- Arabic numerals
The

**arabic numerals**(often capitalized) are the tendigit s (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9), which—along with the system by which a sequence "(e.g." "406") was read as anumber —were originally defined by Indian mathematicians, later modified and transferred toNorth Africa n Arab mathematicians and transmitted toEurope in theMiddle Ages , whence they spread through Europeancolonialism . Today they are the most common symbolic representation of number in the world.The term

**Arabic numerals**may refer to the closely relatedEastern Arabic numerals (٠.١.٢.٣.٤.٥.٦.٧.٨.٩) which are, to Westerners today, more closely associated with Arabic speakers than the Western Arabic numerals.Finally,

**arabic numerals**is the conventional name for the family ofnumeral s, invented by Indian mathematicians in around AD 500, which are related to or ancestral to the Western numerals.Ifrah, Georges. 1999. "The Universal History of Numbers : From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer", Wiley. ISBN 0-471-37568-3.] O'Connor, J.J. and E.F. Robertson. 2000. [*http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/HistTopics/Indian_numerals.html 'Indian Numerals'*] , "MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive", School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St. Andrews, Scotland.] This invention, which involvedzero and adecimal positional notation , is considered an important milestone in the development ofmathematics .One may distinguish between the positional decimal system involved in interpreting the numerals, known as the

Hindu-Arabic numeral system , which is identical throughout the family, and the precisecharacter s used to write these numerals, which vary regionally. The characters most commonly used in conjunction with theLatin alphabet since Early Modern times are 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9.The reason that (0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9) are known as arabic numerals is that they are the characters used by western Arabs from Morocco to Libya, from where they were introduced to Europe in the tenth century. The Arabs themselves call them "Hindu numerals", but this term is not restricted to the characters (0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9), but also includes (٠.١.٢.٣.٤.٥.٦.٧.٨.٩) as well.

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 . [*"Arabic", "Oxford English dictionary," 2nd edition*] This helps distinguish it from theEast Arabic numerals specific to the Arabs.**History****Origins**The symbols for 1 to 9 in the Hindu-Arabic numeral system evolved from the

Brahmi numerals .Buddhist inscriptions from around 300 BC 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 inCentral India dated to 870. However, by this time, the use of the glyph had already reached Persia, and is mentioned in Al-Khwarizmi's descriptions ofIndian numerals . Indian documents on copper plates, with the same symbol for zero in them, dated back as far as the 6th century AD, abound. [*Kaplan, Robert. (2000). "The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero". Oxford: Oxford University Press.*][

Brahmi numeral s inIndia in the 1st century AD]The

numeral system came to be known to both the Persian mathematician Al-Khwarizmi, whose book "On the Calculation with Hindu Numerals" written about 825, and theArab mathematicianAl-Kindi , who wrote four volumes, "On the Use of the Indian Numerals" ("Ketab fi Isti'mal al-'Adad al-Hindi") about 830, are principally responsible for the diffusion of the Indian system of numeration in theMiddle East and the West. [*[*] In the 10th century,*http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/%7Ehistory/HistTopics/Indian_numerals.html The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive*]Middle-East ern mathematicians extended the decimal numeral system to include fractions, as recorded in a treatise bySyrian mathematicianAbu'l-Hasan al-Uqlidisi in 952–53.In the Arab world—until modern times—the arabic numeral system was used only by mathematicians. Muslim scientists used the Babylonian numeral system, and merchants used the

Abjad numerals . It was not untilFibonacci that the arabic numeral system was used by a large population.A distinctive West Arabic variant of the symbols begins to emerge around the 10th century in the

Maghreb andAl-Andalus , called "ghubar" ("sand-table" or "dust-table") numerals, which is the direct ancestor to the modern Western Arabic numerals used throughout the world. [*citation|title=The Origin of the Ghubār Numerals, or the Arabian Abacus and the Articuli|first=Solomon|last=Gandz|journal=Isis|volume=16|issue=2|date=November 1931|pages=393-424*]The first mentions of the numerals in the West are found in the "

Codex Vigilanus " of 976. [*[*] From the 980s, Gerbert of Aurillac (later, Pope*http://www.mathorigins.com/V.htm Mathorigins.com*]Silvester II ) began to spread knowledge of the numerals in Europe. Gerbert studied inBarcelona in his youth, and he is known to have requested mathematical treatises concerning theastrolabe fromLupitus of Barcelona after he had returned to France.**Adoption in Europe**In 825 Al-Khwārizmī, the Persian scientist, wrote a treatise, "On the Calculation with Hindu Numerals", which was translated into Latin 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 " (Latin "algorithmus", "calculation method").Fibonacci, a mathematician born in the

Republic of Pisa who had studied inBejaia (Bougie ),Algeria , promoted the Arabic numeral system inEurope with his book "Liber Abaci ", which was written in 1202, still describing the numerals as Indian rather than Arabic.:"When my father, who had been appointed by his country as public notary in the customs at

Bugia acting for thePisa 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. The Latin alphabet runs from left to right, unlike the Arabic alphabet. Hence, numerals in western texts have an inverse arrangement of their glyphs relative to the direction of writing.

