For the sake of curiosity, I'm interested in the "list of problems" that were laid out in the ancient Chinese text on Math. However, I haven't found a "list" in English anywhere. Only a few excerpts on a few problems.

Is there an English version listing out the 200+ problems in the book?

  • $\begingroup$ I am Chinese. To be honest, this book is very old and is of no use. It is famous in China, because there are few math books in China. $\endgroup$
    – Ang
    Jun 20, 2020 at 17:41

1 Answer 1


From what I understand the "list of problems" is supposed to be the full English translation. Here is the bibliographic reference for the 1999 translation, the only one so far:

The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art: Companion and Commentary. By Shen Kangshen, John N. Crossley, and Anthony W.-C. Lun. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

There is no online version, unfortunately. The organization of the volume is controversial, here is from Swetz's MAA review:

"A disappointing (frustrating!) aspect of this volume is its organizational format and the over-abundance of information that it attempts to communicate beyond the translation itself. It falters in its role as a companion and commentary... The repeated comparisons of the Jiujiang's problems and techniques with those of other countries appear chauvinistic and become tedious. Comparisons certainly are warranted, but they would be more effective if they were limited in number and confined to one section or chapter devoted to the topic.

Historical commentaries, followed by the modern translators' comments and observations, are linked by a complex system of multireferencing. In some instances, a particular translated term or statement may be supported by as many as three superscripts guiding the reader to further comments that may, in turn, be referenced to footnotes. The contemporary translators' extensive annotations, inserted amongst the Jiujiang text, disrupt the flow of the original mathematical presentation. Once again, such material would be better placed in chapter summaries."


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.