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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.
One military horse cannot pull a load of 40 dan; neither can 2 ordinary horses, nor can three inferior horses.
There is a log of precious wood 18 feet long whose bases are 5 feet and 2.5 feet in circumference. Into what lengths should the log be cut to trisect its volume?
A man entered an orchard through 7 gates, and there took a certain number of apples. When he left the orchard, he gave the first guard half the apples he had and 1 apple more.
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?
The three sides of a triangular piece of land, taken in order, measure 15, 10, and 13 chains respectively.
It is required to determine whether 30 horses can be put into 7 stalls; so that in every stall there may be, either a single horse, or an odd number of horses.
Given a triangular piece of land having two sides 10 yards in length and its base 12 yards, what is the largest square that can be constructed within this piece of land so that one of its sides lies along the base of the triangle?
How a translation of Peano's counterexample to the 'theorem' that a zero Wronskian implies linear dependence can help your differential equations students
An oblong garden is a half yard longer than it is wide and consists entirely of a gravel walk...

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