[INDOLOGY] early mathematics

Mark McClish mark.mcclish at northwestern.edu
Wed Sep 2 12:11:10 EDT 2015


Dear colleagues,

I’m working right now on computational practices in the Dharmaśāstras and Arthaśāstra, particularly as related to state administration, and I am seeking the guidance of the list for reliable sources on such computational practices in South Asia in the classical period and earlier. Indian mathematics is well outside my area, but most of what I have read does not address the kinds of operations and procedures found in these texts, perhaps because they are too elementary.

I am looking, in particular, for secondary sources that deal with how computational operations such as addition, multiplication, subtraction, division, etc. are conceived of and written in Sanskrit or the Prakrits within or across genres. So far, some of my best guides have been the various grammars that are available, but I am yet to find a systematic, comprehensive treatment.

I’m also interested in any primary or secondary sources that deal with with everyday, applied computational practices, such as calculating the weight or volume of goods in the market, fines or interest, or lengths and distances. Any information on applied measurement practices would also be very welcome.

With thanks in advance,
Mark


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