Arabic numerals

Arabic numerals

Overview


Arabic numerals or Hindu numerals or Hindu-Arabic numerals or Indo-Arabic numerals are the ten digits
Numerical digit
A digit is a symbol used in combinations to represent numbers in positional numeral systems. The name "digit" comes from the fact that the 10 digits of the hands correspond to the 10 symbols of the common base 10 number system, i.e...

 (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). They are descended from the Hindu-Arabic numeral system
Hindu-Arabic numeral system
The Hindu–Arabic numeral system or Hindu numeral system is a positional decimal numeral system developed between the 1st and 5th centuries by Indian mathematicians, adopted by Persian and Arab mathematicians , and spread to the western world...

 developed by Indian mathematicians
Indian mathematics
Indian mathematics emerged in the Indian subcontinent from 1200 BCE until the end of the 18th century. In the classical period of Indian mathematics , important contributions were made by scholars like Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, and Bhaskara II. The decimal number system in use today was first...

, in which a sequence of digits such as "975" is read as a numeral. The Indian numerals were adopted by the Persian mathematicians in India, and passed on to the Arabs further west.
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Encyclopedia


Arabic numerals or Hindu numerals or Hindu-Arabic numerals or Indo-Arabic numerals are the ten digits
Numerical digit
A digit is a symbol used in combinations to represent numbers in positional numeral systems. The name "digit" comes from the fact that the 10 digits of the hands correspond to the 10 symbols of the common base 10 number system, i.e...

 (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). They are descended from the Hindu-Arabic numeral system
Hindu-Arabic numeral system
The Hindu–Arabic numeral system or Hindu numeral system is a positional decimal numeral system developed between the 1st and 5th centuries by Indian mathematicians, adopted by Persian and Arab mathematicians , and spread to the western world...

 developed by Indian mathematicians
Indian mathematics
Indian mathematics emerged in the Indian subcontinent from 1200 BCE until the end of the 18th century. In the classical period of Indian mathematics , important contributions were made by scholars like Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, and Bhaskara II. The decimal number system in use today was first...

, in which a sequence of digits such as "975" is read as a numeral. The Indian numerals were adopted by the Persian mathematicians in India, and passed on to the Arabs further west. They were transmitted to Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. The use of Arabic numerals spread around the world through European trade, books and colonialism
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

. Today they are the most common symbolic representation of numbers in the world.

As befitting their history, the digits (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9) are known as Hindu numerals or "Hindu-Arabic numerals". The reason they are more commonly known as "Arabic numerals" in Europe and the Americas is that they were introduced to Europe in the 10th century by Arabs of North Africa, who were then using the digits from Libya to Morocco. Europeans did not know about the numerals' origins in ancient India, so they named them "Arabic numerals". Arabs, on the other hand, call the system "Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 numerals", referring to their origin in India. This is not to be confused with what the Arabs call the "Hindi numerals", namely the Eastern Arabic numerals
Eastern Arabic numerals
The Eastern Arabic numerals are the symbols used to represent the Hindu-Arabic numeral system in conjunction with the Arabic alphabet in the countries of the Arab world....

 ( - - - - - - - - - ) used in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, or any of the numerals currently used in Indian languages
Languages of India
The languages of India belong to several language families, the major ones being the Indo-European languages—Indo-Aryan and the Dravidian languages...

 (e.g. Devanagari
Devanagari
Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

: ).

In English, the term Arabic numerals can be ambiguous. It most commonly refers to the numeral system widely used in Europe and the Americas. Arabic numerals is the conventional name for the entire family of related systems of Arabic and Indian numerals
Indian numerals
Most of the positional base 10 numeral systems in the world have originated from India, where the concept of positional numeration was first developed...

. It may also be intended to mean the numerals used by Arabs, in which case it generally refers to the Eastern Arabic numerals
Eastern Arabic numerals
The Eastern Arabic numerals are the symbols used to represent the Hindu-Arabic numeral system in conjunction with the Arabic alphabet in the countries of the Arab world....

.

