by **xar** » Fri Jun 10, 2005 2:00 pm

Hi everyone!

Amans, what you say is almost correct, with one mistake though.

The Greeks did use -as you mention- a different letter for numbers 1,2,3..,10 BUT they also used a different letter for each of 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100, as well as for each x-hundred, up to 900. Then, they reapeated the alphabet from the begining (for 1000 onwards), changing the accent (1000 = ,α).

For example, to represent the number 50 they would use the letter μ΄(mi) or for 200 the letter σ΄(sigma) -with the accent on the top right.

345 wouled be notated as τ΄λ΄ε΄ (tau, lamda, epsilon).

They did not apply subtraction of the leftmost letters like the Romans.

Anyway, that's the arithmetic notation system in classical antiquity, i.e. 500 BC onwards. I don't know if other notation systems were used beforehand or in parallel. I also don't know if they used special letters or symbols for the myriad (10,000) or the million. :?: