Numerical Tables in Sanskrit Sources

Abstract : Sanskrit sources offer a wide variety of numerical tables, most of which remain little studied. Tabular information can be found encoded in verse, woven into prose, sometimes arranged in aligned grids of rows and columns but also in other, less standard patterns. We will consider a large range of topics from mathematical (gaṇita) and astral science (jyoṭiṣa}) sources. Among the mathematical sources, we will explore sine tables, units of measurement, combinatorial relations, as well as the related ephemeral arrays used in computation. Among the latter, we will investigate astronomical tables of various sorts, including aligned tables, lists of aphorisms which code numbers, and almanacs. In all the cases, we will show the ways in which the variety and complexity of the material challenges more standard characterizations of numerical tables in other contexts. Further, how numerical tables relate to algorithms, in their content, execution, and presentation, will be advanced, in a way which will be a unifying feature of our coverage. Indeed, the interconnection between numerical table and algorithm has profound implications for other contexts presented in this book.
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Agathe Keller, Koolakodlu Mahesh, Clemency Montelle. Numerical Tables in Sanskrit Sources. 2014. ⟨halshs-01006137⟩

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