The decimal Hindu-Arabic numeral system was invented in India around 500 CE. The system was revolutionary by including a zero and positional notation
Positional notation
Positional notation or place-value notation is a method of representing or encoding numbers. Positional notation is distinguished from other notations for its use of the same symbol for the different orders of magnitude...

. It is considered an important milestone in the development of mathematics. One may distinguish between this positional system, which is identical throughout the family, and the precise glyph
Glyph
A glyph is an element of writing: an individual mark on a written medium that contributes to the meaning of what is written. A glyph is made up of one or more graphemes....

s used to write the numerals, which vary regionally. The glyphs most commonly used in conjunction with the Latin script since early modern times
Early modern period
In history, the early modern period of modern history follows the late Middle Ages. Although the chronological limits of the period are open to debate, the timeframe spans the period after the late portion of the Middle Ages through the beginning of the Age of Revolutions...

 are 0
0 (number)
0 is both a numberand the numerical digit used to represent that number in numerals.It fulfills a central role in mathematics as the additive identity of the integers, real numbers, and many other algebraic structures. As a digit, 0 is used as a placeholder in place value systems...

 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
.

Although the phrase "Arabic numeral" is frequently capitalized, it is sometimes written in lower case: for instance, in its entry in the Oxford English dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

. This helps distinguish it from "Arabic numerals" as the East Arabic numerals specific to the Arabs.

Origins



The digits
Numerical digit
A digit is a symbol used in combinations to represent numbers in positional numeral systems. The name "digit" comes from the fact that the 10 digits of the hands correspond to the 10 symbols of the common base 10 number system, i.e...

 1 to 9 in the Hindu-Arabic numeral system
Hindu-Arabic numeral system
The Hindu–Arabic numeral system or Hindu numeral system is a positional decimal numeral system developed between the 1st and 5th centuries by Indian mathematicians, adopted by Persian and Arab mathematicians , and spread to the western world...

 evolved from the Brahmi numerals. Buddhist inscriptions from around 300 BCE use the symbols which became 1, 4 and 6. One century later, their use of the symbols which became 2, 7 and 9 was recorded..

The first universally accepted inscription containing the use of the 0 glyph is first recorded in the 9th century, in an inscription at Gwalior in Central India dated to 870. By this time, the use of the glyph had already reached Persia, and was mentioned in Al-Khwarizmi
Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi
'There is some confusion in the literature on whether al-Khwārizmī's full name is ' or '. Ibn Khaldun notes in his encyclopedic work: "The first who wrote upon this branch was Abu ʿAbdallah al-Khowarizmi, after whom came Abu Kamil Shojaʿ ibn Aslam." . 'There is some confusion in the literature on...

's descriptions of Indian numerals
Indian numerals
Most of the positional base 10 numeral systems in the world have originated from India, where the concept of positional numeration was first developed...

. Numerous Indian documents on copper plates
Indian copper plate inscriptions
Indian copper plate inscriptions play an important role in the reconstruction of the history of India. Prior to their discovery, historians were forced to rely on ambiguous archaeological findings such as religious text of uncertain origin and interpretations of bits of surviving traditions,...

 exist, with the same symbol for zero in them, dated back as far as the 6th century CE.
The numeral system
Numeral system
A numeral system is a writing system for expressing numbers, that is a mathematical notation for representing numbers of a given set, using graphemes or symbols in a consistent manner....

 came to be known to both the Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 mathematician Al-Khwarizmi
Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi
'There is some confusion in the literature on whether al-Khwārizmī's full name is ' or '. Ibn Khaldun notes in his encyclopedic work: "The first who wrote upon this branch was Abu ʿAbdallah al-Khowarizmi, after whom came Abu Kamil Shojaʿ ibn Aslam." . 'There is some confusion in the literature on...

, whose book On the Calculation with Hindu Numerals written about 825 in Arabic, and the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 mathematician Al-Kindi
Al-Kindi
' , known as "the Philosopher of the Arabs", was a Muslim Arab philosopher, mathematician, physician, and musician. Al-Kindi was the first of the Muslim peripatetic philosophers, and is unanimously hailed as the "father of Islamic or Arabic philosophy" for his synthesis, adaptation and promotion...

