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Re: orthographic borrowings

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 9, 2000, 22:39
Jonathan Chang wrote:
> as _hommage_ to the Hindu mathematicians who > came up with the earliest, workable theory of zero/null/void]
Earliest in the West, but the Maya had zero long before they did, even incorporating it into their calendar - the days of their months were numbered 0-19 (there were 18 20-day months plus 5 additional days), as well as using it in the Long Count, which was the number of days, in the form of a modified base-20 number [the second digit from the right was only 0-17] since August 13 [or 11, scholars disagree], 3114 BC. There's evidence that they were using the Long Count as far back as 355 BC. I don't know how accurate that evidence is, but it was definitely in use during the Maya Classical Period, around AD 200-900. -- "If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God!" - Ralph Waldo Emerson ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor