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Biographical Memoirs: VOLUME 75
and curiously stirred up a good deal of controversy. In 1927 he received his venia legendi for the history of mathematics, and in the fall term became Privatdozent and began lecturing on mathematics and on the history of ancient mathematics. At this time he married Grete Bruck, a fellow student and very fine mathematician, who later assisted him in much of his work. They had two children, Margo, born in 1929, and Gerry in 1932. In 1929 he founded, with O. Toeplitz and J. Stenzel as co-editors, Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Mathematik, Astronomie undPhysik (QS), a Springer series devoted to the history of the mathematical sciences and divided into two parts, Abteilung A for the publication of sources and B for studies, in which he published extended papers on Egyptian computational techniques in arithmetic and geometry ( QS B 1, 1930-31). The previous year he had gone to Leningrad to assist W. Struve in preparing for publication the Moscow Papyrus, the most important text for geometry, which appeared in QS A 1 (1930).
Since 1927, however, he had been investigating a more important and interesting subject, namely, Babylonian mathematics, for which he had learned Akkadian and worked in Rome with Father P. A. Deimel, S. J., of the Pontificio Istituto Biblico. His first paper on Babylonian mathematics, in 1927, was an account of the origin of the sexagesimal system, and by 1929 he was gathering new material at Berlin and other collections for the publication of a substantially complete corpus of texts. During the next few years, he published a number of articles, mostly in QS B, and eventually published the corpus in Mathematische Keilschrift-Texte (MKT) (QS A 3, 3 vols., 1935-37). At the beginning of the preface he quoted Anatole France, one of his favorite authors: “L'embarras de l'historien s'accroît avec l'abondance des documents.” This was not the last time this was to prove true. MKT is a colossal work, in size, in detail, in depth,