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Problems from Another Time

Individual problems from throughout mathematics history, as well as articles that include problem sets for students.

On a day in spring a boy has gathered cherry blossoms under a cherry tree. Nearby a poet is reading some of his poems aloud. As he reads, the boy counts out the cherry blossoms, one blossom for each word of a poem.
Thirty flasks-10 full, 10 half-empty, and 10 completely empty- are to be divided among 3 sons so that flasks and contents should be shared equally. How may this be done?
Two men have a certain amount of money. The first says to the second, "If you give me 5 denari, I will have 7 times what you have left."
What is the sum of the following series, carried to infinity: 11, 11/7, 11/49, etc.?
If I were to give 7 pennies to each beggar at my door, I would have 24 pennies left in my purse. How many beggars are there and how much money do I have?
Suppose that the propability of success in an experiment is 1/10. How many trials of the experiment are necessary to insure even odds on it happening at least once?
A horse halving its speed every day runs 700 miles in 7 days.
Two merchants, A and B, loaded a ship with 500 hhds (hogshead) of rum; A loaded 350 hhds, and B the rest; in a storm the seamen were obliged to throw overboard 100 hhds; how much must each sustain of the loss?
How a translation of Peano's counterexample to the 'theorem' that a zero Wronskian implies linear dependence can help your differential equations students
The king of France entered into a battle and was defeated. How many soldiers did he have before he was defeated?

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