, who wrote four volumes, "On the Use of the Indian Numerals" (Ketab fi Isti'mal al-'Adad al-Hindi) about 830. Their work was principally responsible for the diffusion of the Indian system of numeration in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 and the West. In the 10th century, Middle-Eastern mathematicians extended the decimal numeral system to include fractions, as recorded in a treatise by Syrian mathematician Abu'l-Hasan al-Uqlidisi
Abu'l-Hasan al-Uqlidisi
Abu'l Hasan Ahmad ibn Ibrahim Al-Uqlidisi was an Arab mathematician who was active in Damascus and Baghdad. As his surname indicates, he was a copyist of Euclid's works. He wrote the earliest surviving book on the positional use of the Arabic numerals, Kitab al-Fusul fi al-Hisab al-Hindi around 952...

 in 952–953. The decimal point notation was introduced by Sind ibn Ali
Sind ibn Ali
Sind ibn Ali-Musa, Sind ibn ʿAlī , was a renowned Sindhi Muslim astronomer, translator, mathematician and engineer. His father Ali-Musa was a convert to Islam and an aristocrat who lived in Mansura, Sindh. Sind ibn ʿAlī traveled to Baghdad and received the best education available.He is known to...

, he also wrote the earliest treatise on Arabic numerals.

A distinctive West Arabic variant of the symbols begins to emerge around the 10th century in the Maghreb
Maghreb
The Maghreb is the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. It includes five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara...

 and Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

, called ghubar ("sand-table" or "dust-table") numerals, which are the direct ancestor of the modern Western Arabic numerals used throughout the world.

Folk etymologies


Some folk etymologies argue that the original forms of these symbols indicated their value through the number of angles they contained, however there is no proof of any such origin.

Adoption in Europe



In 825 Al-Khwārizmī wrote a treatise in Arabic, On the Calculation with Hindu Numerals, which was translated into Latin from Arabic in the 12th century as Algoritmi de numero Indorum, where Algoritmi, the translator's rendition of the author's name, gave rise to the word algorithm
Algorithm
In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is an effective method expressed as a finite list of well-defined instructions for calculating a function. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning...

(Latin algorithmus, "calculation method").

The first mentions of the numerals in the West are found in the Codex Vigilanus
Codex Vigilanus
The Codex Vigilanus or Códice Albeldense , full name Codex Conciliorum Albeldensis seu Vigilanus, is an illuminated compilation of various historical documents from the Visigothic period in Spain...

of 976. From the 980s, Gerbert of Aurillac (later, Pope Sylvester II) used his position to spread knowledge of the numerals in Europe. Gerbert studied in Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

 in his youth. He was known to have requested mathematical treatises concerning the astrolabe
Astrolabe
An astrolabe is an elaborate inclinometer, historically used by astronomers, navigators, and astrologers. Its many uses include locating and predicting the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars, determining local time given local latitude and longitude, surveying, triangulation, and to...

 from Lupitus of Barcelona
Lupitus of Barcelona
Lupitus of Barcelona, identified with a Christian archdeacon called Sunifred, was an astronomer in late 10th century Barcelona, then part of the Marca Hispanica between Islamic Al-Andalus and Christian France .Lupitus was instrumental in the transfer of Arabic mathematics, including the...

 after he had returned to France.

Fibonacci, a mathematician born in the Republic of Pisa
Republic of Pisa
The Republic of Pisa was a de facto independent state centered on the Tuscan city of Pisa during the late tenth and eleventh centuries. It rose to become an economic powerhouse, a commercial center whose merchants dominated Mediterranean and Italian trade for a century before being surpassed and...

 who had studied in Bejaia
Béjaïa
Béjaïa, Vgaiet or Bejaya is a Mediterranean port city on the Gulf of Béjaïa in Algeria; it is the capital of Béjaïa Province, Kabylia. Under French rule, it was formerly known under various European names, such as Budschaja in German, Bugia in Italian, and Bougie...

