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History of mathematics

Page from ''The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing'' by Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī (c. AD 820)

The area of study known as the history of mathematics is primarily an investigation into the origin of discoveries in [mathematics] and, to a lesser extent, an investigation into the mathematical methods and notation of the past.

Before the modern age and the worldwide spread of knowledge, written examples of new mathematical developments have come to light only in a few locales. The most ancient mathematical texts available are [Plimpton 322] ( [Babylonian mathematics] c. 1900 BC), the [Rhind Mathematical Papyrus] (Egyptian mathematics c. 2000-1800 BC) and the [Moscow Mathematical Papyrus] ( [Egyptian mathematics] c. 1890 BC). All of these texts concern the so-called [Pythagorean theorem] , which seems to be the most ancient and widespread mathematical development after basic arithmetic and geometry.

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