PreviousPage of ArabicNotIndianNumbers Previous Page العربية Next Page NextPage of ArabicNotIndianNumbers

Of the History of the Arabic Numerals
Settling in Europe (2)

14- "Alkhawarizmi mentions two forms of the Indian numerals' shape Arabs wrote, one has survived to date which is prevailed in the Arabic-East, while the other form has vanished in which the digits were written in the west of Islamic World and transmitted to Europe from there".
[The shape of the Arabic Ghebari numerals (in the Arabic-West) has not vanished and remained in use in the Arabic-Western countries of the Islamic World until been occupied by the West, Occident (Senegal 1817, Alger 1830, Mauritania 1855, Mali 1880, Morocco 1901, Libya 1912, and Niger 1922) then their peoples applied the Arabic numerals in their modern European shape.  This is testified by the manuscript of Tumbuktu, Mali, from the 18th century (1750 AD, in average).  However, by the Europeans translating the books of Alkhawarizmi and those who followed like Alhasan Ben-Alhaitham (Alhazen) - who are easterners - the older Arabic numerals (Ghebari) had settled in the mind of the Europeans with its rounded zero - through trade and through learning in Andalusia and Sicily - so they adopted not their eastern form whose zero is doted, contrary to what the orientalist (Dr. Hunke) has mentioned in point (9) earlier that "the nine numerals have spread out leaded by the zero in each of Andalusia, England and Germany" due to Alkhawarizmi's sciences! Europeans then kept to drafting from the Arabic sciences with what they translated of the Arab-Easterners scholars without taking the transformed Arabic-Eastern numerals.  It is worth mentioning that this is what has just been done by Arabs at their scientific renaissance, they translated of the Indian literature without taking the form of the numerals they used].

15- "The first to learn the Arabic numerals in the occident was Gerbert (the mathematics scholar and teacher, and the pop).  And the first to learn and teach such numerals in the Arabic-East was Severus (the Syrian scholar and monk), the monastery and school head on the Euphrates".
[Severus might have been the first one to teach them, but definitely he was not the first one to learn them in the Arabic-East. Since if they were Indian, they would not have flown from Indian subcontinent bridging all Arabic countries - from beneath the Arabian Peninsula - and get down to him severally in Syria, and the single justification for his learning about them is the trade of the Two-Trips-of-Summer-and-Winter from Yemen southward, to Syria northward, or via the Arabic Gulf to Albasrat (Basrah), Iraq, then to Syria].

16- "The Arabic numerals have spread out in the occident from the translation of Alkhawarizmi's book into Latin, after they had spread out in the Arabic-East from the translation of the book of the Indian astronomer, Brahmagupta, and spread out among the folk in the Arabic-East by Alkhawarizmi".
[Alkhawarizmi has dealt with the Arabic numerals in their eastern form, whereas they have spread in the occident in their western form (Ghebari).  Leonardo, whose mentioning follows in the coming point, had a standout role in that - according to the author herself.  On the other hand, Alkhawarizmi was the Arabic mathematician number four of those history has recorded (following to: Mohammad Ben-Ebraheem Alfazari, Yoohanna Yoosof Ben-Alharrani, Sanan Ben-Alfath Alharrani), the thing that shows the western stumble in determining the facts and events in this respect - even with the good faith of persons like the esteemed orientalist, Sigrid Hunke].

17- "The first waves of civilization to the Occident have arrived via Andalusia, and the second wave came from Sicily and Italy in general radiating from the court of Caesar Friedrich II, especially through a person called: Leonardo Bonaceio, Bonacci, or Fibonacci, the son of Piza's custom's secretary whose father entrusted him to an Arab teacher being "Sidi Omar سيدي عُمَر" [Mr. Omar], to teach him the arithmetic so that the son be able, like his father, to deal with the Arabic merchants, and tend his father's business following their method in calculation [multiplying, division and fractions] to the most recent ways having been taught in the higher schools in Baghdad and Mawsel, Iraq, according to the explanations of Abu-Kamel, Alkhaiyam, Ben-Seena (Avicenna), and Albiruni.  Leonardo is that who wrote, in 1213 AD, his famous book: Liber Abaci [English: The Book of the Abacus, or of calculation], in Latin".

18- "In the occident there are paintings bearing Arabic numerals and suggest that such numerals became in 1215 AD something familiar and conventional among the folk".

19- "The German historian of mathematics, Moritz Benedikt Cantor (1829 - 1920), says in his book: "Vorlesungen über Geschichte der Mathematik" [History of mathematics], that Leonardo, in the first chapter of his book: Liber Abaci, wrote about the Arabic numerals saying:
The nine Indian digits are: (9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1) and with all of them in addition to this sign "0", named the Arabic zero, any number whatsoever can be written".
[Referring to the Arabic numerals in the Ghebari (Arabic-Western) form - being agreed already upon their Arabism - with (the nine Indian digits) is not - after we have known that all - but a mistranslation, or intended ungratefulness and injustice against Arabs and Moslems and their debt, as happened before by Radulph Von Laon (in point 11 earlier), and as allegedly ascribed the manufacturing of the compass in Europe to the so-called Flavio Gioia, before the falsehood of that allegation has just recently proved.
The fact is that the Arabs themselves had given the name "Alhendi" to the art of their numerals and decimal system since it was the art/system used by the Arabic traders with India, just as it happens to say: "this is the ship of India", meaning: the ship going to India, not being an Indian ship.  Thence, this name has misunderstandingly got by such as Leonardo; as the Arabic merchants used to bring to Europe the rice, sugar, bananas, and spices from Indian subcontinent.  As for the referring to the zero with: "the Arabic Sefro", the explanation of it would be that the Arab inventing the zero had come relatively later on, and after the calculation with the Arabic numerals have got out from the space of trade to the space of scientific knowledge, so the use of the numerals with its zero have not any more been limited to the Arabic trade with India].

