Yes. Boyer (A History of Mathematics - Wiley) quotes 'the earliest undoubted
occurrence of a zero in India is in an inscription of 876', and then says that
it possibly originated in the Greek world, and with the idea of a
'placeholder', if not a fully fledged zero, being used in Mesopotamia ca. 300
On Wed, 24 Jan 2001 13:07:45 -0500 "Cipolla, Phil"
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Anyone who knows anything at all about the history of mathematics knows that
> the concept of zero was not invented by Arab mathematicians. And although
> it is usually stated that it was the Hindus that first invented it and past
> it on to Arabic cultures there is still much discussion about this topic.
> Some sense of the zero concept was present even in the ancient Babylonian
> civilization. (check out http://www2.andrews.edu/~dyoo/zero/zero.htm if you
> are at all curious)
> Need I comment on the statement about what Arabic cultures have produced? I
> take it the author of that comment is not fond of the lute (al 'ud in the
> Arabic language) or perhaps is simply unaware that it was developed by
> Arabic cultures (after an lengthy ancient development) before being imported
> to Europe. Since this isn't a forum for poetry, architecture or the history
> of scholarship I won't bore anyone with comments on the cultural advances of
> non-western traditions.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: david klein [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2001 11:49 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Counting musical and calendar intervals
> [was: French culture query]
> At 11:24 AM 1/24/2001 -0500, you wrote:
> >I didn't know that the invention of zero was Arabic.
> This is well known. And zero is what Arabic cultures have
> produced since then.
> David Klein
Computing & Electrical Eng.
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