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Compare/Contrast Babylonian, Egyptian & Ionic Greek Number Systems

Compare/Contrast Number Systems

Jennifer Costanzo

on 30 October 2014

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Transcript of Compare/Contrast Babylonian, Egyptian & Ionic Greek Number Systems

Other Number Systems
Jennifer Costanzo & Cody Lewis
Ionic Greek
Babylonian, Egyptian & Ionic Greek
Babylonian Number System
The Babylonian number system is one of the oldest in the world.

Started in Mesopotamia over 5,000 years ago.

Used a style called, “cuneiform”.

Cuneiform means, “wedged shape” in Latin.

Babylonians wrote on clay tablets and placed them in the sun to dry.

Base 60, system. Unlike the base 10 we use today.

Was eventually replaced by Arabic Number System.
Ionic Greek Number System
Unlike the Babylonians, Egyptians used a Base 10 system.
Babylonian VS Greek and Egyptian
Egyptian Number System
Different from both, the Greeks used their alphabet symbols to represent numerals.
The Attic system was the first form that they used, but because they had to write on clay tablets, they shortened it to have more room instead of trying to write over one-hundred letters on the tablets.
The Greeks based their number system on their alphabet.

Originally the Greek alphabet consisted of twenty-seven letters.

Those twenty-seven letters are the main symbols that are used for the number system.

Although now, the Greeks only use a twenty-four letter alphabet, the three symbols that were only used for the number system became extinct from their alphabet.

Did not have a symbol for zero.
Ionic Greek Number System
Example of what each symbol looks like and which letter it is accompanied by.
Ionic Greek Number System
(cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr
How do we know what the Egyptian language of numbers is?
The number system has been found on the writings on the stones of monument walls of ancient time.
Numbers have also been found on pottery, limestone plaques, and on the fragile fibers of the papyrus.
The language is composed of hieroglyphs, pictorial signs that represent people, animals, plants, and numbers.
Egyptian Number System
The Egyptians used a written numeration that was changed into hieroglyphic writing, which enabled them to note whole numbers to 1,000,000 . It had a decimal base and allowed for the additive principle. In this notation there was a special sign for every power of ten. For I, a vertical line; for 10, a sign with the shape of an upside down U; for 100, a spiral rope; for 1000, a lotus blossom; for 10,000 , a raised finger, slightly bent; for 100,000 , a tadpole; and for 1,000,000, a kneeling genie with upraised arms.
Number Egyptian
1 = staff
10 = heel bone
100 = coil of rope
1000 = lotus flower
10,000 = pointing finger
100,000 = tadpole
1,000,000 = astonished man
= 456
= 265
Instead of leaving the answer as shown, they would simplify it, combining symbols to look like this:
In the terms of addition, Egyptian and Greek fairly relate. You can take all of their symbols and combine them together to create another, just as in the english system.
Egyptian vs. Greek
By putting a comma in front of any symbol in the first row, they could now write any number up to 10,000.

As shown above with alpha and beta having a coma in front of them, making alpha = 1000 and beta = 2000. simply just adding on the three zeros.
The three extra symbols were used for the missing numbers of 6, 90 and 900.
Although the Greeks were the first to use their alphabet as a system for their numbers, they were not the first to develop a written number system. That title belongs to the Babylonians.

Each of the number systems has a specific type of way that they were written and used.
Babylonians used the style of Cuneiform, Egyptians used Hieroglyphs, and the Greeks used their alphabet.
Greek VS Babylonian & Egyptian
Full transcript