 (Bougie
Bougie
Bougie, Bougis or Bougy as a place name or surname may refer to:- Places :*Bougy , village, Département Calvados, Normandy, France*Bougy-lez-Neuville, village, Département Loiret, France...

), Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, promoted the Indian numeral system in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 with his book Liber Abaci
Liber Abaci
Liber Abaci is a historic book on arithmetic by Leonardo of Pisa, known later by his nickname Fibonacci...

, which was written in 1202:
"When my father, who had been appointed by his country as public notary in the customs at Bugia
Béjaïa
Béjaïa, Vgaiet or Bejaya is a Mediterranean port city on the Gulf of Béjaïa in Algeria; it is the capital of Béjaïa Province, Kabylia. Under French rule, it was formerly known under various European names, such as Budschaja in German, Bugia in Italian, and Bougie...

 acting for the Pisa
Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

n merchants going there, was in charge, he summoned me to him while I was still a child, and having an eye to usefulness and future convenience, desired me to stay there and receive instruction in the school of accounting. There, when I had been introduced to the art of the Indians' nine symbols through remarkable teaching, knowledge of the art very soon pleased me above all else and I came to understand it.."


The numerals are arranged with their lowest value digit to the right, with higher value positions added to the left. This arrangement was adopted identically into the numerals as used in Europe. Languages written in the Latin alphabet run from left to right, unlike languages written in the Arabic alphabet. Hence, from the point of view of the reader, numerals in Western texts are written with the highest power of the base first whereas numerals in Arabic texts are written with the lowest power of the base first.

The European acceptance of the numerals was accelerated by the invention of the printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

, and they became widely known during the 15th century. Early evidence of their use in Britain includes: an equal hour horary quadrant
Quadrant (instrument)
A quadrant is an instrument that is used to measure angles up to 90°. It was originally proposed by Ptolemy as a better kind of astrolabe. Several different variations of the instrument were later produced by medieval Muslim astronomers.-Types of quadrants:...

 from 1396, in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, a 1445 inscription on the tower of Heathfield
Heathfield and Waldron
Heathfield and Waldron is a civil parish within the Wealden District of East Sussex, England. Heathfield is surrounded by the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.-Governance:...

 Church, Sussex
Sussex
Sussex , from the Old English Sūþsēaxe , is an historic county in South East England corresponding roughly in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex. It is bounded on the north by Surrey, east by Kent, south by the English Channel, and west by Hampshire, and is divided for local government into West...

; a 1448 inscription on a wooden lych-gate of Bray
Bray, Berkshire
Bray, sometimes known as Bray on Thames, is a village and civil parish in the English county of Berkshire. It stands on the banks of the River Thames, just south-east of Maidenhead. It is famous as the village mentioned in the song The Vicar of Bray...

 Church, Berkshire
Berkshire
Berkshire is a historic county in the South of England. It is also often referred to as the Royal County of Berkshire because of the presence of the royal residence of Windsor Castle in the county; this usage, which dates to the 19th century at least, was recognised by the Queen in 1957, and...

; and a 1487 inscription on the belfry door at Piddletrenthide
Piddletrenthide
Piddletrenthide is a village in west Dorset, England, situated in the Piddle valley on the dip slope of the Dorset Downs, eight miles north of Dorchester. The village has a population of 691...

 church, Dorset
Dorset
Dorset , is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester which is situated in the south. The Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch joined the county with the reorganisation of local government in 1974...

; and in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 a 1470 inscription on the tomb of the first Earl of Huntly in Elgin
Elgin, Moray
Elgin is a former cathedral city and Royal Burgh in Moray, Scotland. It is the administrative and commercial centre for Moray. The town originated to the south of the River Lossie on the higher ground above the flood plain. Elgin is first documented in the Cartulary of Moray in 1190...

