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Accueil > Publications > Ouvrages parus > Ouvrages des membres de SPHERE : 2015–... > Mathematics, Administrative and Economic Activities in Ancient Worlds

Mathematics, Administrative and Economic Activities in Ancient Worlds

Cécile Michel (CNRS, ArScAn-HAROC), Karine Chemla (CNRS, SPHere & Université de Paris (Diderot)), (Dir.)

"This book focuses on the ancient Near East, early imperial China, South-East Asia, and medieval Europe, shedding light on mathematical knowledge and practices documented by sources relating to the administrative and economic activities of officials, merchants and other actors. It compares these to mathematical texts produced in related school contexts or reflecting the pursuit of mathematics for its own sake to reveal the diversity of mathematical practices in each of these geographical areas of the ancient world. Based on case studies from various periods and political, economic and social contexts, it explores how, in each part of the world discussed, it is possible to identify and describe the different cultures of quantification and computation as well as their points of contact. The thirteen chapters draw on a wide variety of texts from ancient Near East, China, South-East Asia and medieval Europe, which are analyzed by researchers from various fields, including mathematics, history, philology, archaeology and economics. The book will appeal to historians of science, economists and institutional historians of the ancient and medieval world, and also to Assyriologists, Indologists, Sinologists and experts on medieval Europe".

  • Combines perspectives from history of mathematics, economics
    and administrative history with textual, and archaeological perspectives
  • Offers new interpretations of administrative and economic texts, drawing
    on an analysis of their connections with mathematical activities
  • Discusses the variety of mathematical cultures in Mesopotamia,
    in the South Asian subcontinent, in China and in Medieval Europe
  • Sheds light on key basic mathematical concepts like area and volume"

: : Springer, collection Why the Sciences of the Ancient World Matter
: : 1ere éd. 2020
: : VI, 568 p., 162 illus., 35 illus. in color.
: : Langue : anglais
: : ISBN 978-3-030-48389-0
: : Formats : imprimé, EPUB, PDF


  • Mathematics, Administrative and Economic Activities in Ancient Worlds : An Introduction, p. 1-48
    Michel, Cécile (et al.)
  • A Comparative Study of Prices and Wages in Royal Inscriptions, Administrative Texts and Mathematical Texts in the Old Babylonian Kingdom of Larsa, p. 51-80
    Michel, Cécile (et al.)
  • Computation in the Arthaśāstra, p. 81-124
    McClish, Mark
  • Official Salaries and State Taxes as Seen in Qin-Han Manuscripts, with a Focus on Mathematical Texts, p. 125-155
    Peng 彭浩, Hao
  • Insights into the Administration of Ancient Irrigation Systems in Third Millennium BCE Mesopotamia,
    p. 159-200
    Rost, Stephanie
  • Mathematical Computations in the Management of Public Construction Work in Mesopotamia
    (End of the Third and Beginning of the Second Millennium BCE), p. 201-237
    Sauvage, Martin
  • The Use of Volume in the Measurement of Grain in Early Imperial China, p. 239-279
    Chemla 林力娜, Karine (et al.)
  • The Measurement of Fields During the Pre-sargonic Period, p. 283-344
    Lecompte, Camille
  • Early-Dynastic Tables from Southern Mesopotamia, or the Multiple Facets of the Quantification
    of Surfaces, p. 345-395
    Proust, Christine
  • Computation Practices of the Assyrian Merchants During the Nineteenth Century BCE, p. 399-433
    Michel, Cécile
  • Connecting a Disconnect Can Evidence for a Scribal Education Be Found in a Professional Setting During the Old Babylonian Period ?, p. 435-462
    Middeke-Conlin, Robert
  • Loans and Interest in Sanskrit Legal and Mathematical Texts, p. 463-501
    Sarma, Sreeramula Rajeswara (et al.)
  • Computational Practices Around Coins and Coinage : John of Murs’ Quadripartitum Numerorum and French Money Changers’ Books, p. 503-531
    Bompaire, Marc (et al.)