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Jacques Sesiano

An Ancient Greek Treatise on Magic Squares

2020.
VIII, 236 p., 83 b/w ill.
hard cover
ISBN 978-3-515-12852-0

Kurztext

The recently discovered Arabic translation of an anonymous ancient treatise describing advanced methods for constructing magic squares has improved our knowledge of Greek mathematics considerably. The early tenth-century translator reports that he found two manuscripts of this treatise, for the greater part damaged by termites. However, since the preserved parts of one made up for the destroyed parts of the other, he could manage to complete his work. This translation was then the starting point for studies on magic squares in Arabic. It appears thus that there existed Greek studies on the subject of magic squares, and at a remarkable stage of advancement. But this being the only text preserved, we are left in ignorance of the earlier history.

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