Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Origin of Abacus

The Origin of Abacus
First mechanical counting device developed from the practice of writing on a board or slab covered with sand or counting pebbles.

Several races including the Chinese, the Aztecs, the Greeks, the Etruscans and the Egyptian developed their own devices to deal with numbers.

The ancient Greek abacus, made a series of holes with matching counting pegs, may have alternatively derived its name from its resemblance to a bachus or wall cupboard with a linear arrangement of cups.

The old Semitic word abaq for sand suggests a Hebrew origin. The only extant early Greek abacus in the form of a marble table, discovered on the Island of Salamis in 1846, is currently exhibited in Athens.

A reference to a Chinese abacus, made of balls threaded on frames, is found in a Chinese text dating back to AD 1593.

It suggests that the Chinese abacus was known in AD 200. The early Greek abacus was copied by the Romans and was reintroduced into Europe by Gerbert or Pope Sylvester II of Aurillac, France around AD 970.

Adelard of Bath wrote an early treatise, around 1130, on the rules of the abacus.

During medieval times in Europe, the abacus with some modifications was known as mensa Phythagorica.
The Origin of Abacus
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