Archive for rhind papyrus

Ahmes, the Moonchild

Posted in Books, Fiction with tags , , , , , , on January 21, 2010 by tefcros

First off, I must stress that this book is still only in Greek and the aforementioned is my own translation of the original title, “Αχμές, ο Γιός του Φεγγαριού”) by Polis Publishing.

It is a purely fictional account of the life of Ahmes, the first Mathematician in history to be known by name, having signed the famous Rhind Scroll (named after the Scottish archaeologist who found it, Henry Rhind), a collection of 84 solved mathematical problems, sometime around 1600 BC.

Besides giving a plausible account of how, why and when Ahmes compiled the scroll containing the sum of mathematical knowledge of his time, the book tells the colorful tale of how he was found by Pianki, one of the Royal Hunters, how he was raised by him and his beautiful wife, Tadinanefer, as well as of his friendship with orphaned Amanthys, a Minoan boy whom the evil whims of merciless pirates, through the merciful winds of fate, landed in Egypt. More than that, it’s the account of his journey through life, towards an accomplishment that will seem monumental more than two-score centuries later, preserved by one pale, sickly man.

I would not say more. The book is an adventure on two levels: on one hand, it’s the life adventure of two friends who survived and were brought together by providence and on the other, the adventure of learning, discovery and knowledge.

Although the book is in Greek, I hope that it will be successful enough to be translated in English, like Pythagorean Crimes was.

Reviews

Mathematics literature, fictional biography or historic novel, with real and fictional characters, this novel of Tefcros Michaelides combining literature mathematics, evolution and history will fascinate even those who do not enjoy numbers. (Dimitra Rouboula, Ethnos, 10/04/2010)

Ahmes, Son of the Moon, is his second novel. However Tefcros Michaelides has already got his personal audience who raised this book also in the bestselling lists. His CV is rich. He is very active in the area of secondary education where he teaches mathematics, he has translated many literary and scientific books and he is active in the Thales and Friends organization which supports dozens of reading clubs in Greek schools. (Olga Sella, Kathimerini, 07/03/2010)

Mathematics literature is winning more and more readers in Greece. The sales figures seem unreal in a country that doesn’t read much. A pioneer in this genre, Tefcros Michaelides, in his new book, Ahmes, Son of the Moon, turns our interest towards pharaohs, papyri, mathematics and pyramids in Egypt of 1700 – 1500 BC. Tefcros Michaelides who serves faithfully mathematics literature has done here a jump in time, renewing his supporting material. Whereas in his first novel, the very popular Pythagorean Crimes, he mainly used a crime fiction in order to expose the mathematical part of his story, he has now built a historic novel opening a new path: in mathematics literature mixing of genres is prolific: the resulting book may be astonishingly breathtaking. (Manolis Pimblis, Ta Nea, 06/02/2010)

This book is extremely interesting not only to the specialists but to all those interested in combination of mathematics and literature, history and human progress. (George Perantonakis, Diavazo, February 2010)

A charming historic – mathematical novel. Ahmes is an extremely interesting figure both from a mathematical and a historic point of view. (Eleftherotipia, 12/12/2009)

The reader of this quality publication will soon discover that Ahmes is written with the fever of a crime fiction by Ian Rankin. The rhythm will immediately win you and trap you in the action. However the true magic of the text will follow: the author manages to inject in the plot thousands of information items, concerning the everyday life of Egypt (just … 3600 years ago) without allowing even one moment of boredom. And then you have this incredible ability of the author to implant mathematics in the plot so naturally that it makes you concede that “seeing the vine is seeing the grapes”. (Tasos Kafantaris, To VIMA, 06/12/2009)