brand new and readable account of the increase of algebra in England from the Medieval interval to the later years of the seventeenth Century.Stedall's ebook follows the reception and dissemination of vital algebraic principles and strategies from continental Europe and the ensuing revolution within the kingdom of English arithmetic within the seventeenth century.

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1 The final verse of the Carmen de algorismo of Alexander Ville Dieu, and a multiplication table with a list of squares and cubes (Bodleian Library MS Savile 17, f. 108v). Usually known as the Massa computi it is internally dated at 1200,44 so his algorism may be supposed to date from roughly the same period. Even more influential than Ville Dieu's Carmen was the Algorismus of Johannes Sacrobosco (c. 47 Like the Carmen, the Algorismus dealt with the material first set out by al-Khwārizmī: place-value, addition, subtraction, doubling and halving, multiplication and A DISCOURSE CONCERNING ALGEBRA 27 division, all for integers.

108v). Usually known as the Massa computi it is internally dated at 1200,44 so his algorism may be supposed to date from roughly the same period. Even more influential than Ville Dieu's Carmen was the Algorismus of Johannes Sacrobosco (c. 47 Like the Carmen, the Algorismus dealt with the material first set out by al-Khwārizmī: place-value, addition, subtraction, doubling and halving, multiplication and A DISCOURSE CONCERNING ALGEBRA 27 division, all for integers. To these Sacrobosco added cube roots and an elementary treatment of arithmetic progression.

The somme of the rule of equation: When any question is propounded apperteinyng to this rule, you shall imagin a name for the nomber, that is to bee soughte, as you remember, that you learned in the rule of false position. And with that nomber shall you procede, accordyng to the question, until you find a Cossicke nomber, equalle to that nomber, that the question expresseth, whiche you shall reduce ever more to the leaste nombers… The whetstone remained for many years the only English textbook of algebra.

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