Sep 9, 2013

Modern Numerations

Around the 5th century AD., decimal position arithmetic appeared in India: it used 10 figures from 0 to 9 such as we know today. In 829 Mohammad Ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi (780-850) published a treatise on algebra in Baghdad in which he adopted this decimal system. A French monk named Gerbert became interested in the Arabic figures during his voyage (980) to Cordoba in Spain, and was able to spread the use of these symbols when he became Pope Sylvester II in April 999. However, it was not until Leonardo Fibonacci, known as Leonard of Pisa, through his Liber Abaci, written in 1202, that Arabic numbering began to spread throughout Europe. In 1440, thanks to the invention of printing, the shape of these 10 figures was definitively fixed. (‘Inventions and Discoveries’)