Archive for History of Exact Sciences

, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 1–69 | Cite as

A new analytical framework for the understanding of Diophantus’s Arithmetica I–III

Article

Abstract

This study is the foundation of a new interpretation of the introduction and the three first books of Diophantus’s Arithmetica, one that opens the way to a historically correct contextualization of the work. Its purpose, as indicated in the title, is to renew the traditional discussion on the methods of problem-solving used by Diophantus, through the detailed exposition of a new analytical framework that aims to give an account of the coherence and progressive nature of the material included in the three first books of the Arithmetica. One outcome of this new ‘toolbox’ is a new conspectus of the problems and solutions contained in the latter, which is presented in appendix. The first part of the article clarifies, as a necessary preliminary, the key notions and terminology underlying our analysis. Among these new concepts is the notion of “method of invention,” which accounts in general for any way, by which “positions” (hypostaseis) are used in the Arithmetica. The next part proposes a complete inventory of the various methods of invention found in the three first books. Finally the last part presents the above mentioned conspectus and proposes a series of preliminary conclusions that can be drawn from it.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EHESS-Centre A. KoyréParis-Est Créteil University-IUFMCréteilFrance
  2. 2.Department of History and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of AthensAthensGreece

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