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On the Chinese Origin of the Galley Method of Arithmetical Division

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2009

Extract

Before 1600 the most common method of division used in Europe was the galley, batello, or scratch method, and this was still popular up to the end of the eighteenth century. This method is commonly supposed to be of Hindu origin, being based on a method found in India about the fourth century. It will be shown that the Hindu method is identical to the Chinese method of division (ch'u) mentioned in very early Chinese texts such as the Chiu Chang Suan Shu (Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art, c. first century a.d.). The earliest detailed description of this method is found in the Sun Tzŭ Suan Ching (The Mathematical Manual of Master Sun, third century a.d.).

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © British Society for the History of Science 1966

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References

Datta, B. & Singh, A. N.History of Hindu Mathematics. India, 1962, part i.Google Scholar
Smith, D. E.History of Mathematics. Boston, 1925, vol. ii.Google Scholar
Tzŭ, Sun (full name unknown). Sun Tzŭ Suan Ching (Sun Tzŭ's Mathematical Manual) Third century a.d.Google Scholar
Yen, LiChung Kuo Suan Hsüeh Shih (A History of Chinese Mathematics), Shanghai, 1937.Google Scholar
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