*But the theorem is typical of the achievements of Greek mathematicians, with their primary interest in geometry.This interest reaches its peak in the work compiled by Euclid in about 300 BC.*

A leading figure among the early Greek mathematicians is Pythagoras.

In about 529 BC Pythagoras moves from Greece to a Greek colony at Crotona, in the heel of Italy.

In the earliest surviving traces of a counting system, numbers are built up with a repeated sign for each group of 10 followed by another repeated sign for 1.

Arithmetic cannot easily develop until an efficient numerical system is in place.

The papyrus does introduce one essential element of algebra, in the use of a standard algebraic symbol - in this case h or aha, meaning 'quantity' - for an unknown number.

Ancient mathematics has reached the modern world largely through the work of Greeks in the classical period, building on the Babylonian tradition.

Known as the Rhind papyrus, it was copied from earlier sources by the scribe Ahmes in about 1550 BC.

It contains brainteasers such as problem 24: - What is the size of the heap if the heap and one seventh of the heap amount to 19?

Since the numerical system is unwieldy, with a base of 60, calculation depends largely on tables (sums already worked out, with the answer given for future use), and many such tables survive on the tablets.

Egyptian mathematics is less sophisticated than that of Babylon; but an entire papyrus on the subject survives.

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