Page:A History Of Mathematical Notations Vol I (1928).djvu/35

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OLD NUMERAL SYMBOLS

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½, ⅓, ⅔, ¼, each of which had its own symbol. Some of the numeral symbols in Ahmes deviate somewhat from the forms given in the two preceding tables; other symbols are not given in those tables. For the reading of the example in question we give here the following symbols:

Four (Symbol missingsymbol characters) One-fourth (Symbol missingsymbol characters)
Five (Symbol missingsymbol characters) Heap (Symbol missingsymbol characters) See Fig. 7
Seven (Symbol missingsymbol characters) The whole (Symbol missingsymbol characters) See Fig. 7
One-half (Symbol missingsymbol characters) It gives (Symbol missingsymbol characters) See Fig. 7

Fig. 7.—An algebraic equation and its solution in the Ahmes papyrus, 1700 B.C., or, according to recent authorities, 1550 B.C. (Problem 34, Plate XIII in Eisenlohr; p. 70 in Peet; in chancellor Chace’s forthcoming edition, p. 76, as R. C. Archibald informs the writer.)

Translation (reading from right to left):

“10 gives it, whole its, ¼ its, ½ its, Heap No.34 ½ 128¼ ¼½1 1 114½ ½3.. 114⅐½5 is heap the together 7 4 ¼ ⅐ Proof the of Beginning 114⅐½5 128114¼½2 ½ ⅛¼ Remainder ⅛½9 together 156128⅛¼1 ¼ 14 gives ¼ 156128128114114⅐ 21 Together .7 gives ⅛ 1 2 2 4 4 8”