Download Ancient Puzzles: Classic Brainteasers and Other Timeless by Dominic Olivastro PDF

By Dominic Olivastro

Match wits with the nice minds of the world’s maximum civilizations during this interesting choice of historic conundrums, brainteasers, and mind-benders.
• What do prehistoric bone markings and glossy desktop technological know-how have in common?
• What is the secret of pi that stumped generations of historic mathematicians?
• What are the traditional puzzle origins of well known video games similar to tic-tac-toe and chess?
• Can you clear up the puzzles posed to emperor Charlemagne through Alcuin of York?
• What’s the key lore in the back of magic squares that captured the mind's eye of chinese language emperors, Persian mystics, and Benjamin Franklin?
Dominic Olivastro offers a favored background of arithmetic via concentrating on the puzzles that civilizations posed for his or her personal schooling and leisure. listed below are vintage “puzzle difficulties” from historic Africa, Egypt, Persia, China, and Greece and from cultures and texts spanning the center a long time and the Renaissance the entire strategy to the present.
every one puzzle is associated with insightful people and medical historical past that is helping make clear the mysterious function and beginning of the matter. attention-grabbing clues for realizing solutions draw on glossy problem-solving ideas and result in old secrets and techniques that, prior to now, have not often been understood. no matter if you decipher them for his or her old importance, classical knowledge, or simply for the sheer, maddening enjoyable of it, those pleasant puzzles offer a distinct, interesting, and enlightening advisor to the evolution of the human brain.

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Additional resources for Ancient Puzzles: Classic Brainteasers and Other Timeless Mathematical Games of the Last Ten Centuries

Example text

But when I became free of the manacles, then I surpassed everything I had done before and became the best in the class and outshone the others in the art of writing. Now do as I say, and you will prosper, and soon you will find that you have no rival. Further evidence of the high esteem given to scribes is found in the Teachings of someone named Tuauf. The document, now preserved in the British Museum, was probably used as a schoolbook for novice scribes. Tuauf says: I would have thee love books as thou lovest thy mother, and I will set their beauties before thee.

You can see this in the numbers for 365 and 3650 in Figure 15. Archaeologists have often uncovered various tablets in which 36 ANCIENT PUZZLES numbers play a prominent role. Figure 16 is a palette and a macehead of the Egyptian Pharaoh Nirmer, who once found it necessary to punish the Libyan nation for rebelling against him. In 16(b), the Pharaoh's name is written between two heads of the cow-goddess Hathor. Below this, we see Narmer himself ready to decapitate a prisoner. Beneath him are two other captives, apparently already dead.

Similarly, when we wanted the unit fraction that did not exceed 4/33, it is easiest to find the integer just greater than 33/4, namely 9, and use the unit fraction 1/9. Consider the general fraction A/B, in which A does not divide B. We need to find the largest unit fraction that does not exceed A/B. Again, we know one unit fraction that is exactly equal to A/B, namely 1 (B/A) Let the integer portion of B/A be N, so that B = AN + R, where R cannot equal zero. Now then, the unit fraction we want must be 1/(N+ 1).

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