Should the History of Chinese Mathematics be Rewritten?


  • Li Ma



history of Chinese mathematics, Suan Shu Shu, Jiu Zhang Suan Shu


More than one and a half decades have elapsed since the Zhangjiashan archaeological findings showed excitingly that a new collection of mathematical texts on bamboo strips were excavated, dating earlier than the then earliest known and most influential Chinese mathematical classic Jiu Zhang Suan Shu. Now that the contents of the findings have finally been made available to the world outside of the group of archaeologists involved, should the history of Chinese mathematics be rewritten? After comparing the new material with the Jiu Zhang Suan Shu I believe that the place of the Jiu Zhang Suan Shu remains an irreplaceable cornerstone in the history of Chinese mathematics; however, the Jiu Zhang Suan Shu can no longer be seen as the earliest sources for the mathematical knowledge therein.


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Author Biography

  • Li Ma
    Ma Li, Professor of mathematics, Norwegian Academy of Education and the University of Sogndal, Norway.


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1. 12. 2010



Reinterpretations of Logic and Science

How to Cite

Ma, Li. 2010. “Should the History of Chinese Mathematics Be Rewritten?”. Asian Studies 14 (3): 77-84.

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