Geometry and numerals

thayashi at thayashi at
Thu Mar 6 02:49:55 UTC 1997

Dear Ulrike,

At  9:40 PM 97.2.26 +0000, you wrote:
>a friend of mine is searching for bibliographical data on publications 
>(if possible in English or German translations) about "Geometry"  and 
>"Mysticism of Numerals".

For the former topic, your friend may consult:

1.  B. Datta, _ The Science of the Sulba _.  University of Calcutta Press 1932.

2.  Axel Michaels, _ Beweisverfahrern in der vedischen Sakralgeometrie _,
Steiner 1978.  [Accompanied by a useful  bibliography.]

3.  A. Seidenberg, 'The Geometry of the Vedic Rituals,' in: F. Staal (ed),
_ Agni: The Vedic Ritual of the Fire Altar _ , Asian Humanities Press 1983,
vol. 2, pp. 95--126.

4.  S. N. Sen and A. K. Bag, _ The Zulbasuutras _. Indian national Science
Academy 1983.

5.  T. A. Sarasvati, _ Geometry in Ancient and Medieval India _, Motilal 1979. 

6.   B. Datta and A. N. Singh, 'Hindu Geometry,' (revised by K. S. Shukla),
_ Indian Journal of History of Science _ 15, 1980, 121--188.

The first four books/article on this list treat the zulbasuutras, the
oldest phase of Indian geometry.  Item 4 contains Skt. texts of the four
major zulbasuutras and their English translations.  The last two items
cover the whole hisotry of Indian geometry.  Especially recommendable as a
comprehensive history is item 5.  For a more comprehensive bibliography in
jyotiHzaastra including mathematics, see:

D. Pingree, _ Census of the Exact Sceinces in Sanskrit _.   Vols. 1--5 (in
progress, so far up to 'v' in Skt. alphabetical order).  American
Philosophical Society 1970--94.

>Moreover, are there any texts in "lyrical" form about these topics?

Most texts of Indian mathematics and astronomy including geometry, except
zulbasuutras, are written in "lyrical" form.
All the best,

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