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Medieval math in Europe

By |2017-08-04T13:22:07+00:00August 4th, 2017|Math, Medieval|

Math was a very exciting subject to be working on during the Middle Ages in Europe. Little by little, math experts in Europe were learning from Islamic math experts about what we call Arabic numbers (0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9) (though the numbers came originally from India). Leaning Tower of Pisa (built while Fibonacci was a child) The first of these experts was Adelard [...]

Medieval science in Europe

By |2018-04-24T09:01:17+00:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval, Science|

Medieval science: an Italian pharmacy jar, about 1400 AD (Metropolitan Museum, New York) Learning from Islamic science During the Middle Ages, the best scientists and doctors weren't in Europe. They were in the Islamic Empire to the south and east. Most of the science and medicine that people were doing in Europe was learning from Islamic scientists [...]

Medieval School – Europe

By |2018-04-11T09:19:36+00:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval, People|

Clerks in the Manessa Codex (1300 AD) In medieval Europe, even fewer kids went to school than in the Roman Empire. People were poorer, and kids had to work in the fields weeding and harvesting and taking care of pigs and chickens. Most people never learned to read or write. Richer people often home-schooled their children, especially girls and children [...]

Decimals and fractions – Numbers

By |2017-07-29T14:49:06+00:00July 29th, 2017|Math|

A number line is infinite in both directions. Decimals, like fractions, are a way of describing points on the number line that fall in between the whole numbers. If you were using fractions, you'd say that the point halfway between 1 and 2 was 1 1/2. In decimals, you'd call that same point 1.5. Each digit after [...]

Medieval Islamic mathematics

By |2018-04-24T08:21:16+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Math|

Indian numbers About 630 AD, just before the Islamic empire got started, people in West Asia learned from traders or traveling scholars about "Arabic" numbers. This new way of writing numbers really came from India. The Arabic word for numbers, in fact, is hindsah, which means "from India". The new numbers included for the first time a way to write [...]

Medieval Islamic science

By |2018-04-24T08:21:20+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Al Tusi's diagram of linear motion from circular motion In the Early Middle Ages, before the formation of the Islamic Empire, Buddhists ran the world's biggest universities. One was in India, at Nalanda. Another was in what is now Pakistan, at Taxila. In Egypt, the University of Alexandria was still an important center of learning, too. Most serious scholars went to [...]

Ibn Sina (Avicenna) – Medieval Islamic medicine – Islamic Empire

By |2018-04-24T08:21:22+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Where Ibn Sina came from: Uzbekistan Ibn Sina and the Samanids in Uzbekistan Ibn Sina (known to Europeans as Avicenna) was a scientist. He was born about 980 AD in the north-eastern part of the Abbasid Empire. That was in the kingdom of the Samanids. (It's modern Uzbekistan.) The Samanids supported science and art, so many scientists and artists [...]

Maktab – Medieval Islamic schools

By |2018-04-23T15:30:39+00:00July 26th, 2017|Islam, People|

Boys in Mauretania learning Quran verses from wooden tablets In the Islamic empire and in Africa, as in West Asia before Islam, most kids never went to school. Both girls and boys usually worked in the fields, plowing or weeding. But some boys, especially from richer families, went to a maktab (Arabic for "grade school"). Most towns had a small maktab [...]

Invention of Zero – Indian Numbers – History of Mathematics

By |2018-09-19T20:53:13+00:00July 22nd, 2017|India, Math|

History of Math: Counting tokens from Mehrgarh in Late Stone Age India Indian counting tokens and base 10 The first Indian numbers appeared in the late Stone Age, about 4000 BC. Around this time, people at Mehrgarh began to use counting tokens. (People were already using these tokens in West Asia.) Where was Mehrgahr? Indian history articles Writing [...]

Science and Math in ancient India

By |2018-11-30T07:51:48+00:00July 22nd, 2017|India, Science|

Ancient Indian science: Mohenjo Daro (ca. 2000 BC) From the time of the Harappans to the time of the Islamic conquests, Indian scientists and mathematicians were leaders. Ancient Indian science especially stood out in mathematics and engineering. Invention of zero History of steel Ancient India articles Harappan science and math in India The Harappans in 2500 BC had a sewage system at their [...]