A Historiographical Exploration of Āryabahṭa's verses on Indeterminate Problems of the First Degree

Abstract : In 1874, H. Kern (1833-1917) published an edition of the Āryabhaṭīya with Parameśvara's commentary on it, providing a source-text for the oldest known testimony of indeterminate problems of the first degree in the Indian subcontinent. Léon Rodet (1832?-1895) followed by G. R. Kaye (1866-1929) subsequently discussed Āryabhaṭa's contributions to the kuṭṭaka (``pulveriser'' a method of resolution of problems of indeterminate analysis of the first degree) which soon became the object of a debate. Sarada Kanta Ganguli (b. 1881) and Bibhutibhusan Datta (1881-1958) in their wider endeavor to show that India had an authentic valuable mathematical past, also wrote articles to explain how they understood Āryabhaṭa's rules. This paper will compare the mathematical tools employed to describe Āryabhaṭa 's kuṭṭaka, how each author inserted this topic within wider narratives of history of mathematics and specific conceptions of what a mathematical text should be. Finally, how these points of view impacted the research on this topic in the 20th century will also be discussed.
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Submitted on : Friday, January 13, 2017 - 10:06:43 AM
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Agathe Keller. A Historiographical Exploration of Āryabahṭa's verses on Indeterminate Problems of the First Degree. Writing histories of ancient mathematics – Reflecting on past practices and opening the future, 18th – 21st centuries, Chemla, Keller, and Proust, Oct 2016, Paris, France. ⟨halshs-01427248⟩

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