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  • How Jean-Baptiste Delambre read ancient Greek arithmetic on the basis of the arithmetic of “complex numbers” at the turn of the 19th century
Jounal : Historia Mathematica
Author :     
YEAR : 2022-05-15
Vol. : 59
No. :
Page : 146-163
Abstract : At the turn of the 19th century, arithmetic underwent a reform. Lagrange and Delambre developed diverse reflections on this discipline and contributed to the revival of the study of the ancient Greeks’ mathematics. Through analyzing Lagrange’s lectures on arithmetic and the popular arithmetic treatises, I reestablish how Lagrange’s innovative ideas were adopted in the later books. Moreover, this paper clarifies the role that “complex numbers” played in these treatises and investigates Delambre’s memoir on the ancient Greek arithmetic, so as to reveal the way in which Delambre read the ancients’ texts and reconstructed their arithmetic using “complex numbers”.