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This is a supplement to the previous answer to the question, confirming what has been written above. Illustreret Nyhedsblad, where prof. Chr. Hansteen in 1862 first published some letters from Abel, is available online from the National Library of Norway. The relevant letter is the one Abel wrote on December 5th, 1825, which is quoted above, and which can ...


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Looking for methods is theory, looking for results is... whatever. The interest in pythagorean triples or magic squares seems to have evolved from knowing some items to knowing a method to generate all of them. But that does not preclude a motivation e.g. some kind of power, magical or other, to be derived: knowledge is power. A similar question aks when ...


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The 3-volume book by Thomas Muir The Theory of Determinants in the Historical Order of Development covers a narrower subject, but its first sections are very interesting to understand the early history of linear algebra. The notion of determinant predates other notions of linear algebra, and the book gives an exhaustive listing of all its early occurrences ...


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