The word algebra originates from the Arabic (al-jabr which means in literal translation "The union of broken parts") from the title of the book Ilm al-jabr wa'l-muḳābala by the Persian mathematician and astronomer al-Khwarizmi. The word entered the English language in the fifteenth century, from either Spanish, Italian, or Medieval Latin. It initially alluded to the surgery of setting broken or disengaged bones. The mathematical importance was first recorded in the sixteenth century.
Algebra started with calculations like those of mathematics, with letters representing numbers. This permitted proofs of properties that are genuine regardless of which numbers are included. For instance, in the quadratic equation