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Ancient India exchanged ideas with Babylon, Greece, Rome: Amartya Sen

Ancient India exchanged ideas with Babylon, Greece, Rome: Amartya Sen

Kolkata: While Indian mathematicians made brilliant contributions in the field of the study, the Indians also learned from ancient Babylon, Greek and Romans, Nobel laureate in economics Amartya Sen said Monday.

"The Indian mathematicians learned something from Babylonians, Greeks and Romans.. they also passed some brilliant new ideas to mathematicians elsewhere in the world," Sen said at an event of Infosys Science Foundation here.

According to Sen, the sine in trigonometry, originated in India and was passed to the ancient Western civilization through an Iranian scholar, Al-Biruni.

"Al-Biruni, the Iranian mathematician, spent many years in India more than a thousand years ago through the end of the tenth through the early years of the eleventh century," he said.

Sen said Sanskrit is not just a language in which "many Hindu and Buddhist texts came" but also was a language of questioning. The Chinese mathematicians as well as the pioneering Arab mathematicians had knowledge of Sanskrit, he noted.

Further, Sen said mathematics is an exchange of ideas and while the Indian scholars learned from the outside world, they also contributed to various mathematical ideas.

"In the beginning we were directly inspired by what we Indians were learning from the work done in Babylon, Greece and Rome. Indian research was deeply influenced by the knowledge of foreign works on the subject and in turn Indian mathematics influenced the mathematical world," he said.

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