Definition:Combinatorics/Historical Note

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Historical Note on combinatorics

The earliest record of a problem in combinatorics was Plutarch's account of the attempt of Xenocrates of Chalcedon to find the total number of syllables that could be made from the letters of the alphabet.

According to Plutarch, Xenocrates' result was $1,002,000,000,000$ (a myriad-and-twenty times a myriad-myriad).

In modern times, the field of combinatorics was instigated by the investigations of the Chevalier de Méré, along with the analytical work of Blaise Pascal.