Contribution of Romans in Math History
Date: 12/18/2006 at 21:30:14 From: vinny Subject: Roman contribution to math How did the Romans contribute to math? What did they add to mathematics besides Roman numerals?
Date: 12/18/2006 at 22:57:04 From: Doctor Peterson Subject: Re: Roman contribution to math Hi, Vinny. In _Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times_, Morris Kline devotes about two pages to Roman mathematics (pp. 178-179). This begins with the following statement: The first disaster was the advent of the Romans, whose entire role in the history of mathematics was that of an agent of destruction. He continues, saying, "Roman mathematics hardly warrants mention. ... from at least 200 B.C. onward, the Romans were in close contact with the Greeks. Yet in all of the eleven hundred years there was not one Roman mathematician; apart from a few details this fact in itself tells virtually the whole story of Roman mathematics." He goes on to list a few facts: their numerals, their use of the abacus, their base-12 fractions, their use of math in surveying, and their improvement of the calendar. In general, it appears that although they made use of some sorts of mathematics (borrowed from the Greeks) in architecture and engineering, they developed nothing new. Even their familiar numerals are hardly different from one form used by the Greeks. If you have any further questions, feel free to write back. - Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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