Babylonian Mathematics OpenCourseWare: A Free Bachelor Level Course on Babylonian Mathematics by The Open University

Published Feb 12, 2009

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'Babylonian Mathematics' is an OpenCourseWare that is offered by The Open University, focusing on the improvements the Babylonians made on the mathematical knowledge and concepts they inherited from the Sumerian people who had previously inhabited the region. Students who have an interest in ancient history, or those completing coursework in related undergraduate degree programs, will gain an awareness and understanding of Babylonian mathematics and culture by completing this intermediate-level course.

Babylonian Mathematics: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes No

Babylonian Mathematics: Course Description

The Babylonians made significant improvements to the mathematical knowledge of the civilizations they conquered and assimilated. Most of our knowledge of Babylonian mathematics comes from the information recorded on hundreds of clay tablets that were excavated from the region in the 1850's. Later interpretations of these tablets revealed that the Babylonians possessed an understanding of geometry and algebra that exceeded that of medieval Europe 3000 years later. ' Babylonian Mathematics' is a free undergraduate-level OpenCourseWare from The Open University. It focuses on the work of historians to interpret the writings on the tablets, particularly the mathematical equations and computations that were used to solve practical problems and record information in fields like economics and engineering. The course examines this subject matter by covering a variety of topics, including Babylonian mathematics, practical Babylonian math problems, the historical study of cuneiform, the Babylonian numbering system, and the social context of Babylonian mathematics. There is also a review of the Babylonian mathematical style.

Course materials include online unit notes and a list of related reading materials. Other resources include a discussion forum, a learning journal and knowledge map. If you are interested in taking this course, visit the Babylonian mathematics course page.

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