>The roots of algebra can be traced to the ancient Babylonians,[8] who developed an advanced arithmetical system with which they were able to do calculations in an algorithmic fashion. The Babylonians developed formulas to calculate solutions for problems typically solved today by using linear equations, quadratic equations, and indeterminate linear equations. By contrast, most Egyptians of this era, as well as Greek and Chinese mathematics in the 1st millennium BC, usually solved such equations by geometric methods, such as those described in the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus, Euclid's Elements, and The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art.

>Babylonian algebra was much more advanced than the Egyptian algebra of the time; whereas the Egyptians were mainly concerned with linear equations the Babylonians were more concerned with quadratic and cubic equations.[7] The Babylonians had developed flexible algebraic operations with which they were able to add equals to equals and multiply both sides of an equation by like quantities so as to eliminate fractions and factors.[7] They were familiar with many simple forms of factoring,[7] three-term quadratic equations with positive roots,[9] and many cubic equations[10] although it is not known if they were able to reduce the general cubic equation.[10]

>unlike the Egyptians and Romans, the Babylonians had a true place-value system, where digits written in the left column represented larger values (much as, in our base ten system, 734 = 7×100 + 3×10 + 4×1).[11]

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