Series of problems in Arabic algebra: The example of ʿAlī al-Sulamī
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, USA
a e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. I thank Alain Bernard and Marc Moyon for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this article.
In his introductory book on algebra ʿAlī al-Sulamī (10th c.) pays careful attention to the arrangement of his 78 worked-out problems, balancing his borrowings with his overall structure. His collection is put into context by comparing it with the problems in the books of three other early Arabic algebraists. It is shown that unlike al-Khwārizmī and Abū Kāmil, al-Sulamī orders his problems carefully. He gives a global ordering based on equation type that is an inversion of the local ordering of his predecessors, and he exhibits a local ordering that is a consequence of his appropriation of diverse problem types within his collection.
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