 Cathedral. (See G.F. Hill, The Development of Arabic Numerals in Europe for more examples.) In central Europe, the King of Hungary
King of Hungary
The King of Hungary was the head of state of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1000 to 1918.The style of title "Apostolic King" was confirmed by Pope Clement XIII in 1758 and used afterwards by all the Kings of Hungary, so after this date the kings are referred to as "Apostolic King of...

 Ladislaus the Posthumous, started the use of Arabic numerals, which appear for the first time in a royal document of 1456. By the mid-16th century, they were in common use in most of Europe. Roman numerals remained in use mostly for the notation of Anno Domini
Anno Domini
and Before Christ are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars....

 years, and for numbers on clockfaces. Sometimes, Roman numerals
Roman numerals
The numeral system of ancient Rome, or Roman numerals, uses combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet to signify values. The numbers 1 to 10 can be expressed in Roman numerals as:...

 are still used for enumeration of lists (as an alternative to alphabetical enumeration), for sequential volumes, to differentiate monarchs or family members with the same first names, and (in lower case) to number pages in prefatory material in books.

Adoption in Russia


Cyrillic numerals
Cyrillic numerals
The Cyrillic numerals are a numbering system derived from the Cyrillic script, used by South and East Slavic peoples. The system was used in Russia as late as the early 18th century when Peter the Great replaced it with Arabic numerals....

 were a numbering system derived from the Cyrillic alphabet
Cyrillic alphabet
The Cyrillic script or azbuka is an alphabetic writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School...

, used by South
South Slavs
The South Slavs are the southern branch of the Slavic peoples and speak South Slavic languages. Geographically, the South Slavs are native to the Balkan peninsula, the southern Pannonian Plain and the eastern Alps...

 and East
East Slavs
The East Slavs are Slavic peoples speaking East Slavic languages. Formerly the main population of the medieval state of Kievan Rus, by the seventeenth century they evolved into the Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian peoples.-Sources:...

 Slavic peoples
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

. The system was used in Russia as late as the early 18th century when Peter the Great
Peter I of Russia
Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov Dates indicated by the letters "O.S." are Old Style. All other dates in this article are New Style. ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother, Ivan V...

 replaced it with Arabic numerals.

Adoption in China


During Ming
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

 and Qing
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 dynasties (when Arabic numerals were first introduced into China), some Chinese mathematicians used Chinese numeral characters
Chinese numerals
Chinese numerals are characters for writing numbers in Chinese. Today speakers of Chinese use three numeral systems:the ubiquitous Arabic numerals and two indigenous systems....

 as positional system digits. After the Qing dynasty, both the Chinese numeral characters and the Suzhou numerals
Suzhou numerals
The Suzhou numerals or huama is a numeral system used in China before the introduction of Arabic numerals.-History:The Suzhou numeral system is the only surviving variation of the rod numeral system. The rod numeral system is a positional numeral system used by the Chinese in mathematics...

 were replaced by Arabic numerals in mathematical writings.

Evolution of symbols


The numeral system employed, known as algorism
Algorism
Algorism is the technique of performing basic arithmetic by writing numbers in place value form and applying a set of memorized rules and facts to the digits. One who practices algorism is known as an algorist...

, is positional
Positional notation
Positional notation or place-value notation is a method of representing or encoding numbers. Positional notation is distinguished from other notations for its use of the same symbol for the different orders of magnitude...

 decimal
Decimal
The decimal numeral system has ten as its base. It is the numerical base most widely used by modern civilizations....

 notation. Various symbol sets are used to represent numbers in the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, all of which evolved from the Brahmi numerals. The symbols used to represent the system have split into various typographical variants since the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

:
  • The widespread Western Arabic numerals used with the Latin script, in the table below labelled European, descended from the West Arabic numerals developed in al-Andalus
    Al-Andalus
    Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

     and the Maghreb
    Maghreb
    The Maghreb is the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. It includes five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania and the disputed territory of Western Sahara...

    . (There are two typographic styles for rendering European numerals, known as lining figures and text figures
    Text figures
    Text figures are numerals typeset with varying heights in a fashion that resembles a typical line of running text, hence the name...

