Knots of colored thread or string were then tied around the thinner strings. In the 6th century BCE, the Greek alphabet used 24 letters.

## Greek number systems

The story of numbers. Where Did Numbers Originate? Keith Devlin in one of his books asked why Chinese and Japanese students are better in mathematical competitions if compared with American students. The timing isn't a coincidence: From the Mirror of the World , printed by Caxton, 1480.

## Greek Numbers

Macmillan Company, 1954, page 2. Subscribe to our Newsletter! In the Arabic form we use the place values of 1, 10, 100, 1,000, and 10,000.

Diophantus used for negative exponents the symbol X. If a nest contains four eggs, one can safely be taken, but when two are removed the bird generally deserts.

The men in charge of maintaining the quipu were known as "quipu camayocs" or "keeper of the quipu. But the ancient Greeks certainly had numbers. Reeve, 1937, page 11. From about 450 BC the Greeks had several ways to write their numbers, the most common way was to use the first ten letters in their alphabet to represent the first ten numbers. From Tobias Dantzig, Number: The Babylonians had a very advanced number system even for today's standards. Where the knots were placed indicated the value.

## How the Ancient Greeks Did Math With Letters, Not Numbers

Diophantus extended the notion of number to include negatives and rationals, describes his symbols for exponents from -6 to 6, and notes that he moved beyond Greek traditions in permitting addition of non-homogeneous magnitudes. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him.

In this notation there was a special sign for every power of ten.