Re: [INDOLOGY] The Origin of Geometry in India: A Study in the Śulbasūtras by Ramakrishna Bhattachar

jmdelire jmdelire at
Tue Jun 4 07:31:34 UTC 2019

Dear members of the list,

I take the opportunity of the announcement below to remind you that my 
book on the Baudhayana Sulbasutra, published by Droz, Geneva, 2016, also 
contains a very detailed chapter on the beginning of mathematics in 
India. Its title is Les mathématiques de l'autel védique - Le Baudhayana 
Sulbasutra et son commentaire Sulbadipika (see It is not mentionned 
in the below described book, probably because, written in French, it 
escaped the attention of the only-English reading scholars. Unhappily, 
and despite a very good review in English (see the attached file), I 
couldn't find yet a not too expensive way of translating it into 
I also remind the members of the list that I am a mathematician (also 
teaching the history of mathematics) trained in Sanskrit, especially 
with Pierre-Sylvain Filliozat, who signed the Preface of the book, with 
a PhD thesis devoted to Indian mathematics.

Best regards,

Dr J.M.Delire,
Lecturer on Science and civilisation of India and on History of 
mathematics at the University of Brussels
Professor of Mathematics at the Haute ecole de Bruxelles-Brabant

Le 03.06.2019 20:44, Niranjan Saha via INDOLOGY a écrit :
> Dear List,
> This is to inform you of a recent publication by one of our senior
> This book is the first complete study of the origin of geometry in
> India. In Ancient India, brick-built fire-altars (citi-s) were
> ordained for the Soma sacrifice, a Vedic rite, which led to the
> compilation of rule-books for making and arranging bricks. These
> volumes, called Śulbasūtra-s, represent the first available texts
> of both geometry and mensuration, and were composed from 600 BCE,
> although the actual practice goes back to c. 1500 BCE. This book
> begins by detailing the history of geometry in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and
> Greece, and shows that geometry everywhere starts with brick-built
> structures, rather than the measurement of land. It emphasizes that
> geometry in India, unlike in Greece, was side-based rather than
> angle-based. The text is profusely illustrated.
> RAMKRISHNA BHATTACHARYA taught English at the University of Calcutta,
> and served as an Emeritus Fellow of the University Grants Commission,
> India. He is currently a Fellow of the Pavlov Institute, India. His
> publications include Studies on the Carvaka/Lokayata (2009; 2011), and
> his papers on the history of science in India have appeared in a
> number of international journals. 
> With regards,
> Niranjan Saha
> [2]
> Links:
> ------
> [1]
> [2]
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