Many people know that the figures, which today is in the European world, is called in Arabic. And it's not just the numbers, the whole calculation system has such a name.
However, the origin they are not Arab.
A calculation of this system has been in India, and the Arabs simply "brought" it to the West.
Before the advent of many Arabic numbering systemPeoples used the figures similar to Roman. It was similar, and their record. To indicate the numbers used by the Romans 7 letters of the alphabet: I = 1, V = 5, X = 10, L = 50, C = 100, D = 500, M = 1000. For example, the number 323 in the Roman looked like CCC XX III as well as the Greek HHH LJ III. Obviously, the essence of writing alone, only different characters.
This "letter" of the expression was usedMore than two thousand years, but recording data has been difficult in the production of arithmetic operations, besides the difference in alphabets are not allowed to lead to the uniform calculation of mean, but because the idea of decimals was greeted very favorably.
According to the Indian number system numbers each class replaced by a single character, so the unit appeared, tens, hundreds and so forth.
Of course, this method was more convenient but farnot perfect. The fact that this was not a system of symbols numbers which could be replaced by a class which was not signs. For example, the Roman numeral III of the CCC under the new system was replaced by 32. However, this number is set to not 32, and 302. That is, a class in which there was no characters, there was nothing to replace. But the position of the figures, in this case, it is important not less than its value. It was invented by 0. The symbol that meant "nothing".
The invention of such a system of calculation had a lot of convenience, as used by a much smaller number of characters, and greatly simplifies the calculations.
However, the Arabs are not just copied the idea of the Hindus,but contributed. In fact, the numbers of images that people use every day, it is the Indian figures, which have been adapted to the Arabic letter.
"Real" Indian figures clearly correspond"Denomination" number of corners in the figure, i.e. in a figure-eight is eight corners in the top four - 4. The Arabs depicted figures on the bones, so to save space drew their side, the figure stretched out, and eventually acquired a distinctive Arabic character styling. For example, images of numbers 2 and 3 have a letter of compliance to the Arabic letter, only numbers are written "in the heights", and letters stretched horizontally.
But the figure 8 all came from Latin. This symbol indicates the word "OCTO" that just means 8. By the way, the word "figure" is derived from the Arabic "syfr", which means "zero." By and large, the name "Arabic numerals" has nothing to do with their origin, it is rather a tribute to the Arabs for the promotion of Indian system of calculation.