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The History of Babylonian Mathematics

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The History of Babylonian Mathematics

The history of ancient Babylonia is really long, but this essay is a short and to the point summery of the entire history. The history of Babylonia started near the end of the year 2000 BC, when invaders were attacking the Sumer kingdom. Sumer was a powerful kingdom in the western part of Asia, and it some what occupied what would become Babylonia. After the kingdom of Sumer was destroyed the city-states of Larsa and Isin came into settle on the land once occupied by Sumer. This led to fighting between Larsa and Isin. After hundreds of years of fighting Larsa defeated Isin.

But, just as Larsa beat Isin, Hammurabi came to power in the city of Babylonia. Hammurabi went on to defeat Larsa and start a vast kingdom in the place where the Sumer kingdom used to be.

Hammurabi was a very powerful military and political leader. Also he set up a code of law stating “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, this law is called the Hammurabi code and is still used today. Hammurabi’s dynasty was also called the First Dynasty of Babylonia. This dynasty ruled for about 200 years until 1530 BC. Under the control of this dynasty, Babylonia entered a period of prosperity and peace.

The Babylonians developed an abstract form of writing based on wedge-shaped symbols. Their symbols were written on wet clay tablets that were baked in the hot sun. Many of thousands of these tablets have survived to this day. They had to use straight lines because curved line could not be drawn in the wet clay. They used these tablets to aid in the calculations of problems. They studied math with the help of these tablets. They studied in mathematics because having a peaceful nation they had no need to specialize in military and warfare, so they learned math and discovered new forms of math.

A tribe known as the Kassites began to attack Babylonia when Hammurabi’s son ruled the empire. Over the centuries, the Kassites weakened Babylonia. Finally, around 1530 BC a Kassite dynasty was set up in Babylonia. After about 150 years, the Babylonians and the Kassites lived in peace until the Assyrians attacked Babylonia. They weakened Babylonia so much that the Kassite dynasty fell from power and the Assyrians took control. Because of an influx of many nomadic tribes, Babylonia fell into anarchy for about 200 years.

During the 800s B...

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...e. And if their table of reciprocals, which was used to help them do math, was used today, it would most likely confuse everybody. But, back then they had to use because they did not have calculators or computers to make math easier. We also don’t use a positional number system where the base is 60 rather than the base of 10. One thing that the Babylonians used that is still in use today is the Pythagorean triples.

The study of math

he study of math is important because with out math we wouldn’t have all the things we have today, such as computers, cars, planes, space exploring technology, etc. With out math all that stuff, which we take for granted would not be around. We would still be in the dark ages if people with a great understanding for math hadn’t been there to invent new things and pull us out of the dark ages and into the techno age. Even though I may not me a mathematical genius, I realize that with out math I would have to write my whole report out on hand instead of a computer. I could not play my video games or chat online with friends if it wasn’t for math and the understanding of it. The study of math is important to society and probably always will be.
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