Decimal System

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Decimal System


It is India who gave us the method of expressing all numbers by means of tens, a profound idea which appears so simple to now that we ignore its true merit. But its very simplicity, the great ease which it has lent to all computations, puts our arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions!

The principles of decimal enumeration had already been mastered by the time of the gveda, the oldest layer of Vedic literature. The Sanskrit terms for the nine numerals occur several times in the gveda. Among powers of ten, the gveda frequently uses dasa (ten), sata (hundred) and sahasra (thousand); ayuta (ten thousand) too is mentioned in a few hymns.

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