Sunday, February 20, 2011


Little is known about the life of Diophantus. He lived in Alexandria, Egypt, probably from between 200 and 214 to 284 or 298 AD. Much of our knowledge of the life of Diophantus is derived from a 5th century Greek anthology of number games and strategy puzzles. One of the problems (sometimes called his epitaph) states:
'Here lies Diophantus,' the wonder behold.
Through art algebraic, the stone tells how old:
'God gave him his boyhood one-sixth of his life, (x/6)
One twelfth more as youth while whiskers grew rife; (x/12)
And then yet one-seventh ere marriage begun; (x/7)
In five years there came a bouncing new son. (5)
Alas, the dear child of master and sage
After attaining half the measure of his father's life (x/2) chill fate took him. After consoling his fate by the science of numbers for four years, he ended his life.' (4)
The red expresions shows the translations from words to algebraic language. Being x the years that Diophantus lived, you need to add up all the expresions above to find out the answer.
TASK: You have to write the equation and the age of Diophantus when he passed here, but you need to give me a sheet of paper with the calculations made.
(from: wikipedia)

END DATE: Next Friday, March 2nd.

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