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Regiomontanus and Chinese mathematics

(2008) PHILOSOPHICA (GENT). 82. p.87-114
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Abstract
This paper critically assesses the claim by Gavin Menzies that Regiomontanus knew about the Chinese Remainder Theorem (CRT) through the Shù shū Jiǔ zhāng (SSJZ) written in 1247. Menzies uses this among many others arguments for his controversial theory that a large fleet of Chinese vessels visited Italy in the first half of the 15th century. We first refute that Regiomontanus used the method from the SSJZ. CRT problems appear in earlier European arithmetic and can be solved by the method of the Sun Zi, as did Fibonacci. Secondly, we pro-vide evidence that remainder problems were treated within the European abbaco tradition independently of the CRT method. Finally, we discuss the role of recre-ational mathematics for the oral dissemination of sub-scientific knowledge.
Keywords
Chinese, remainder problems, mathematics, Regiomontanus

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Citation

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Chicago
Heeffer, Albrecht. 2008. “Regiomontanus and Chinese Mathematics.” Ed. Erik Weber. Philosophica (gent) 82: 87–114.
APA
Heeffer, A. (2008). Regiomontanus and Chinese mathematics. (E. Weber, Ed.)PHILOSOPHICA (GENT), 82, 87–114.
Vancouver
1.
Heeffer A. Regiomontanus and Chinese mathematics. Weber E, editor. PHILOSOPHICA (GENT). 2008;82:87–114.
MLA
Heeffer, Albrecht. “Regiomontanus and Chinese Mathematics.” Ed. Erik Weber. PHILOSOPHICA (GENT) 82 (2008): 87–114. Print.
@article{1092888,
  abstract     = {This paper critically assesses the claim by Gavin Menzies that Regiomontanus knew about the Chinese Remainder Theorem (CRT) through the Sh{\`u} sh\={u} Ji\v{u} zh\={a}ng (SSJZ) written in 1247. Menzies uses this among many others arguments for his controversial theory that a large fleet of Chinese vessels visited Italy in the first half of the 15th century. We first refute that Regiomontanus used the method from the SSJZ. CRT problems appear in earlier European arithmetic and can be solved by the method of the Sun Zi, as did Fibonacci. Secondly, we pro-vide evidence that remainder problems were treated within the European abbaco tradition independently of the CRT method. Finally, we discuss the role of recre-ational mathematics for the oral dissemination of sub-scientific knowledge.},
  author       = {Heeffer, Albrecht},
  editor       = {Weber, Erik},
  issn         = {0379-8402},
  journal      = {PHILOSOPHICA (GENT)},
  keyword      = {Chinese,remainder problems,mathematics,Regiomontanus},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {87--114},
  title        = {Regiomontanus and Chinese mathematics},
  volume       = {82},
  year         = {2008},
}