# Ancient India - Aryabhatta

History 101

2/17/2013

Aryabhatta

I’ve chosen to write my paper on Aryabhatta I. He was a famous astronomer and mathematician of Ancient India who is considered to be one of the most influential people of both studies, changing the course of each to a great extent. Born in 476 A.D. in Kerala, but he is known to have lived in Patliputra at times during his life. One of the works he is most known for is his book the “Aryabhatiya” which he wrote in 499 A.D. He wrote several other books in his town but no others have made it to present day except this one. This masterpiece of his starts off with a 10 verse introductions, then followed by a mathematical section with 33 verses that gives out 66 mathematical rules, all without proofs however. The math section has algebra, arithmetic, plane trigonometry and spherical trigonometry, in addition to advanced mathematics on continued fractions, quadratic equations, sums of power series and a table of sines. The section after the mathematics is a 25 verse sections that gives us a glimpse into the planetary models. And the last section runs about 50 verses, it’s dedicated to sphere and eclipses. Aryabhatta is believed to have gone against the beliefes of his time regarding cosmogony where eclipses were believed to be caused by pseudo-planetary nodes Rahu and Ketu. He explained that these ecplipses were simply cast by earth or shadows of objects in line with earth. Aryabhatta is the first pioneer to say the earth is actually a sphere and that it rotates on its own axis which results in what we know now as day and night. He also proposed geocentric model of the solar system, which means earth is in the middle of the universe and actually lays the foundation for the concept of gravitation. Even some of his astronomical calculations were used to eventually help make the Panchanga (Hindu Calendar).

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