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The universal history of numbers : from prehistory to the invention of the computer

Author: Georges Ifrah; David Bellos
Publisher: New York : Wiley, 2000-
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Chronicles the history of counting and calculating from the time of cave dwellers to the late twentieth century, examining how different cultures used numbers to solve basic problems related to their everyday needs.
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Georges Ifrah; David Bellos
ISBN: 0471375683 9780471375685 9780471393405 0471393401
OCLC Number: 42291138
Description: volumes <1> : illustrations, maps ; 24 x 25 cm
Contents: v. 1. Explaining the origins : ethnological and psychological approaches to the sources of numbers --
Base numbers and the birth of number systems --
The earliest calculating machine--
the hand --
How Cro-Magnon Man counted --
Tally sticks : accounting for beginners --
Numbers on strings --
Number, value and money --
Numbers of Sumer --
The enigma of the sexagesimal base --
The development of written numerals in Elam and Mesopotamia --
The decipherment of a five-thousand-year-old system --
How the Sumerians did their sums --
Mesopotamian numbering after the eclipse of Sumer --
The numbers of ancient Egypt --
Counting in the times of the Cretan and Hittite kings --
Greek and Roman numerals --
Letters and numbers --
The invention of alphabetic numerals --
Other alphabetic number-systems --
Magic, mysticism, divination, and other secrets --
The numbers of Chinese civilisation --
The amazing achievements of the Maya --
The final state of numerical notation --
Indian civilisation : the cradle of modern numerals --
Dictionary of the numeral symbols of Indian civilisation --
Indian numerals and calculation in the Islamic world --
The slow progress of Indo-Arabic numerals in Western Europe --
Beyond perfection.
Numeric Designation of Musical Works: 1
Other Titles: Histoire universelle des chiffres (1994).
Responsibility: Georges Ifrah ; translated from the French by David Bellos [and others].
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Abstract:

Engaging and highly accessible, this book provides a history of the invention of numbers, counting, and calculating, from the earliest archeological evidence of methods of prehistoric peoples to the  Read more...

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A masterpiece of enlightenment and entertainment

by JesseTheK (WorldCat user published 2010-09-01) Excellent Permalink

This is my stuck-in-a-space-pod-waiting-for-rescue book. It's brilliant, and you don't need to know a speck of math to enjoy it. Ifrah, a tricultural independent scholar,...
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