THE HISTORY OF ALGEBRA

The word Algebra is derived from the word "Al-Jabr" for the Arab mathematician Mohammed Ibn Musa Al-Khowarizmi who wrote the first algebra book in 830 A.D. titled, ILM Al-Jabr Wal Muqabalah.

The earliest writings on algebra date back to an ancient book written on Papyrus about 2000 B.C. by the Egyptian priest Ahmes.

Clay Babylonian tablets, circa 1800 B.C., showed they were far advanced in algebra with algebraic equations, series progressions and the algebraic functions of right triangles.

Our system of numbers called the Hindu-Arabic system, originated in India around 200 B.C. and appeared in Europe by 500 A.D. The logical foundation of this system was not formulated until the late Nineteenth Century.

Aristarchus (310-230 B.C.) of Samos Alexandria is the first known person to propose the hypothesis that the earth and the planets all revolve about the fixed sun, called the Heliocentric Hypothesis, but his theory was too radical for Greek thought.

Given the above, it has become obvious that the use of our modern Arabic numbers (i.e. 1, 2, 3, etc.) missed the Roman Empire and did not get to Europe until 500 A.D. The Roman Empire, which fell in about 400 A.D., had only the cumbersome Roman Numerals for computation and little or no algebraic rationale, making the sophisticated society they built even more remarkable.

It is believed by some scholars that if the Romans had the Arabic numbers combined with basic algebra that the world would still be speaking Latin, Caesar would be surveying his international domain in a private super-sonic jet and we would have long since colonized our solar system with the planet Mars and the moon being a suburb of Rome.


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