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Important study focuses on the revival and assimilation of ancient Greek mathematics in the 13th–16th centuries, via Arabic science, and the 16th-century development of symbolic algebra. This brought about the crucial change in the concept of number that made possible modern science — in which the symbolic "form" of a mathematical statement is completely inseparable from its "content" of physical meaning. Includes a translation of Vieta's Introduction to the Analytical Art. 1968 edition. Bibliography.