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A lively history of the Pythagorean Theorem.

Maor, Eli

The Pythagorean Theorem

A 4,000-Year History


    40,95 € / $47.00 / £37.00*

    eBook (PDF)
    Publication Date:
    Copyright year:
    To be published:
    November 2019
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    Aims and Scope

    An exploration of one of the most celebrated and well-known theorems in mathematics

    By any measure, the Pythagorean theorem is the most famous statement in all of mathematics. In this book, Eli Maor reveals the full story of this ubiquitous geometric theorem. Although attributed to Pythagoras, the theorem was known to the Babylonians more than a thousand years earlier. Pythagoras may have been the first to prove it, but his proof—if indeed he had one—is lost to us. The theorem itself, however, is central to almost every branch of science, pure or applied. Maor brings to life many of the characters that played a role in its history, providing a fascinating backdrop to perhaps our oldest enduring mathematical legacy.


    296 pages
    149 b/w illus. 2 tables.
    Professional and scholarly;College/higher education;

    More ...

    Eli Maor is the author of seven books, including Music by the Numbers, Trigonometric Delights, To Infinity and Beyond, and e: The Story of a Number (all Princeton). He is a former professor of the history of mathematics at Loyola University Chicago.


    "There is something intoxicating about seeing one truth revealed in so many ways. It all makes for hours of glorious mathematical distraction."—Ben Longstaff, New Scientist

    "At last, a popular book that isn't afraid to print a mathematical formula in all its symbolic glory! Thanks to Eli Maor for proving—in his delightful, playful way—the eternal importance of a three-sided idea as old as humankind."—Dava Sobel, author of Longitude

    “A popular account of important ideas and their development."—Peter M. Neumann, Times Higher Education Supplement

    "Maor expertly tells the story of how this simple theorem known to schoolchildren is part and parcel of much of mathematics itself."—Amy Shell-Gellasch, MAA Reviews

    "If one has never read a book by Eli Maor, this book is a great place to start."—J. Johnson, Choice

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