History Of Magic Squares
Magic Squares have fascinated mankind throughout the ages, with examples being found in:
They were also frequently found in various cultures, for example, Egypt and India, engraved on
stone or metal and worn as talismans, the belief being that magic squares had astrological and
- Chinese literature dating from as early as 2800 B.C., when a Magic Square known as the
"Loh-Shu", or "scroll of the river Loh" (see above), was invented by Fuh-Hi, the mythical
founder of Chinese civilisation
- Greek writings dating from about 1300 B.C.
- the works of Theon of Smyrna in 130 A.D.
- use by Arabian astrologers in the ninth century when drawing up horoscopes
- Arabic literature, written by Abraham ben Ezra, dating from the eleventh century
- India, dating from the eleventh or twelfth century, where the earliest fourth order magic
square was found, in Khajuraho
- the writings of the Greek mathematician, Emanuel Moschopulus, whose works now reside in the
National Library in Paris
- more recently, magic squares appeared in Chinese literature during the latter part of the
posterior Chou dynasty (951 - 1126 A.D.) or the beginning of the Southern Sung dynasty (1127 -
- the works of Cornelius Agrippa, a German physician and theologian from the sixteenth
century, who constructed seven magic squares, of orders three to nine inclusive, which he
associated with the seven planets then known (including both the Sun and the Moon)
- art, with the relatively well-known magic square which can be found in Albert Dürer's
where the date of its creation, 1514 AD, may be seen in the centre two cells of the bottom row
- a detailed French work, published in 1838 A.D.
Further references about their history can be found at David Singmaster's
Chronology Of Recreational Mathematics
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Created: Monday 29th December, 1997
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