Cuneiform Arithmetic Exercises
 

Old Babylonian arithmetic mostly occurs within the context of word problems, rather than just simple arithmetical exercises.  The terminology used varies widely in different contexts; it is clear that the Mesopotamians had several different concepts which we subsume under the operations of 'addition' and 'multiplication', and so on.  The most detailed and up-to-date analysis of Old Babylonian mathematical vocabulary is in Hoyrup's 'Algebra and Naive Geometry' article.  For convenience here, I have picked out one simple form for each (of our) basic operation, and, to make life really easy for you, I have left the numbers in cuneiform, but transliterated the words.  The forms we use below are:
addition: x a-na y dah-ma,
subtraction: x i-na y zi-ma,
multiplication: x a-rá y,
taking ('freeing') a reciprocal: igi n gal-bi du8-ma.

For each question, perform the relevant computations. As far as possible, try to work in cuneiform or, at worst, in transliteration. There are some aids you can use for checking the results of some of your computations on my Mesomath web site.  In particular, there are some multiplication tables (follow the links from the home page), a reciprocal table, and even a calculator.
 

  1. a-na  dah-ma

  2.  
  3.   a-na  dah-ma

  4.  
  5. a-na  dah-ma

  6.  
  7. a-na dah-ma

  8.  
  9. a-na  dah-ma

  10.  
  11. i-na  zi-ma

  12.  
  13. i-na  zi-ma

  14.  
  15. i-na  zi-ma

  16.  
  17. i-na  zi-ma

  18.  
  19. i-na  zi-ma

  20.  
  21. a-rá 

  22.  
  23. a-rá 

  24.  
  25. a-rá 

  26.  
  27. a-rá 

  28.  
  29. a-rá 

  30.  
  31. igi  gal-bi du8-ma

  32.  
  33. igi  gal-bi du8-ma

  34.  
  35. igi  gal-bi du8-ma

  36.  
  37. igi  gal-bi du8-ma

  38.  
  39. igi  gal-bi du8-ma

  40.