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Algebra, symbolic
(850 words)

The symbolic language of modern algebra grew in a laborious process out of the purely verbal representation of mathematical calculations (Arithmetic). Mathematical language underwent an initial stage of standardization in Europe during the transition from the Medieval Period to the Renaissance, when recurring locutions were condensed into specialized expressions. As late as the second half of the 15th century, the astronomer Regiomontanus still used no symbols. The next phase, during the 16th century, saw the abbre…

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Jahnke, Hans Niels, “Algebra, symbolic”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 02 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_016703>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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