The Universal History of Numbers: From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer by Georges Ifrah
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons | 2000 | ISBN: 0471393401 | 656 pages | DJVU | 19,5 MB
The title doesn't lie. Mathematician Georges Ifrah's masterpiece, The Universal History of Numbers, is a wonderfully comprehensive overview of numbers and counting spanning all the inhabited continents as far back in time as records will allow us to look. Beyond the ancient Babylonians, Sumerians, and Indians, Ifrah takes us farther south into Africa to examine an early decimal counting system and into ancient Mexico to reconstruct what we can of the Mayan calendar and numerical system. The 27 chapters are chiefly organized by culture, though there are some cross-cultural overviews of topics like letters and numbers.