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greek numbers

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greek numbers

Postby klewlis » Mon Sep 15, 2003 4:33 pm

check this article:<br />http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3109806.stm<br /><br />interesting... but in the illustration, what is the character used for 6??? i've never seen that before...
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Re:greek numbers

Postby greagach » Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:37 pm

<br /> well, just another theory in the series of "ex Oriente lux" (or shall we call them "out of Africa"?)...<br /><br /> My experience is that the alphabet has never ceased to serve as a numerical system in the Greek-speaking world (as has the Hebrew one in parallel use with Arabic numerals), although to a lesser extent nowadays, but definitely not "until the fall of the Byzantine Empire in the 15th century"...<br /><br /> the character for "six" is the stigma one, only without the first leg on that really bizarre format... <br /><br />but that's BBC for you...
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Re:greek numbers

Postby klewlis » Mon Sep 15, 2003 9:04 pm

stigma one?
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Re:greek numbers

Postby benissimus » Mon Sep 15, 2003 11:40 pm

Hmm. Do you think this is equivalent to the Romans' use of letters to make Roman numerals?
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Re:greek numbers

Postby bingley » Tue Sep 16, 2003 1:50 am

[quote author=klewlis link=board=2;threadid=644;start=0#6077 date=1063659899]<br />stigma one?<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Also known as digamma or vau. It was part of the adaptation of the Phoenician alphabet to write Greek, but the sound it represented dropped out of the language pretty quickly. Of course in English this would not be a problem and we would still have it ;D but the Greeks took a more pragmatic approach and dropped the letter as well except as a numeral. In one form it continued to be used by some people for [face=SPIonic]st[/face].
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Re:greek numbers

Postby mingshey » Tue Sep 16, 2003 2:09 am

There're [face=SPIonic][size=18=12]J'[/face][/size](koppa) and [face=SPIonic][size=18=12]`'[/face][/size](sampi) for 90 and 900, too.<br />Apparently digamma(vau) is from vau of phoenician, and koppa is from qoppa, but I cannot guess where sampi is from. A greek invention?
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Re:greek numbers

Postby mingshey » Tue Sep 16, 2003 2:18 am

[quote author=benissimus link=board=2;threadid=644;start=0#6084 date=1063669259]<br />Hmm. Do you think this is equivalent to the Romans' use of letters to make Roman numerals?<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Roman numerals are said to come from tally markings, AFAIK. Their similarity to some of the alphabet charecters being a coincidence.
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Re:greek numbers

Postby klewlis » Tue Sep 16, 2003 2:32 am

tally marks, really?<br /><br />wheelock says the lines represent fingers, and the V an open hand. you can hold up four fingers and then IV is a hand less one finger... VI is a hand plus a finger... etc. :)
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Re:greek numbers

Postby mingshey » Tue Sep 16, 2003 2:44 am

Possible. <br />I read the story about the tally system in a book before. Can be only a conjecture, but a feasible one.<br />Check out here.<br />
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Re:greek numbers

Postby Clemens » Tue Sep 16, 2003 11:57 am

Also known as digamma or vau...
<br /><br />I don't think that digamma and stigma are the same. ???
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Re:greek numbers

Postby annis » Tue Sep 16, 2003 12:41 pm

[quote author=mingshey link=board=2;threadid=644;start=0#6089 date=1063678149]<br />Apparently digamma(vau) is from vau of phoenician, and koppa is from qoppa, but I cannot guess where sampi is from. A greek invention?<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Also from Phoenecian, I believe. There are several kinds of 's' sound to choose from in most of these semitic languages, and the alphabet reflects that. Also several kinds of 't' and what most poeple would hear as 'k'.<br /><br />
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Re:greek numbers

Postby annis » Tue Sep 16, 2003 12:44 pm

[quote author=Clemens link=board=2;threadid=644;start=0#6111 date=1063713430]<br />
Also known as digamma or vau...
<br /><br />I don't think that digamma and stigma are the same. ???<br />[/quote]<br /><br />They are not. <br /><br />Edit: How annoying. Goodwin says that stigma is a strange form of the digamma. But then he goes on to write the digamma form I'm used to.<br /><br />Stigma sounds 'st', and I've only ever see it in very old Greek books printed on the continent (France, Germany, Italy). It was quite a surprise when I first saw [face=SPIonic]e)sti\[/face] written with the stigma.
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Re:greek numbers

Postby klewlis » Tue Sep 16, 2003 12:46 pm

so when did these other letters drop out of use? <br /><br />and what do the others look like?<br /><br />I don't think I've ever known about this before! :)
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