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Babylonian Numbers


Date: 01/10/97 at 11:55:30
From: Steven Bragg
Subject: Babylonian math

I am doing research for Algebra II on ancient Babylonian math.
I know it is based on 60 but I need to find the symbols used and the 
names of the numbers.

Thank you.
Steven Bragg


Date: 01/26/97 at 22:39:44
From: Doctor Jaime
Subject: Re: Babylonian math

Here are the names of the Babylonian numbers (used by the Sumerians) 
from 1 to 10:

   1 - as (meaning literally 'man')
   2 - min (meaning literally 'woman')
   3 - es (meaning literally 'many')
   4 - limmu
   5 - ia 
   6 - ias (from ia+as 5+1)
   7 - imin (from ia+min 5+2)
   8 - ussu
   9 - ilimmu (from ia+limmu 5+4)
  10 - u

  60 is 'ges' meaning 'the great ynit'
  10x60 is 'ges-u'
  60x60 is 'sar'
  60x60x10 is 'sar-u'
  60x60x60 is 'sar-ges'

I cannot indicate here the symbols for these numbers. But you can find 
them in some books like

  'Number words and number symbols' by Karl Menninger (Dover 
   publications, New York, 1992)

or

   'A History of Mathematics' by Carl Boyer (John Wiley, 1968)

On the Web you can find interesting information here:

  http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/HistTopics/Babylonian_and_Egyptian.html   

-Doctor Jaime, The Math Forum
 Check out our web site!  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/   
    
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