As students, we are taught the basics about mathematics. What the core properties of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division mean. How they work, and if we are lucky, we go into a little history of these methods. For those of us who have learned history, we learned that the basis for modern mathematics came from the Greeks and their writings. While this is correct, to truly understand the historical aspect of mathematics and its origins, one must study a time before the Greeks, when math was a whole new language, and one we still today have not completely mastered. Perhaps the most interesting group to study is one of the first known civilizations, the Babylonians from Mesopotamia; the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in modern day Iraq. The Mesopotamian people are considered the founders of the first sophisticated, urban cities, and the founders of writing and keeping records. It was then that the idea of writing evolved as a means to record the most essentials of founding a city, mathematics. As a people who flourished from the land, it has been determined that the main uses for a mathematical language were utilitarian. It is believed that agriculture was invented in Mesopotamia, as the land between the rivers provided for much fertile ground (5). Because of this, research has found that the Babylonians made a number system to represent livestock, produce, and their basic way of life. According to Elanor Robson, they used “…small clay ‘tokens’ or counters’, made into various geometric...shapes” (2) . For them, each counter had both a qualitative and a quantitative meaning. So, there was actually not a one-to-one correspondence and this leads to the belief that the earliest mathematics by the Babylonians must not have been for counting and solving purposes, but instead for accounting and manufacturing purposes (2). From what we have discovered today, the Babylonians transcribed their work on many tablets written in what is today called Cuneiform notation (1). Because it was both a stable source and very plentiful, the Babylonians used clay to both build their buildings and transcribe their works. On these tablets, they kept record of the tables they created to solve linear equations, and used those tables to solve some of the most basic problems that they kept for a record. These tablets have become sources of pure satisfaction and amazement for researchers for generations. On these tablets, we have found that the Babylonians created their own number system, much like the one we use today, only of base 60 and of base 10. It is believed that this base 60 came to be because of how easily it worked with any numbers lower than it. For instance, 60 can be divided by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, and 30. Thus the Babylonians equated that number 60 to 0, much like number rings in ring theory (6). The break at 10 seems to show that the Babylonians did mathematics as a purely additive function, that is, the symbol for 40 is the symbol for 10 four times. In other words, the Babylonians used concepts like multiplication and division as faster forms of addition and subtraction, much like we do today. A table of the Babylonian base 60 is shown below. If one examines it, it is clear that their system was additive, in that the symbol for 10 is just duplicated over and over for multiples of 10. (4)

By creating a break at 60, the Mesopotamians displayed their knowledge of a place value system, and based on our research of ancient mathematics, they were actually one of only 4 cultures who understood the concept of place value in numerology (6). What is interesting is the Mesopotamians did not have a value for the number 0, and thus it seems they believed the notion of 0, like negative numbers, simply did not exist in the natural world (1). It is determined now that the notion of 0 likely came from the Indian mathematicians of the ancient worlds, who in turn likely got their notions of mathematics and number...

...Babylonian Mathematics1
1 Introduction
Our first knowledge of mankind’s use of mathematics comes from the Egyptians and Babylonians. Both civilizations developed mathematics that was similar in scope but different in particulars. There can be no denying the fact that the totality of their mathematics was profoundly elementary2 , but their astronomy of later times did achieve a level comparable to the Greeks.
Assyria...

...History of mathematics
A proof from Euclid's Elements, widely considered the most influential textbook of all time.[1]
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...

...HISTORY OF MATHEMATICS
The history of mathematics is nearly as old as humanity itself. Since antiquity, mathematics has been fundamental to advances in science, engineering, and philosophy. It has evolved from simple counting, measurement and calculation, and the systematic study of the shapes and motions of physical objects, through the application of abstraction, imagination and logic, to the broad, complex and often abstract discipline we know...

...The evolution of mathematics might be seen as an ever-increasing series of abstractions, or alternatively an expansion of subject matter. The first abstraction, which is shared by many animals,[19] was probably that of numbers: the realization that a collection of two apples and a collection of two oranges (for example) have something in common, namely quantity of their members.Evidenced by tallies found on bone, in addition to recognizing how to count physical objects,...

