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Is there a good site or book that has an explanation of how the Romans managed mathematics? Particularly how they did engineering calculations. <p></p><i></i>
Richard Campbell
Legio XX  Alexandria, Virginia
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I have to confess that I don't know much about this subject at all.<br>
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Would it be reasonable to suppose that they used greek mathematics?<br>
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If so then there are a couple of sites here:<br>
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wwwhistory.mcs.stand.ac...opics.html<br>
<br>
here:<br>
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math.truman.edu/~thammond...mpire.html<br>
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and here:<br>
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www.mcs.drexel.edu/~crorres/<br>
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and there is a page of links here:<br>
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www.ukans.edu/history/ind...ology.html<br>
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I hope this is of use <p>Veni Vidi Bibi</p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://pub45.ezboard.com/uocculusaelius.showPublicProfile?language=EN>Occulus Aelius</A> at: 8/14/02 7:45:44 am<br></i>
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how htey did the maths I'm not too sure about, but they did have conventions for numbers that avoided the MCMDXCVIII problem at least to an extent. 20, 000 could be notated with a superscript line above XX, 200,000 by XX with a superscript line and vertival lines on each side, which multiplied the contents by 100, 000.<br>
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M wasn't used as a figure so that M in 1998 above would have been a nonsense, they used the figure modern maths uses for infinity, that is to say a figure of 8 on its side.<br>
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The next bit is lifted from OCD<br>
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Apparently they could do fractions so long as the denominator was a factor of twelve, at least in common usage a system called <i> sigla</i>. They used horizontal lines,  was 1/12<br>
= was 1/6, S was 1/2 apparently from <i> semis</i><br>
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Other fractions were represented by putting these together ie 5/12 was == 2/3 was S=<br>
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Smaller fraction had different sigla invented, you'll need epigraphic handbooks to find out those.<br>
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The Greks of course had algebra, and this continued to the Romans. Ofcourse you don't need numbers for that which solves one problem<br>
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Hello,<br>
<br>
a good book for starting with this topic is "Mathematics and Measurement" by O.A.W. Dilke (published by the British Museum, 1987)<br>
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<p></p><i></i>
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Thanks! although I'm beginning to think the term<br>
Roman mathematician is an oxymoron. <p>Richard Campbell, Legio XX.
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Richard Campbell
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Indeed Rich, in his book, Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times, Professor Morris Klein of New York University states that "...Yet in all of the eleven hundred years" (he's dating Roman history from 750 B.C. to A.D. 476 ) "there was not one Roman mathematician; apart from a few details this fact in itself tells virtually the whole story of Roman mathematics." <p></p><i></i>
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Hi Rich<br>
<br>
There are several works on Frontinus' engineering calculations  both the accuracy and errors  the most recent being Frontinus' Legacy (U of Mich press, 2001) can't remember the editors. I remember reading the intriguing sentence in the Loeb intorduction to Frontinus that he may have studied with Heron of Alexandria because his maths and Heron's were similar. I haven't read anything since on this though it would be interesting. There is a PhD thesis which has just been (or is being?) completed at Sydney on Roman Maths  I'll have to have a look at it.<br>
<br>
cheers<br>
<br>
Muzzaguchi <p>It is an unscrupulous intellect that does not pay Antiquity its due reverence  Erasmus of Rotterdam</p><i></i>
Murray K Dahm
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Thanks. I wish Amazon had a better description.<br>
<br>
Frontinus' Legacy: Essays on Frontinus' De Aquis Urbis Romae<br>
by Deane R. Blackman (Editor), A. Trevor Hodge (Editor), K. Grewe, p Leveau<br>
Paperback; University of Michigan Press; ISBN: 0472067931; (July 2001)<br>
<p>Richard Campbell, Legio XX.
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Richard Campbell
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Here's a real challenge for you researchers: try to find this book!<br>
<br>
Fields, Margaret. Practical Mathematics of Roman Times. Mathematics Teacher 26 (1933), 7784.<br>
Surveys Roman mathematics. Some of the most interesting examples come from the De Architectura of Vitruvius, which discusses principles of symmetry and proportion and how to use them in architecture. Vitruvius goes as far as how to correct for an optical illusion on the capitals of columns. He also discusses geometric procedures to be used in laying out a town (to shut out winds), and various Roman instruments, including leveling instruments and an instrument for measuring distance called a hodometer. The hodometer is used for "telling the number of miles while sitting on a carriage or sailing by sea", and is particularly ingenious. Second to Vitruvius, the most important source on Roman engineering may be the Urbis Romae of Frotinus, which includes mathematical rules (not entirely successful) to determine the flow of an aqueduct. Surviving Roman bridges show a high level of skill; there were surely mathematical principles behind their design, but no detailed study has survived. Roman tunnels are equally impressive. Heron discusses how to use an instrument called the "dioptra" to survey for tunnels, measure the width of a river, and so on. Roman sundials were relatively unsophisticated. Reprinted in Swetz, Frank J., From Five Fingers to Infinity. .<br>
<br>
<p>Richard Campbell, Legio XX.
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Richard Campbell
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Country:
That last book is available in the Dutch interlibrary loan system, so if you really want it... It's hardly surprising you can't find the first in any secondhand bookshops on the net. It looks like an article in a magazine, not a book. <p>Greets<BR>
<BR>
Jasper</p><i></i>
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Thanks: I looked that one up and did find it with Abebooks. It apparently has a reprint of that one article. You win another beer! <p>Richard Campbell, Legio XX.
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Richard Campbell
Legio XX  Alexandria, Virginia
RAT member #6?
