# A Geometric Algorithm with Solutions to Quadratic Equations in a Sumerian Juridical Document from Ur III Umma

"In the late 1920’s the existence of both Old and Late Babylonian mathematical cuneiform texts with solutions to second-degree problems were discovered at O. Neugebauer’s path-breaking history of mathematics seminar in Göttingen. The announcement of the discovery was received with “immense amazement” (Høyrup 2002: 1, fn. 2). In this paper will be discussed, for the first time, the existence of an even older cuneiform text, YBC 3879, a juridical field division document from the Sumerian Ur III period, in which unequivocally appear solutions to a series of second-degree problems. Ironically, a copy of the text in question was published (although without any translation or commentary) in a volume of Miscellaneous Inscriptions in the Yale Babylonian Collection by A. T. Clay in 1915, that is more than a decade before the mentioned sensational discovery at Neugebauer’s seminar!"

Author(s): | Friberg, Jöran |

URL: | http://www.cdli.ucla.edu/pubs/cdlj/2009/cdlj2009_003.html |

Format: | Article |

Publisher: | Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI) |

Publication City: | Los Angeles |

Date: | 2009 |

Source: | Cuneiform Digital Library Journal (CDLJ) |

Volume: | 2009 |

Number: | 3 |

Subject(s): | |

Permalink: | http://etana.org/node/11786 |