The Ten Computational Canons

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The Ten Computational Canons was a collection of ten Chinese mathematical works, compiled by early Tang dynasty mathematician Li Chunfeng (李淳风 602-670),as the official mathematical texts for imperial examinations in mathematics.

The Ten Computational Canons includes:

  1. Zhou Bi Suan Jing,
  2. The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art,
  3. The Sea Island Mathematical Manual,
  4. The Mathematical Classic of Sun Zi
  5. The Mathematical Classic of Zhang Qiujian
  6. Computational Canon of the Five Administrative Sections
  7. Xia Houyang's Computational Canons
  8. Computational Prescriptions of the Five Classics
  9. Jigu Suanjing
  10. Zhui Shu


It was specified in Tang Dynasty laws on examination that The Mathematical Classic of Sun Zi and the Computational Canon of the Five Administrative Sections together required one year of study; The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art plus The Sea Island Mathematical Manual three years; Jigu Suanjing three years; Zhui Shu four years; and Zhang Qiujian and Xia Houyang one year each.

The Song dynasty government actively promoted the study of mathematics. There were two government xylograph editions of The Ten Computational Canons in year 1084 and 1213. The wide availability of these mathematical texts contributed to the flourishing of mathematics in Song dynasty and Yuan dynasty, inspiring Jia Xian, Qin Jiushao, Yang Hui, Li Zhi and Zhu Shijie.

In the Ming dynasty during the reign of Emperor Yongle, some of the Ten Canons were copied into the Yongle Encyclopedia. Qing dynasty scholar Dai Zhen copied out Zhou Bi Suan Jing, The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art, The Sea Island Mathematical Manual, The Mathematical Classic of Sun Zi, The Mathematical Classic of Zhang Qiujian, Computational Canon of the Five Administrative Sections, Xia Houyang's Computational Canons, Computational Prescriptions of the Five Classics, Jigu Suanjing, and Shushu jiyi from Yongle Encyclopedia, as basis for copying into Siku Quanshu.

References[edit]

  • Jean Claude Martzloff, A History of Chinese Mathematics, pp. 123-126. ISBN 3-540-33782-2.