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The history of numerals , from mynan to the arabic numeral system

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The Egyptians followed suit and in the 3rd Century BC they came up with the similar system of numbers in the elephantine script which were also essentially like tally marks and in which the higher numbers were represented in groups of 3. Smilarly in Europe in England they had the system of ‘Five Barred Gate’ which was quite similar to the ‘tally marks’ system like the afore-mentioned two systems but when powers of 5 were achieved the tally marks would be stricken out giving them the appearance of gate’ and hence the nomenclature.

Cnsequently, te number 10 was represented by two such barred gates and so on. I New Guinea, te Elema tribal people had a different system altogether. Tey had nominated the parts of body with different numbers, fr example the finger digits represented the numbers 1 to 10 and the right knee stood for the number 27 etc. A civilizations progressed there was felt a need to have an additive numeral system, were each character has a value independent of its position in its representation.

and the Roman Numeral System was an example of this concept. Te Greek adopted specific symbols where as the Romans used the alphabets of their script as numbers. Ad, amost all of us have come across Roman numbers in our lives. Sme examples are given as follows: I1, I-2, II-3, I-4, 5V, 6VI, 10-X, 11-XI, 18-XVIII, 20-XX, 29-XXIX, 50-L, 75-LXXV, 100-C, 500-D, 1000-M etc. A one can guess, te problem felt with the positional numeral system was that it was very cumbersome to represent large numbers and esp. mathematical with them.

Terefore, te quest to have a number system which could have had portable representation was still on. Gadually, hmans began to realize that there was a need to have a number system with a set of digits which could represent almost any conceivable number. Tis led to the discovery of positional notation. Te Mayans and the Incas were the first to have discovered this positional notation. Tey adopted a number system denoted by dots and bars. The place starting from right denoted the various notational Te number then by understand by suitable calculations (multiplication and addition).

Te Babylonians however had a very refined number system as compared to the Mayans/Incas. Tey had a number system which was till the scale of 60 starting from obviously 1. Ay. ..

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preview essay on The history of numerals , from mynan to the arabic numeral system
  • Pages: 8 (2000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Mathematics
  • Level: Undergraduate
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