Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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(221 words)

is the old name for the process of reckoning with Arabic numerals. In mediaeval treatises the word is spelt in various ways: e.g. Algorismus , Alchoarismus , Alkauresmus , etc., corruptions of the nisba of the oldest known writer on Arabic arithmetic: Muḥammed b. Mūsa al-Ḵh̲wārizmī [q.v.]. His book was translated into Latin in the 12th century by an unknown author, and the only known copy at Cambridge has been edited by B. Boncompagni ( Trattati d’aritmetica i, Rome 1857). It opens with the words: "dixit Algorithmi", the word is here correctly given in the form of an Arabic nisba, i.e. as a p…

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Suter, H., “Algorithmus”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 22 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_0507>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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