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Problems from Another Time

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

A man has four creditors. To the first he owes 624 ducats; to the second, 546; to the third, 492; and to the fourth 368.
A certain man had in his trade four weights with which he could weigh integral pounds from one up to 40. How many pounds was each weight?
A man bought a number of sheep for $225; 10 of them having died, he sold 4/5 of the remainder for the same cost and received $150 for them. How many did he buy?
Given a semicircle, Prove that if O is the circle's center, DO=OE.
A barrel has various holes in it. The fist hole empties the barrel in three days...
Of a collection of mango fruits, the king took 1/6; the queen 1/5 the remainder, and the three princes took 1/4, 1/3 and 1/2 (of the same remainder); and the youngest child took the remaining 3 mangoes.
Determine the different values of x, when a certain function hits a minimum.
Three vertical posts along a straight canal, each rising to the same height above the surface of the water. By looking at the line of vision, determine, to the nearest mile, the radius of the earth.
Given a door and a measuring rod of unknown dimensions, the rod is used to measure the door.
The authors recount the 'great tale' of Napier's and Burgi's parallel development of logarithms and urge you to use it in class.