About this book
The purpose of presenting this book to the scholarly world is twofold. In the first place, I wish to provide for the English reader a translation of the earliest extant Arabic work of Hindi arithmetic. It shows this system at its earliest stages and the first steps in its development, a subject not yet well known except for readers of some Arabic publications by the present writer. This book is therefore of particular importance for students of the history of mathematical techniques. The medieval author, AI-UqHdisI, was, it seems, not noticed by bibliographers; neither was his work, which lay hardly noticed by modern scholars until 1960 when I happened to see a microfilm copy of it in the Institute of Arabic Manu scripts in Cairo. A steady labour immediately followed to make a comparative study of the text together with over twenty other texts, some of them not yet known to scholars. This pursuit resulted in (i) a doctoral degree awarded to me in 1966 by the University of Khartoum, (ii) the publication of several texts in Arabic including the text here translated, and (iii) the publication of several articles in Arabic and English on the history of arithmetic in the Middle Ages. The second purpose of this book is to make the main results of my study available to the English reader.
Calculation Mathematica arithmetic history of mathematics