The European acceptance of the numerals was accelerated by the invention of the

printing press , and they became commonly known during the 15th century. Early uses in Britain include a 1445 inscription on the tower of Heathfield Church,Sussex , a 1448 inscription on a wooden lych-gate of Bray Church,Berkshire , and a 1487 inscription on the belfry door atPiddletrenthide church,Dorset and inScotland a 1470 inscription on the tomb of the first Earl of Huntly in Elgin, (Elgin, Moray ) Cathedral. (See G.F. Hill, "The Development of Arabic Numerals in Europe" for more examples.) By the mid-16th century, they were in common use in most of Europe. [*[*] Roman numerals remained in use mostly for the notation of*http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/52545.html Mathforum.org*]Anno Domini years, and for numbers on clockfaces. Sometimes, Roman numerals are still used for enumeration of lists (as an alternative to alphabetical enumeration), and numbering pages in prefatory material in books.**Evolution of symbols**The numeral system employed, known as

algorism , is positionaldecimal notation. Various symbol sets are used to represent numbers in the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, all of which evolved from theBrahmi numerals . The symbols used to represent the system have split into various typographical variants since theMiddle Ages :*The widespread Western Arabic numerals used with the

Latin alphabet , in the table below labelled "European", descended from the West Arabic numerals developed inal-Andalus and theMaghreb . (There are twotypographic styles for rendering European numerals, known as lining figures andtext figures ).

*The Arabic-Indic orEastern Arabic numerals used with theArabic alphabet developed primarily in what is nowIraq . A variant of the Eastern Arabic numerals used in the Persian and Urdu languages is shown as East Arabic-Indic.

*TheDevanagari numerals used withDevanagari and related variants are grouped asIndian numerals .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 (andUnicode ) at positions 48 to 57:**ee also***

Hindu-Arabic numeral system

*Numeral system

*Counting rods - decimal positional numeral system with zero

*Chinese numerals

*Japanese numerals

*Roman numerals **Notes****References***Citation

last=Burnett

first=Charles

authorlink=

title=The Semantics of Indian Numerals in Arabic, Greek and Latin

journal=Journal of Indian Philosophy,

publisher=Springer-Netherlands

volume=34

issue=1-2

year=2006

pages=15-30

doi=10.1007/s10781-005-8153-z .

*Citation

last=Encyclopaedia Britannica (Kim Plofker)

first=

title=mathematics, South Asian

journal=Encyclopædia Britannica Online

volume=

issue=

year=2007

pages=1-12

url=http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9389286

access-date=May 18 ,2007 .

*Citation

last1=Hayashi

first1=Takao

year=1995

title=The Bakhshali Manuscript, An ancient Indian mathematical treatise

place=Groningen

publisher=Egbert Forsten

isbn=906980087X

url= .

*Citation

last1=Ifrah

first1=Georges

authorlink=Georges Ifrah

year=2000

title=A Universal History of Numbers: From Prehistory to Computers

place=New York

publisher=Wiley

isbn=0471393401

url=http://www.amazon.com/Universal-History-Numbers-Prehistory-Invention/dp/0471393401/.

*Citation

last1=Katz

first1=Victor J. (ed.)

date=July 20 2007

year=2007

editor2-last=

editor2-first=

title=The Mathematics of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, and Islam: A Sourcebook

volume=

place=Princeton, NJ

publisher=Princeton University Press,

publication-year=

isbn=0691114854 .**External links*** [

*http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ab34 History of Counting Systems and Numerals*] . Retrieved11 December 2005 .

* [*http://www.laputanlogic.com/articles/2003/06/01-95210802.html The Evolution of Numbers*] .16 April 2005 .

*O'Connor, J. J. and Robertson, E. F. [*http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/%7Ehistory/HistTopics/Indian_numerals.html Indian numerals*] . November 2000.

*History of the Numerals

** [*http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/%7Ehistory/HistTopics/Arabic_numerals.html Arabic numerals*] :

** [*http://www.scit.wlv.ac.uk/university/scit/modules/mm2217/han.htm Hindu-Arabic numerals*] :

** [*http://www.archimedes-lab.org/numeral.html Numeral & Numbers' history and curiosities*] :

** [*http://mathdl.maa.org/convergence/1/?pa=content&sa=viewDocument&nodeId=1187&bodyId=1327 Gerbert d'Aurillac's early use of Hindu-Arabic numerals*] at [*http://mathdl.maa.org/convergence/1/ Convergence*]

*Wikimedia Foundation.
2010.*

### Look at other dictionaries:

**Arabic numerals**— n. the figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and the 0 (zero) that originated in India; Hindu Arabic numerals … English World dictionary**Arabic numerals**— Arabic Ar a*bic, a. [L. Arabicus, fr. Arabia.] Of or pertaining to Arabia or the Arabians. [1913 Webster] {Arabic numerals} or {figures}, the nine digits, 1, 2, 3, etc., and the cipher 0. {Gum arabic}. See under {Gum}. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English**Arabic numerals**— the characters 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, in general European use since the 12th century. See table under Roman numerals. Also, Arabic figures. [1840 50] * * * Arabic numerals or Arabian numerals plural noun The numerals in ordinary use in… … Useful english dictionary**arabic numerals**— Арабские цифры (Arabic numerals) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0. Заимствованы европейцами в XIII в. у арабов, которые сами заимствовали их ранее у индийцев. Поэтому иногда эти цифры наз. индо арабскими (Hindu Arabic numerals). Получили широкое… … Шрифтовая терминология**Arabic numerals**— the characters 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, in general European use since the 12th century. See table under Roman numerals. Also, Arabic figures. [1840 50] * * * … Universalium**Arabic numerals**— numerical system used in most western nations (based on the numerals 1 2 3 4 etc.) … English contemporary dictionary**Arabic numerals**— /ˌærəbɪk ˈnjumərəlz/ (say .aruhbik nyoohmuhruhlz) plural noun the characters 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, in general Western use since the 12th century. Also, Arabic figures … Australian English dictionary**Arabic numerals**— Арабские цифры … Краткий толковый словарь по полиграфии**arabic numerals**— Not cap … Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors**Arabic numerals**— Ar′abic nu′merals n. pl. the number symbols 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, in general European use since the 12th century Also called Ar′abic fig′ures. Etymology: 1840–50 … From formal English to slang