Saturday, July 30, 2011
This is a page from a manuscript of the Algebra (Maqalah fi al-jabra wa-al muqabalah) of Omar Khayyam (1048-1131). This work is known for its solution of the various cases of the cubic equation by finding the intersections of appropriately chosen conic sections.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
A Treatise of Algebra (1685) by John Wallis (1616-1703). This is probably the first attempt at a history of the subject of algebra, presented in the context of a text on the subject.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
The Arithmetic of Boethius (480-524) dates from the early sixth century. This page is from a manuscript (Plimpton MS 165) that dates from approximately 1294, written on vellum. The above image is from page f. 13 and lists the powers of 2, 3, and 4 and also has some other tables representing multiplication by some of these powers. Note that the forms of the figures are not always identical to the modern form.