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Numeralia Graeca: 20307?

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Numeralia Graeca: 20307?

Postby amans » Thu May 26, 2005 6:07 pm

[face=spionic]xai/rete w)= so/foi[/face]

I am speculating about how the Greeks wrote numbers. My grammar is not much help in that regard.

I understand they used the letters, but I am not quite sure how the system works. Are Greek numeralia like the Roman numeralia?

Specifically, I want to write 20.307. What would that be?


Thanks :D
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Postby whiteoctave » Thu May 26, 2005 7:16 pm

yes, letters were used, typically marked with additional lines. if you mean 20, 307 i think it would be written [face=SPIonic]iitz'[/face].

~D
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Postby amans » Thu May 26, 2005 8:56 pm

thanks whiteoctave,

I meant twenty thousand and three hundred and seven... 20307

I also wondered if Greeks used the same additive way of building the numerals as the Romans.

my grammar has

[face=spionic]¨a[/face] = 10000

[face=spionic]t'[/face] = 300

[face=spionic]z'[/face] = 7

would 20307 then be

[face=spionic]¨a ¨a t' z'[/face]

?

cheers
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Postby whiteoctave » Thu May 26, 2005 9:26 pm

yes, '20, 307' = 20307. my Grk numbers are the same as yours (a mark should be added after the tau, i forgot), however i was under the impression that a myriad (i.e. 10,000) was represented by mere iota: this seems to not to be accurate. instead 20,000 was represented by a capital M with a beta written above. 20,307 would thus be [face=SPIonic]M[/face](with [face=SPIonic]b[/face]above)[face=SPIonic]t'z'[/face].

~D
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Postby amans » Thu May 26, 2005 11:31 pm

Thanks again,

Would you then have an [face=spionic]a[/face] above the [face=spionic]M[/face] (short for [face=spionic]mu/rioi[/face], I suppose) to multiply by one and a [face=spionic]g[/face] to multiply it by three et cetera?

Difficult to represent on a computer though.

I read that ,[face=spionic]a[/face] is 1000 - perhaps ,[face=spionic]k[/face] is 20000 then.

If that is correct, another way around the 20307 is

,[face=spionic]kt[/face]'[face=spionic]z[/face]'

It's my student number by the way :)

I guess the main differences between the Roman and Greek systems are that the Greeks only add and that they have more letters: in fact a letter for each of our numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 and multipla thereof by 10, 100 and 1000.
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Postby 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. :?:
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Postby xar » Mon Jun 13, 2005 1:07 pm

for a detailed description, look at:
http://ptolemy.tlg.uci.edu/~opoudjis/un ... erals.html
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Postby xar » Mon Jun 13, 2005 1:25 pm

this one is much more understandable
http://anubis.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc2/wg2/docs/n1938.pdf
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Postby amans » Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:34 pm

Hi xar,

I just realised you'd posted on this topic. Thanks a bunch for your links and explanations. I look forward to digging into it :)
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Postby ThomasGR » Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:18 pm

The point is, there were two systems used for long time parallel. Before the third century, the first one using acromnyms, from which the Romans were influenced and adopted into their system, after that time and influenced by the Hebrew culture, the second one which xar mentions.
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