1885 · Cambridge:
Diophantus of Alexandria, "sometimes called "the father of algebra", was an Alexandrian Greek mathematician and the author of a series of books called Arithmetica. These texts deal with solving algebraic equations, many of which are now lost. In studying Arithmetica, Pierre de Fermat concluded that a certain equation considered by Diophantus had no solutions, and noted without elaboration that he had found "a truly marvelous proof of this proposition," now referred to as Fermat's Last Theorem. This led to tremendous advances in number theory, and the study of Diophantine equations ("Diophantine geometry") and of Diophantine approximations remain important areas of mathematical research. Diophantus was the first Greek mathematician who recognized fractions as numbers; thus he allowed positive rational numbers for the coefficients and solutions. In modern use, Diophantine equations are usually algebraic equations with integer coefficients, for which integer solutions are sought. Diophantus also made advances in mathematical notation."
"The Arithmetica is the major work of Diophantus and the most prominent work on algebra in Greek mathematics. It is a collection of problems giving numerical solutions of both determinate and indeterminate equations. Of the original thirteen books of which Arithmetica consisted only six have survived, though there are some who believe that four Arab books discovered in 1968 are also by Diophantus. Some Diophantine problems from Arithmetica have been found in Arabic sources."
"It should be mentioned here that Diophantus never used general methods in his solutions. Hermann Hankel, renowned German mathematician made the following remark regarding Diophantus." – Wikipedia. (Inventory #: S11525)