More than a history of mathematics, this lively book traces mathematical ideas and processes to their sources, stressing the methods used by the masters of the ancient world. Author Tobias Dantzig portrays the human story behind mathematics, showing how flashes of insight in the minds of certain gifted individuals helped mathematics take enormous forward strides. Dantzig demonstrates how the Greeks organized their precursors' melange of geometric maxims into an elegantly abstract deductive system. He also explains the ways in which some of the famous mathematical brainteasers of antiquity led to the development of whole new branches of mathematics.
A book that will both instruct and delight the mathematically minded, this volume is also a treat for readers interested in the history of science. Students and teachers of mathematics will particularly appreciate its unusual combination of human interest and sound scholarship.
Reprint of The Bequest of the Greeks, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1955.
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