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Computational Workout: Division Table as Training Exercises


Abstract


This paper examines ostraka O.Petr.Mus. 64 and 65 (TM 65801 and TM 113882; second half of the 5th cent., Tentyris?), inscribed with division tables for 31 and 57, respectively. It argues that the tables did not serve as ready reckoners and were not copied after a model text, but rather recorded the results of actual computations performed for the purpose of training numerical skills. To facilitate the discussion, the paper first provides a short introduction to the computation of fractional quotients.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i99788883051760p661

Keywords: Numeracy; division tables; education

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