Just over 150 years ago, the matrices had their importance detected and emerged from the shadow of the determinants. The first to give them a name seems to have been Cauchy, 1826: *tableau *(= table).

The matrix name only came with James Joseph Sylvester, 1850. His friend Cayley, with his famous *Memoir on the Theory of Matrices*, 1858, divulged this name and began to demonstrate its usefulness.

He used the colloquial meaning of the word matrix, namely: place where something is generated or created. In fact, I saw them as *"… A rectangular block of terms… which is not a determinant, but it is like a matrix from which we can form various systems of determinants by setting a number p and choosing p rows and p columns at will…"* (article published in *Philosophical Magazine* 1850, pages 363-370).

Note that Sylvester still saw the matrices as a mere ingredient of the determinants. Only with Cayley do they come to have a life of their own and gradually begin to supplant the determinants in importance.