Having finished the subject of fractions, Ahmes proceeds to the solution of equations of one unknown quantity. The unknown quantity is called 'hau' or heap. ...It thus appears that the beginnings of algebra are as ancient as those of geometry.
The Egyptians must have made use of the above theorems on the straight line, in some of their constructions found in the Ahmes papyrus, but it was left for the Greek philosopher to give these truths, which others saw, but did not formulate into words, an explicit abstract expression, and to put into scientific language and subject to proof that which others merely felt to be true.
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