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From C.E. 641 and for many, many centuries afterward, Arab mathematicians would be the guardians of classical scholarship as well as mathematical innovators in their own right. In the early 800s, the Arabs began translating the Greek classics, as well as providing helpful commentaries on these works. The Elements of Euclid was translated in C.E. 800, and Ptolemy’s Almagest followed a few decades later.(1)

Somewhat later, the great scholar Tâbit ibn Qorra (826–901) succeeded in producing fine translations of Archimedes and Apollonius.(2)


See more detailed information under the following biographies of Arab mathematicians (click on the name to open):



(1) William Dunham, Journey Through Genius The Great Theorems of Mathematics (New York, 1990), pp. 129.

(2) Ibid., p.130.


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