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London : C. J. CLAY AND SON,
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS WAREHOUSE,
AVE MARIA LANE.
CAMBRIDGE: DEIGHTON, BELL, AND CO.
LEIPZIG: F. A. BROCKILAUS.
A STUDY IN THE HISTORY
T. L. HEATH, B.A.
SCHOLAR OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
EDITED FOR THE SYNDICS OF THE UNIVERSITY PRESS.
[All Rights reserved.)
The scope of the present book is sufficiently indicated by the title and the Table of Contents. In the chapter on
Diophantos' notation and definitions” several suggestions are made, which I believe to be new, with regard to the origin and significance of the symbols employed by Diophantos. A few words may be necessary to explain the purpose of the Appendix. This is the result of the compression of a large book into a very small space, and claims to have no independent value apart from the rest of my work. It is intended, first, as a convenient place of reference for mathematicians who may, after reading the account of Diophantos' methods, feel a desire to see them in actual operation, and, secondly, to exhibit the several instances of that variety of peculiar devices which is one of the most prominent of the characteristics of the Greek algebraist, but which cannot be brought under general rules and tabulated in the same way as the processes described in Chapter V. The Appendix, then, is a necessary part of the whole, in that there is much in Diophantos which could not be introduced elsewhere; it must not, however, be considered as in any sense an alternative to the rest of the book : indeed, owing to its extremely condensed form, I could hardly hope that, by itself, it would even be comprehensible to the mathematician. I will merely add that I have twice carefully worked out the solution of H. D.