This book is an extended history of mathematics that places mathematical development firmly in its historical context. Each section begins with a description of the geography and history of the country considered. From there, lively retelling of the creation myths and legends leads on to a description of how its people wrote and counted. This is followed by relevant mathematical material. The book covers; * The geometry of stone circles in Europe * The area of triangles and volume of pyramids that concerned the engineers of the Pharoahs * The Babylonian sexagesimal number system and our present measures of space and time which grew out of it * The use of the abacus and remainder theory in China * Greek mathematics from Pythagoras to Pappus. Detailed accounts of the work of apollonius and Archimedes are given. * The invention of trigometry by Arab mathematicians * The solution of quadratic equations by completing the square developed in India Each chapter has a mathematical case study which is discussed both in the context of thetimes and in th light of more recent developments. Worked examples are also included. The author has woven together a broad historical backgrounding and some fairly detailed but accessible mathematics in amost exciting way. John Fauvel, author of Let Newton Be!
Alistair Wilson has worked as an astrophysicist for NASA, lectured in physics at Curtin University, Western Australia, and is currently a freelance writer and teacher living in Perth.