    ).
  • The Arabic-Indic or Eastern Arabic numerals
    Eastern Arabic numerals
    The Eastern Arabic numerals are the symbols used to represent the Hindu-Arabic numeral system in conjunction with the Arabic alphabet in the countries of the Arab world....

     used with the Arabic alphabet
    Arabic alphabet
    The Arabic alphabet or Arabic abjad is the Arabic script as it is codified for writing the Arabic language. It is written from right to left, in a cursive style, and includes 28 letters. Because letters usually stand for consonants, it is classified as an abjad.-Consonants:The Arabic alphabet has...

     developed primarily in what is now Iraq
    Iraq
    Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

    . A variant of the Eastern Arabic numerals used in the Persian and Urdu languages is shown as East Arabic-Indic. There is substantial variation in usage of glyphs for the Eastern Arabic-Indic digits, especially for the digits four, five, six, and seven.
  • The Devanagari numerals used with Devanagari
    Devanagari
    Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

     and related variants are grouped as Indian numerals
    Indian numerals
    Most of the positional base 10 numeral systems in the world have originated from India, where the concept of positional numeration was first developed...

    .


The evolution of the numerals in early Europe is shown on a table created by the French scholar J.E. Montucla in his Histoire de la Mathematique, which was published in 1757:



The Arabic numerals are encoded in ASCII
ASCII
The American Standard Code for Information Interchange is a character-encoding scheme based on the ordering of the English alphabet. ASCII codes represent text in computers, communications equipment, and other devices that use text...

 (and Unicode
Unicode
Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems...

) at positions 48 to 57:
Binary Octal Decimal Hexadecimal Glyph
0011 0000 060 48 30 0
0011 0001 061 49 31 1
0011 0010 062 50 32 2
0011 0011 063 51 33 3
0011 0100 064 52 34 4
0011 0101 065 53 35 5
0011 0110 066 54 36 6
0011 0111 067 55 37 7
0011 1000 070 56 38 8
0011 1001 071 57 39 9

See also

  • Abjad numerals
    Abjad numerals
    The Abjad numerals are a decimal numeral system in which the 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet are assigned numerical values. They have been used in the Arabic-speaking world since before the 8th century Arabic numerals...

  • Hindu-Arabic numeral system
    Hindu-Arabic numeral system
    The Hindu–Arabic numeral system or Hindu numeral system is a positional decimal numeral system developed between the 1st and 5th centuries by Indian mathematicians, adopted by Persian and Arab mathematicians , and spread to the western world...

  • Numeral system
    Numeral system
    A numeral system is a writing system for expressing numbers, that is a mathematical notation for representing numbers of a given set, using graphemes or symbols in a consistent manner....

  • Numerical digit
    Numerical digit
    A digit is a symbol used in combinations to represent numbers in positional numeral systems. The name "digit" comes from the fact that the 10 digits of the hands correspond to the 10 symbols of the common base 10 number system, i.e...

  • Decimal
    Decimal
    The decimal numeral system has ten as its base. It is the numerical base most widely used by modern civilizations....

  • Positional numeral system
  • Counting rods
    Counting rods
    Counting rods are small bars, typically 3–14 cm long, used by mathematicians for calculation in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. They are placed either horizontally or vertically to represent any number and any fraction....

     - decimal positional numeral system with zero
  • Chinese numerals
    Chinese numerals
    Chinese numerals are characters for writing numbers in Chinese. Today speakers of Chinese use three numeral systems:the ubiquitous Arabic numerals and two indigenous systems....

  • Japanese numerals
    Japanese numerals
    The system of Japanese numerals is the system of number names used in the Japanese language. The Japanese numerals in writing are entirely based on the Chinese numerals and the grouping of large numbers follow the Chinese tradition of grouping by 10,000...

  • Roman numerals
    Roman numerals
    The numeral system of ancient Rome, or Roman numerals, uses combinations of letters from the Latin alphabet to signify values. The numbers 1 to 10 can be expressed in Roman numerals as:...


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