Segmentation of Texts in Old Babylonian Mathematics

  • Christine ProustEmail author
Part of the Why the Sciences of the Ancient World Matter book series (WSAWM, volume 1)


This chapter offers an analysis of the segmentation of texts into lists of mathematical problems written on clay tablets during the Old Babylonian period (early second millennium BCE). The study focuses on mathematical series texts, that is, long lists of statements written on several numbered tablets. Two aspects are considered: material segmentation (sections, columns, tablets…) and textual segmentation (statements, groups of statements), as well as the relationship between these two aspects. It is shown that the analysis of parts of text may be a powerful tool for the reconstruction of the entire series and for detecting the operations on texts which produced the series.



Neugebauer, et al. 1945


Neugebauer 1935–1937


Thureau-Dangin 1938


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNRS & Université Paris Diderot, LaboratoireSPHERE, UMR 7219Paris Cedex 13France

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