• Jacques Sesiano
Reference work entry

Al‐Uqlīdisī, Abū'l‐ḥasan Aḥmad ibn Ibrāhīm, wrote an Arithmetic (Kitāb al‐Fuṣūl fi'l‐ḥisāb al‐hindī   ) in Damascus in 952–953. This is a sizable compendium and remarkable as the earliest arithmetic extant in Arabic.

The first part explains the place‐value system, the four arithmetical operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), and the extraction of square roots for integers and fractions, both common and sexagesimal. Numerous examples are given. This part is supposed to be accessible to a large audience. The second part develops the earlier topics and adds curiosities or different methods. The third part would seem to be the result of the author's experience in teaching; it consists of explanations and questions with their answers concerning some difficulties the reader might have met in the first two parts. The fourth part contains some digressions about the changes Indian arithmetic undergoes when one uses ink and paper (since Indian computations were made on the...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access


  1. Saidan, Ahmad. The Earliest Extant Arabic Arithmetic. Isis 57 (1966): 475–90.Google Scholar
  2. Saidan, A. S. Al‐fuṣūl f 'l‐ḥisāb al‐hindī. Amman: al‐Lajnah al‐Urdunnīyah lil‐Ta˓rīb wa'l‐Nashr wa'l‐Tarjaman, 1973 (Arabic text).Google Scholar
  3. Saidan, A. S. The Arithmetic of al‐Uqlīdisī. Dordrecht: Reidel, 1978 (English Translation).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques Sesiano

There are no affiliations available