Greek and Egyptian Mathematics The Story of the number zero


Egyptian Timeline:

Greek Timeline

Important People:


Archimedes anticipated modern calculus and analysis and proved a range of geometrical theorems, including the area of a circle, the surface and volume of a sphere, and the area under a parabola.


He also derived an accurate approximation of pi and developed a system using exponents to express very large numbers.


Pythagoras of Samos was a Greek philosopher and mathematician. He was born in the island in 572 before christ of Samos and lived travelling to Egypt, India and Greece. He founded a group that believed that the whole numbers are the basis of all the universe Pythagoras made three influential contributions to mathematics: The Pythagoream Theorem, The Musical Theories and Investigations, and Tetractys.



Theorem that states that in a right-angled triangle the area of the square on the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the areas the squares of the other two sides—that is: a^2 + b^2=c^2


Pythagoras discovered that musical notes could be translated into equations. He saw that the sounds were musical and harmonious and that a scientific law that used mathematics should be responsable for this.


The triangular figure of four rows that has ten points one, two, three, and four points in each row it was the fourth triangular number. It was the symbol of the Pythagoreanism. Tetractys was also associated with planetary motion and music.

Important events:

Egiptian Hieroglyphs:


The Egyptians had a decimal system using seven different symbols:

• 1 is shown by a single stroke.

• 10 is shown by a drawing of a hobble for cattle.

• 100 is represented by a coil of rope.

• 1,000 a drawing of a lotus plant.

• 10,000 is represented by a finger.

• 100,000 a tadpole or frog

• 1,000,000 figure of a god with arms raised above his head.

Moscow Papyrus:

It is the oldest mathematical text from Egypt is the Moscow Papyrus. Also known as the Golenishchev Mathematiacal Papyrus it has 25 problems with solutions. It came from Thebes and its language is Hiratic

click here to learn about Papyrus:


Diophanatus of Alexandria, often known as the “father of algebra”, became known for his book of Arithmetica a work on the solution of algebraic equations and on the theory of numbers. It contains 130 problems with solutions in equations.

Astrolabe and Hydrometer:

This is an image of an astrolabe: (

Hypathia of Alexandria was the first female mathematician daughter of Theon, another mathematician. She made the astrolabe an object known because it knows where the sun, moon and the stars are located and the hydrometer, an object to measure the gravity of a liquid.

this is a hydrometer: (

The story of the number zero:

Without zero we couldn't tell the difference between 1 and 100, or 2 and 2,000. Zero has become very useful throughout the years and has allowed us to increase values by tens, and it has helped us show the absence of a number. Without zero we couldn't tell the difference between 1 and 100, or 2 and 2,000, we also wouldn't be able to say when there is nothing (like no dollars or no bread). Throughout time it has become essential to our lives.

Work Cited:

"Ancient Greece Mathematics Timeline." Ancient Greece Mathematics Timeline. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.

"Arithmetica." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

"Egyptian Mathematics Numbers Hieroglyphs." Discovering Ancient Egypt. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

"Hypatia of Alexandria’s Discoveries." Natasha Dagg. N.p., 09 Aug. 2007. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

Santos, Bernardo Recaman. Los Numeros: Una historia para contar. Bogota: Taurus, 2002. Print.

TheRoyalInstitution. YouTube. YouTube, 13 Apr. 2016. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.


Created with images by thekirbster - "New Kind of Science (rule 30)"

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