WHY are “Arabic” numerals actually “Indian”?

Nowadays we use numbers that originated in India. They were once the initial letters of corresponding words in the ancient Indian language, Sanskrit (the “Devanagari” alphabet).

Devanagari numbering evolved into the decimal system. As early as the eighth century, this system penetrated into other countries: Indochina, China, Tibet, Iran, Central Asia. In the early ninth century, Muhammad of Khwarazm spread Indian numbering to the Arab countries.

These numbers came to Europe in the XII century and by the XVI century, thanks to its universality, became completely established there. As the “Devanagari” system came to Europeans from the Arabs, they called it “Arabian”.

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