20- "When the Arabs learnt the Indian numerals including the sign "0" which is called "Sunya", meaning: emptiness, they translated it into Arabic as (Sefer)".
[Arabs have never ever used to translate names so to translate this one, rather they transliterated nouns so that they take them in the nearest vocal to the Arabic tongue as they did with: "Assend Hend, for Siddhanta" from Indians, "Derham, for Drahma", "Deenarr, for Dinara", "Meghnatees, for Magnetis", "Astorlab, for Astrolabus", book of "Almgasti, for Emegale Mathematike" (by Ptolemy), all from ancient Greek in Syria, without translating their meaning.  Neither they have translated "Albatra'a, for Petra, "Ghernata, for Granada (which is a fruit), "Saqalliyat, for Sikelia (Sicily)", nor many more else.  Furthermore, the zero has no existence as a digit in any figure in Tamil script - the fourth biggest Indian language - and which was added to their digits at present.  So if Indians were those who have invented it, Tamil would have known it before Arabs, as the ten, hundred, and thousand are expressed - successively - by Tamil with the following figures: ௲ ௱ ௰.  Still, "Sefer" in Arabic is an adjective, not a name/noun, meaning: something empty, which is the decimal position. The multi-name of the zero with Indians decides the Arabism of the zero whose name has not varied among Arabs, Eastern as well as Western.  Added to this is what Leonardo has himself written in his book attributing the zero with "Arabic", as aforesaid in point (19).

21- "As Leonardo has taken from Arabs their way in writing the numerals from right to left, he also took from them the word of the zero (Sefro) and wrote it in Latin: Cephrum".
[Italians have pronounced it as: Zefro, then it has been transformed into: "Zero" and taken as such by Englishmen and Frenchmen, and as: "Cero", by Spaniards, while Germans have translated it into: "null".  After the Europeans have scientifically been opened up to the Arabic-East - translation-wise and education-wise - the Arabic zero has transmitted again to them but in its Eastern form as a dot, and with, of course, its same vocal "Sefer", so the Frenchmen wrote it as: "Chiffre", to mean: "the strange digit", then it have publicized as a digit; Spaniards wrote it as: "Cifra", Englishmen as: "Cipher", Germans as: "Ziffer", Netherlanders as: "Cijfer", to mean with all of them: "a digit". Therefore, it is obvious that the European using such names of the Eastern zero to mean "digits" has come after the Eastern Arabs had themselves described it as a digit among the other numerals].

22- "An occidental manuscript dated back to 1356 says: 'Although each of the nine digits has its own name, people call them - as a widespread error: Zeros".
[From that the words: Cipher, Cifra, Chiffre, Ziffer, Cijfer, have been publicized in the meaning of a digit, as referred in the past point].

23- "The Roman numerals were the official ones since Romans have taught the Germanics [Germans, Austrians, Englishmen, and Netherlanders] engraving them onto their buildings and coins, and the Romans have spread them out through their merchants, armies and monasteries".
[Notice the role of each of: the trade, conquests, and monasteries always being in the spreading out of numerals].

24- "Rom Landau (1899-1974), in his book: "Islam and the Arabs", p. 348, says: "… the contemporary scholars agreed not in unanimous on the origin of the Arabic numerals.  Right that these numerals are - of predominant - an Indian invention, but nothing deters that Arabs to have excerpted them from some Neo-Platonism sources".
[A partial affirmation with the suspicion in the originality of Arabic numerals to be Indian, on one hand, and unjustified stubbornness that Arabs to be the inventors of their numerals, on the other hand.  But rather they existed one day hundreds of years before Islam, and are most probably an invention from abbreviations of the Arabic numerals' names, something like this:

Evolution of Arabic numerals - Arabic numerals are the origin of Indias

But they were, of course, dot-free which I put for clarification.  These Arabic numerals have preceded centuries ago the Neo-Platonism - which is theological philosophy, and European were worthier to excerpt from Neo-Platonism not the Arabs, this if Neo-Platonism has ever a connection with numerals and arithmetic, in the first place].

25- "Europeans have suffered or strove in comprehending the Arabic numerals with its zero and the decimal positions.  It was required from all people to learn them - whether or not able to read and writ, making the matter even harder.  The Europeans having known a form of numerals, the Roman's, and being famous to the folks, Latins and Germanics, has contributed the burden, so it was hard for them to quit the familiar to the unfamiliar thing".
[But it has not been mentioned that the Arabs have suffered to comprehend the nine digits, meaning that the numerals have evolved and developed among them after their use had been limited to the traders as a pure commercial skill required not to be known by others till the Islamic scientific movement began to grow and so propagated them.  Here is the hardship of quitting the familiar to the unfamiliar of which the Europeans have suffered as already happened with some of the Syrians in the time of Caliph, Abdolmalek Ben-Marwan (65 AH/685 AD) عبد الملك بن مَرْوان - and with Copts of Egypt who have been familiar with numbering in Greek].

26- "Although most Europeans, including Russians, read the numbers from left to right - just as they write - or from the values of the higher decimal positions until they reach the value in the units position, Germans are still influenced with the Arabic right-to-left flow in reading the units before the tens".

PreviousPage of ArabicNotIndianNumbers Previous Page العربية Next Page NextPage of ArabicNotIndianNumbers

Up Page