*Science and Its Times*. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.

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## Overview

A number of important algebraic results had been calculated by Babylonian mathematicians around 2000 B.C. The Egyptians also addressed the solution of algebraic problems, but did not advance as far, possibly due to their more cumbersome number system. The Greeks used algebraic methods in support of their interests in geometry and in the theory of numbers. The Arabs preserved Greek mathematical manuscripts and integrated Greek and Hindu ideas on algebra in books that would reach Italy during the Renaissance and stimulate a development of algebraic ideas and important new results.

## Background

In its modern and elementary sense, algebra is the branch of mathematics concerned with finding the values of unknown quantities defined by mathematical relationships. The Babylonians were the first group to concern themselves, or at least to have left a record of their concern, with algebraic problems. The term "Babylonian" denotes peoples living in and...

This section contains 1,580 words(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page) |