Equations are important

From Ian Stewart’s latest book about equations

The origin of equations

The ancient Babylonians and Greeks knew about equations, though they wrote them using words and pictures. For the past 500 years, mathematicians and scientists have used symbols, the crucial one being the equals sign. Unusually, we know who invented it, and why. It was Robert Recorde, who in 1557 wrote in his treatise The Whetstone of Witte: “To avoide the tediouse repetition of these woordes: is equalle to: I will sette as I doe often in woorke use, a paire of paralleles, or gemowe lines of one lengthe: bicause noe .2. thynges, can be moare equalle.”

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