Numeral Systems and Representing Numbers
Date: 10/30/98 at 14:14:19 From: Sean Widra Subject: The Number 8 Dear Dr. Math: I have a math project. I have to research the number 8. I have to show how it is written in different ways. I found the number written in different languages, and how people would count on their fingers. Other than 8 and VIII how else is it written? I also need to know the origin of 8. I am trying to find sites on numerology. My math project is to create a poster with the number 8 shown in as many ways as possible, and to write a paper showing how I researched it. Any help you give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Sean
Date: 10/30/98 at 18:25:02 From: Doctor Rick Subject: Re: The Number 8 Hi, Sean. I have some Web pages to show you. I can really get into this topic! This page shows how the Babylonians wrote numbers. It doesn't really get interesting until you get above 60, or at least above 10. http://www.phys.virginia.edu/classes/109N/lectures/babylon.html This page shows Egyptian mathematics: http://eyelid.ukonline.co.uk/ancient/numbers.htm Here is a page about the Mayan numeral system. See if you notice a similarity between their 8 and the Roman 8: http://www.astro.uva.nl/~michielb/maya/math.html The Greeks used letters to represent digits. Their 8 was the same as their letter eta, which looks like our letter H. In Hebrew the same method was used. You can find the Hebrew letter that stood for 8 here: http://www.amerisoftinc.com/hebletr1.htm Our symbol for 8 came from India by way of the Arabs. Here is a page that shows the early Indian numerals and the present-day Arabic numerals, along with other versions in between: http://www.islamicity.org/mosque/ihame/Ref6.htm Have fun with your project! Let me know if you find any other numeral systems. - Doctor Rick, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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