Saturday, July 03, 2010

[fragment]

No record of it exists except as a refutation; & the only record of the refutation is a fragment of a manuscript without provenance, attributed by the late Umberto Allegrezza, on the basis of stylistic & scribic elements, to Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi, better known as al-Khwarizmi, astronomer, the inventor of algebra, & rumored to be author of a lost—or rather hidden—treatise on calculus which, it has been claimed, was the basis for both Isaac Newton's method of fluxions and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz' integral notation.

The manuscript records the thoughts of al-Khwarizmi on a homily by his contemporary Photius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, adherent to a different religion, entitled "All Life is an Accident Waiting to Happen," aware that it was an ironic title since what Photius was advocating was the exact opposite.

al-Khwarizmi's piece has an equally ironic title; "All Accidents are a Life Waiting to Happen."

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