Why are western-digits written the way they do?

| Linda Brown | Communication

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The secret lies within the angles. As is demonstrated in the image below, each digit included originally a corresponding number of angels. 

Bonus Fact 1: The digits we use today in the western world are commonly called ‘Arabic Numbers’, but actually they were developed in India. Moreover, they are not in use in Arab countries, but rather another version of them – the ‘Eastern Arabic Numbers’. 

Bonus fact 2: the Roman numerical system had no digit for zero, and it was expressed in the absence of any marking. 

Bonus fact 3: The numeral system we use today was developed in India in the 6th century. The Arabs adopted it in the 9th century, following a book published by the mathematician Muhammad Ibn Musa Al-Khuwarizmi. Later, the Jewish scholar named Abraham Ibn Ezra, followed by the Italian genius Fibonacci, introduced the method to Europe, where it was quickly adopted as a substitute for the Roman system and implemented both in commerce and science.

Western digits original shapes and corresponding number of angels

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And for all of the numbers-enthusiasts here are some more facts:

Presently we use almost exclusively the decimal system. Truth be told, we still have ounces and yards and inches, but it seems are in process of being replaced by grams and meters.    

Down to business, the decimal numeric system was not always the standard de-facto. Once upon a time – some 5,500 years ago – the world’s leading civilization was Sumer. Its culture reigned supreme and projected on all surrounding nations. 

The Sumer civilization and its cutting edge scientists used the sexagesimal numeral system – a numeral system with six as its base. They were the first to divide the circle into 360 degrees, the day into 24 hours, and the hour into 60 minutes.

Most of us have long forgotten this great civilization, but its legacy remains very much alive every time we take a look at our watch or count in dozens.  

And for all of the numbers-enthusiasts here are some more facts:

Presently we use almost exclusively the decimal system. Truth be told, we still have ounces and yards and inches, but it seems are in process of being replaced by grams and meters.    

Down to business, the decimal numeric system was not always the standard de-facto. Once upon a time – some 5,500 years ago – the world’s leading civilization was Sumer. Its culture reigned supreme and projected on all surrounding nations. 

The Sumer civilization and its cutting edge scientists used the sexagesimal numeral system – a numeral system with six as its base. They were the first to divide the circle into 360 degrees, the day into 24 hours, and the hour into 60 minutes.

Most of us have long forgotten this great civilization, but its legacy remains very much alive every time we take a look at our watch or count in dozens.