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## Details

Genre/Form: | History |
---|---|

Material Type: | Internet resource |

Document Type: | Book, Internet Resource |

All Authors / Contributors: |
Eleanor Robson |

ISBN: | 9780691091822 069109182X |

OCLC Number: | 174112760 |

Awards: | Winner of History of Science Society's Pfizer Award 2011. Commended for British-Kuwait Friendship Society Prize in Middle Eastern Studies 2009 (United Kingdom). Shortlisted for Choice Magazine Outstanding Reference/Academic Book Award 2009. |

Description: | xxvii, 441 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm |

Contents: | Chapter one: Scope, methods, sources -- 1.1 The subject: ancient Iraq and its mathematics -- 1.2 the artefacts: Assyriological and mathematical analysis -- 1.3 The contexts: textuality, materiality, and social history -- Chapter two: Before the mid-third millennium -- 2.1 Background and evidence -- 2.2 Quantitative management and emerging statehood -- 2.3 Enumeration and abstraction -- 2.4 Symmetry, geometry, and visual culture -- Chapter three: The later third millennium -- 3.1 Background and evidence -- 3.2 Maps, plans, and itineraries: visual and textual representations of spatial relationships -- 3.3 Accounting for time and labour: approximation, standardisation, prediction -- 3.4 The development of the sexagesimal place value system (spvs) -- Chapter four: The early second millennium -- 4.1 Background and evidence -- 4.2 Metrology, multiplication, memorisation: elementary mathematics education -- 4.3 Words and pictures, reciprocals and squares -- 4.4 Measurement, justice, and the ideology of kingship -- Chapter five: Assyria -- 5.1 Background and evidence -- 5.2 Palatial and mercantile numeracy in early Assyria -- 5.3 Counting heads, marking time: quantifications in royal inscriptions and records -- 5.4 Aru: number manipulation in Neo-Assyrian scholarship -- Chapter six: The later second millennium -- 6.1 Background and evidence -- 6.2 Tabular accounting in southern Babylonia -- 6.3 Land surveyors and their records in northern Babylonia -- 6.4 Quantification as literary device in the epic of Gilgames -- Chapter seven: The early first millennium -- 7.1 Background and evidence -- 7.2 Libraries and schools: the formalisation of the first-millennium scribal curriculum -- 7.3 Home economics: numeracy in a mid-first-millennium urban household -- 7.4 Measuring houses, maintaining professionalism -- Chapter eight: The later first millennium -- 8.1 Background and evidence -- 8.2 Babylon: mathematics in the service of astronomy? -- 8.3 Achaemenid Uruk: the Sangu-Ninurta and Ekur-zkir families -- 8.4 Seleucid Uruk: the Hunzu and Sin-leqi-unninni families -- Chapter nine: Epilogue -- 9.1 The big picture: three millennia of mathematics in ancient Iraq -- 9.2 Ancient mathematics in the modern world -- 9.3 Inside ancient mathematics: translation, representation, interpretation -- 9.4 The worlds of ancient mathematics: history, society, community -- Appendix a: Metrological systems -- Appendix b: Published mathematical tablets. |

