n Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions - Idea of African numeric system




In Africa, sometimes we number our gain and try to ignore our loss not because they cannot be numbered but because in African thought, numbering is not just a question of signs but strictly, it is a question of things. We also number our dept because they are things although belonging to other people. From origin, man has always had a sense of numbering. The ancient Chinese, Indians numbered by group difference; the Persians numbered by group identity. The Greeks and the Romans developed a numeric system of individual identity and worked out the symbols I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X as their numerals. It was the Arabians who gave the world a much more flexible symbol of individual identity; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.


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