Person: Abraham Ibn Ezra, ben Meir
Rabbi Ben Ezra worked in Islamic Spain and wrote works which introduced Islamic mathematics and Indian number systems to Europe.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Ibn Ezra made his reputation as a scholar and a poet.
- From 1140 to 1160 ibn Ezra's life changed markedly.
- In addition to these topics, ibn Ezra wrote on permutations and combinations, the calendar, the astrolabe, and Biblical studies.
- Of the most interest to us in this archive devoted to the history of mathematics is ibn Ezra's work on numbers.
- In this work ibn Ezra uses zero which he calls galgal (meaning wheel or circle).
- Despite ibn Ezra's books, these ideas would not become accepted into mainstream European mathematics for several more centuries.
- Ibn Ezra translated al-Biruni's commentary on al-Khwarizmi's tables and made interesting comments on the introduction of Indian mathematics into Arabic science in the 8th century.
- Historians of science try today to quantify precisely how much Arabic mathematics was influenced by knowledge of Indian mathematics, so ibn Ezra's writing on this topic are carefully studied.
Born 1092, Tudela, Emirate of Saragossa (now Spain). Died 1167, Calahorra, Spain.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Ancient Babylonian, Astronomy, Origin Spain, Special Numbers And Numerals
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive