Pythagorean theorem in India

Shrinivas Tilak shrinivast at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 12 23:30:47 UTC 1999

Yes, I still have the original clipping with me and I could send you a copy
after I receive your mailing address. Incidently, Prof Alok Kumar, one of
the authors, contacted me privately concerning the newspaper report and
corrected it. I understand from him that he intends to send a more detailed
response to the subject matter of the clipping at a later date,

>From: "Toke Lindegaard Knudsen" <tlk at>
>To: Shrinivas Tilak <shrinivast at HOTMAIL.COM>,        Indology
>Subject: Pythagorean theorem in India
>Date: Wed, 11 Aug 1999 18:43:38 +0200
>On 17 Jun 99, at 16:32, Shrinivas Tilak wrote:
>Dear Dr. Tilak,
> >     While going through my notes this afternoon I found a clipping of a
> > report that appeared in The Tribune (Ambala) of June 26, 1993.
> > Sema'an-I-Salem and Alok Kumar of California State University, Long
> > according to this report, have translated a text called Kitab Tabaqut
> > al-Umam (Book of Categories of Nations) written by Sa'id-al-Andalusi in
> > 1068.
> >     Among eight contributions to science made by ancient Indian
> > the book mentions that one Bhadrabahu solved in Kalpasutra, in 290 BCE,
> > "the so-called Pythagorean theorem."
> >     The title of the translation is "Science in Medieval World."
>I realize that I am responding to a rather old posting.  Anyway, I got
>the above-mentioned book on the library.  There seems to be no
>mention of the Pythagorean theorem nor mention of any
>"Bhadrabahu."  In fact, in the introduction the translators state that
>Sa'id al-Andalusi "is able to cite the name of only one Indian
>scholar, 'Kanka al-Hindi.'"  This Kanka al-Hindi does not appear to
>have any relation with Kalpasutras or the Pythagorean theorem.
>Do you still have a copy of that clipping?  If Arabian scholars really
>made comments about the theorems discovery in India I would be
>very interested to learn more.
>I hope this meets you well.
>Toke Lindegaard Knudsen

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