The Hindu-Arabic Numerals


The Hindu-Arabic Numerals



by David Eugene Smith (former College at Brockport faculty member) and Louis Charles Karpinski.

The numbers that we call Arabic are so familiar throughout Europe and the Americas that it can be difficult to realize that their general acceptance in commercial transactions is a matter of only the last four centuries and they still remain unknown in parts of the world.

In this volume, one of the earliest texts to trace the origin and development of our number system, two distinguished mathematicians collaborated to bring together many fragmentary narrations to produce a concise history of Hindu-Arabic numerals. Clearly and succinctly, they recount the labors of scholars who have studied the subject in different parts of the world; they then assess the historical testimony and draw conclusions from its evidence. Topics include early ideas of the origin of numerals; Hindu forms with and without a place value; the symbol zero; the introduction of numbers into Europe by Boethius; the development of numerals among Arabic cultures; and the definitive introduction of numerals into Europe and their subsequent spread. Helpful supplements to the text include a guide to the pronunciation of Oriental names and an index.



Publication Date


Publication Information

Mineola, N.Y. : Dover Publications, 2004.

v, 160 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm,.

Series: Dover phoenix editions.

Originally published: Boston : Ginn and Company, c1911.






Located in Drake Library at: QA141 .S6 1911a

CONTENTS: Pronunciation of oriental names -- Early ideas of their origins -- Early Hindu forms with no place value -- Later Hindu forms, with a place value -- The symbol zero -- The question of the introduction of the numerals into Europe by Boethius -- The development of the numerals among the Arabs -- The definite introduction of the numerals into Europe -- The spread of the numerals in Europe.