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Name: anne b huffer
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1995

Can you tell me anything about the origin of the use of zero as a place holder and indicator of a null quantity? I know about the Hindu use of 9 symbols and the Indian use of ' as a place holder. My primary source has been Boyer. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

Bell, The Development of Mathematics, suggests that zero was independently developed by the Hindus, Babylonians and Maya.

The best source I know of is Morris Kline, Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times (Oxford, 1972; paperback). He reports that zero symbols are found in Alexandrian Greek documents.


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