Person: Sankara, Narayana
Sankara Narayana was an Indian astronomer and mathematician. He wrote a commentary on the work of Bhaskara I.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- The Laghubhaskariya vivarana was written by Sankara Narayana in 869 AD for the author writes in the text that it is written in the Shaka year 791 which translates to a date AD by adding 78.
- Perhaps the most unusual feature of the Laghubhaskariya vivarana is the use of katapayadi numeration as well as the place-value Sanskrit numerals which Sankara Narayana frequently uses.
- Sankara Narayana is the first author known to use katapayadi numeration with this name but he did not invent it for it appears to be identical to a system invented earlier which was called varnasamjna.
- The numeration system varnasamjna was almost certainly invented by the astronomer Haridatta, and it was explained by him in a text which many historians believe was written in 684 but this would contradict what Sankara Narayana himself writes.
- First we should explain ideas behind Sankara Narayana's katapayadi numeration.
- Very unusually for an Indian text, Sankara Narayana expresses his thanks to those who have gone before him and developed the ideas about which he is writing.
- This in itself is not so unusual but the surprise here is that Sankara Narayana claims to give the list in chronological order.
- However, putting Haridatta after Govindasvami would seem an unlikely mistake for Sankara Narayana to make if Haridatta really did write his text in 684 since Sankara Narayana was himself a disciple of Govindasvami.
- If the dating given by Sankara Narayana is correct then katapayadi numeration had been invented only a few years before he wrote his text.
Born about 840, India. Died about 900, India.
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Tags relevant for this person:
Ancient Indian, Astronomy, Origin India
Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive