Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE

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(2,458 words)

Algebra originally referred to two methods of transforming equations; later it became the name given to the theory of equations as a whole.

1. Name and first appearance of the discipline in ʿAbbāsid Baghdad

Algebra is a term derived from the two technical terms in Arabic that describe the discipline—al-jabr wa-l-muqābala, “reconstitution and equation.” The oldest known ex…

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Brentjes, Sonja, “Algebra”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Consulted online on 22 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_0030>
First published online: 2007
First print edition: 9789004150171, 2007, 2007-1

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