Responsibility: | Eleanor Robson. |

More information: |

### Abstract:

## Reviews

*Editorial reviews*

Publisher Synopsis

Winner of the 2011 Pfizer Award for Best Scholarly Book, History of Science Society One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2009 Honourable Mention in the British-Kuwait Friendship Society Prize in Middle Eastern Studies 2009, British Society for Middle Eastern Studies "[F]ascinating."--Edward Rothstein, New York Times "Robson brings both a profound erudition in cuneiform and a nondogmatic constructionist view of mathematics to tell the history of Mesopotamian mathematics over the three millennia before the Common Era, connecting as she does the mathematical accomplishments to the cultural and societal norms of the day... A magisterial work, lucidly written, certain to endure."--M. Schiff, Choice "Author Robson deals admirably with an enormous scope (more than 3,000 years, with roughly equal space devoted to each 500-year epoch); numerous sources (950 published clay tablets, all of which are available at a simple Website); and the cultural context (social history, an ethnomathematical approach)."--Mathematics Magazine "Robson's book is a wonderful summary of what we know so far, and will be the standard for this generation, but the potential is there for far more research to teach us even more about mathematics in ancient Iraq."--Victor J. Katz, Mathematical Reviews "For archaeologists and archaeologically-minded historians ... Robson provide[s] significant new insights into the mathematics of ancient civilisations, while challenging us to consider how language, material culture, and socio-technical practices are integrated, not only in mathematics, but in many domains."--Stephen Chrisomalis, Antiquity "The wealth of detail and breadth of scope make this an excellent resource for a wide variety of readership. It can be read as one great narrative sweep, or one can bear down on a particular facet. The work is a huge advance in the presentation of modern scholarship on ancient mathematics to interested readers, specialist and non-specialist alike."--Duncan J. Melville, Historia Mathematica "Nothing comparable has been done before, and it has been a great pleasure to read the book, from which I have learned much."--Jens Hoyrup, Mathematical Intelligencer "Eleanor Robson's book Mathematics in Ancient Iraq is presently unique and will surely become a classic in the history of early mathematics. Despite the meticulous and detailed presentation of a representative selection of available sources, the book is very readable and captures the attention of the interested reader from the first to the last page. I recommend it to anyone who would like to learn something about the fascinating story of the development of mathematical activities in Mesopotamia."--Peter Damerow, Notices of the AMS "[Mathematics in Ancient Iraq] is argued passionately, persuasively and, I am pleased to add, enjoyably."--Bob Berghout, Australian Mathematical Society Gazette "Mathematics in Ancient Iraq fills a gap that has existed for a very long time."--Annette Imhausen, British Society for the History of Maths "Robson displays a confidence, familiarity, and breadth of scholarship that is impressive and inspiring. She epitomizes a new wave of research in the history of mathematics. She provides context, setting, and interpretative themes for generations of scholars to come, whether they will embrace them or resist them. Indeed, Robson's work is more than just a social history--it is emblematic of a new approach to this discipline. The details will excite specialists, the generalities will delight the uninitiated. 'Sparkling' indeed, this work is guaranteed to be an influential and foundational reference book, indispensable to the collections of the many disciplines it draws from."--Clemency Montelle, Journal of the American Oriental Society "Robson, as a professional assyriologist, is preeminently well positioned to write a history that situates Mesopotamian mathematics in its ancient social and intellectual context; and whether or not one always agrees with her interpretations of the mathematics, her competence in these aspects is nowhere in doubt."--Alexander Jones, British Journal for the History of Science "[T]he book is a very significant contribution to the history of mathematics. It is well written, solidly founded and argued, and easy to understand. It is a fine and important addition to the literature on Babylonian mathematics, and it will be very useful to readers from both inside and outside the field. The book is warmly recommended to everyone who is interested in mathematics and its history, in ancient cultures, or in science seen as an integrated part of culture, and to the broader public of historians of early science or Mesopotamian culture."--Lis Brack-Bernsen, Journal of World History "The book contains numerous charts, tables, images and databases that help us understand the issues addressed. It is excellently documented and it contains a comprehensive and up to date bibliography. Eleanor Robson is a scholar who commands the field that she investigates."--Piedad Yuste, Metascience "[T]he publication of a book of this kind is very welcome. Nothing like it has been published before, and it is going to be immensely helpful to both writers and readers of future articles and books about the subject."--Joran Friberg, Archive Fur Orientforschung Read more...

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### Related Subjects:(13)

- Mathematics, Ancient -- Iraq -- History.
- Mathematics -- Iraq -- History.
- Mathématiques -- Irak -- Histoire.
- Mathématiques anciennes -- Irak -- Histoire.
- Mathematics.
- Mathematics, Ancient.
- Iraq.
- Mathematik.
- Sozialgeschichte.
- Babylonien.
- Matematik -- historia -- Irak.
- Mathematics -- Iraq -- History
- Mathematics, Ancient -- Iraq -- History

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