Article ID: CBB000931928

A Puzzle Rhyme from 1782 (2009)


A puzzle of thirty birds, known in many ancient cultures, is found in an Icelandic spelling book for children from 1782, transposed into Icelandic context so well that it seemed genuinely domestic. Its form is a three-verse rhyme governed by complex Old-Germanic rules of prosody. The birds are sold for units typical for Icelandic middle-age trade commodities, used up to recent times. The composition is completely adjusted to the Icelandic culture and may therefore be considered as Icelandic ethnomathematics of early modern times.


Description Argues that the puzzle-rhyme is Icelandic in origin.

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Authors & Contributors
Oslund, Karen
Sigurðsson, Oddur
Pálsson, Sveinn
Williams, Richard S., Jr.
D'Ambrosio, Ubiratan
Corry, Leo
Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology
British Journal for the History of Mathematics
British Journal for the History of Science
Circumscribere: International Journal for the History of Science
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education
British Society for the History of Mathematics Bulletin
Icelandic Literary Society
Makadam Publishers
Stanford University
University of California, Davis
Poetry and poetics
Science and literature
Science and religion
Natural history
Pálsson, Sveinn
Pound, Ezra Loomis
Maxwell, James Clerk
Valéry, Paul
Alighieri, Dante
Elytis, Odysseas
18th century
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
20th century, late

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