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The greek history of fractions

Updated: 12/24/2022
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In early Egyptian and Greek mathematics, unit fractions were generally the only ones present. This meant that the only numerator they could use was the number 1. The notation was a mark above or to the right of a number to indicate that it was the denominator of the number 1. The Romans used a system of words indicating parts of a whole. A unit of weight in ancient Rome was the as, which was made of 12 uncias. It was from this that the Romans derived a fraction system based on the number 12. For example, 1/12 was uncia, and thus 11/12 was indicated by deunx (for de uncia) or 1/12 taken away. Other fractions were indicated as : 10/12 dextans (for de sextans),

3/12 quadrans (for quadran as)

9/12 dodrans (for de quadrans),

2/12 or 1/6 sextans (for sextan as)

8/12 bes (for bi as) also duae partes (2/3)

1/24 semuncia (for semi uncia)

7/12 septunx (for septem unciae)

1/48 sicilicus

6/12 or 1/2 semis (for semi as)

1/72 scriptulum

5/12 quincunx (for quinque unciae)

1/144 scripulum

4/12 or 1/3 triens (for trien as)

1/288 scrupulum

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