Brill’s New Pauly

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Number
(5,221 words)

I. Mesopotamia

[German version]

A. Numerical systems

Before systems for representing numbers in writing were (further) developed, counting stones, known as calculi or tokens, were used in arithmetic. As first-order representations they enabled operations such as increasing, decreasing, combining, separating, and distributing. Their relationship to the numerical notations recorded in the oldest ‘texts’ (c. 3300 BC; Uruk) is still discussed [2]. The numerical signs in these texts do not r…

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Cancik-Kirschbaum, Eva (Berlin), I.A., Folkerts, Folkerts, Menso (Munich), Crubellier, Michel (Villeneuve d'Ascq) and Riedweg, Christoph (Zürich), “Number”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 25 May 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e12214310>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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