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As is the case with a great deal of interesting mathematics, the conic sections are believed to have been discovered in an attempt to solve a problem, a problem which on the surface seems to have nothing to do with conic sections.

A great book from which to learn and teach the subject of relativity.
The Arithmetic of Boethius (480-524) dates from the early sixth century. This page is from a mansucript (Plimpton MS 165) that dates from approximately 1294, written on vellum.
A man and his wife drink a barrel of wine at different rates. Find the rate it takes both of them together to drink the wine.
In Archimedes' Book of Lemmas (ca 250), he introduces a figure that, due to its shape, has historically been known as "the shoemaker's knife" or arbelos.
A collection of short lectures by Howard Eves giving details on 20 important happenings in the history of mathematics before 1650.
What is the sum of the reciprocals of the triangular numbers?
The most popular and authoritative arithmetic book in late 17th and 18th century England, it stayed in print for 100 years.
In the middle of the 18th century, King Frederick the Great of Prussia became interested in creating a lottery to raise money. As was his custom when mathematical matters were involved, he called upon Leonhard Euler for counsel.
My age is a number consisting of two digits, 1/2 of this number is a mean proportional between these two digits, and two years hence, my age will be a third proportional to the same two digits, directly as they stand in my present age.