...Babylonian Government
Babylonia had a very good and simple government. Babylonia had a Monarchy government run by many kings. Hammurabi (6th king of dynasty) provided Babylon with a strong central government. This government was fair to all citizens and easily controlled. All the economy was controlled by the government, thus there were no private businesses. To keep the control of the economy kings sometimes placed priests in charge.
Important...

...Mathematics of the Greeks and the Mayans
Mathematics is the study of time, space, structure, and quantity which is used to calculate almost anything in the world from the amount of atoms in an element to calculating the air pressure in a room. Although levels of math such as calculus are not taught until college, the use and study of mathematics have been around since the beginning of time and the world wouldn’t be able to function without it. The...

...Babylonian Creation Myth
-Niyati Roy
The Enuma Elish (also known as The Seven Tablets of Creation) is the Mesopotamian creation myth whose title is derived from the opening lines of the piece, `When on High'. All of the tablets containing the myth, found at Ashur, Kish, Ashurbanipal's library at Nineveh, Sultantepe, and other excavated sites, date to c. 1100 BCE
In ancient times, there was no universe. There was only undifferentiated water swirling in chaos. Out of this...

...dealing with spatial relationships. It began with a practical need to measure shapes. It is the science of shape and size of things.
Geometry was one of the two fields of pre-modern mathematics, the other being the study of numbers.
ANCIENT GEOMETRY (3000BCE – 500BCE)
*Many ancient civilizations like the Babylonians, Egyptians, Hindus and Chinese, laid the foundation for geometry as practiced today.Before recorded history, geometry existed as simply, * the...

1980 Words |
6 Pages

Share this Document

{"hostname":"studymode.com","essaysImgCdnUrl":"\/\/images-study.netdna-ssl.com\/pi\/","useDefaultThumbs":true,"defaultThumbImgs":["\/\/stm-study.netdna-ssl.com\/stm\/images\/placeholders\/default_paper_1.png","\/\/stm-study.netdna-ssl.com\/stm\/images\/placeholders\/default_paper_2.png","\/\/stm-study.netdna-ssl.com\/stm\/images\/placeholders\/default_paper_3.png","\/\/stm-study.netdna-ssl.com\/stm\/images\/placeholders\/default_paper_4.png","\/\/stm-study.netdna-ssl.com\/stm\/images\/placeholders\/default_paper_5.png"],"thumb_default_size":"160x220","thumb_ac_size":"80x110","isPayOrJoin":false,"essayUpload":false,"site_id":1,"autoComplete":false,"isPremiumCountry":false,"userCountryCode":"US","logPixelPath":"\/\/www.smhpix.com\/pixel.gif","tracking_url":"\/\/www.smhpix.com\/pixel.gif","cookies":{"unlimitedBanner":"off"},"essay":{"essayId":37601749,"categoryName":"Periodicals","categoryParentId":"17","currentPage":1,"format":"text","pageMeta":{"text":{"startPage":1,"endPage":5,"pageRange":"1-5","totalPages":5}},"access":"premium","title":"Analysis of Babylonian Mathematics","additionalIds":[2,5,10,9],"additional":["Awards \u0026 Events","Computer Science","Geography","Entertainment"],"loadedPages":{"html":[],"text":[1,2,3,4,5]}},"user":null,"canonicalUrl":"http:\/\/www.studymode.com\/essays\/Analysis-Of-Babylonian-Mathematics-1606685.html","pagesPerLoad":50,"userType":"member_guest","ct":10,"ndocs":"1,500,000","pdocs":"6,000","cc":"10_PERCENT_1MO_AND_6MO","signUpUrl":"https:\/\/www.studymode.com\/signup\/","joinUrl":"https:\/\/www.studymode.com\/join","payPlanUrl":"\/checkout\/pay","upgradeUrl":"\/checkout\/upgrade","freeTrialUrl":"https:\/\/www.studymode.com\/signup\/?redirectUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.studymode.com%2Fcheckout%2Fpay%2Ffree-trial\u0026bypassPaymentPage=1","showModal":"get-access","showModalUrl":"https:\/\/www.studymode.com\/signup\/?redirectUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.studymode.com%2Fjoin","joinFreeUrl":"\/essays\/?newuser=1","siteId":1,"facebook":{"clientId":"306058689489023","version":"v2.8","language":"en_US"},"analytics":{"googleId":"UA-32718321-1"}}