The study of rings originated from the theory of polynomial rings and the theory of algebraic integers. Furthermore, the appearance of hypercomplex numbers in the mid-nineteenth century undercut the pre-eminence of fields in mathematical analysis.
Richard Dedekind introduced the concept of a ring.
The term ring (Zahlring) was coined by David Hilbert in the article Die Theorie der algebraischen Zahlkörper, Jahresbericht der Deutschen Mathematiker Vereinigung, Vol. 4, 1897.
The first axiomatic definition of a ring was given by Adolf Fraenkel in an essay in Journal für die reine und angewandte Mathematik (A. L. Crelle), vol. 145, 1914.
In 1921, Emmy Noether gave the first axiomatic foundation of the theory of commutative rings in her monumental paper Ideal Theory in Rings.