História da Matemática

segunda-feira, setembro 04, 2006

Afinal os nossos números

No século VI foram fundados na Síria alguns centros de cultura grega. Consistiam numa espécie de clube onde os sócios se reuniam para discutir exclusivamente a arte e a cultura vindas da Grécia.
Ao participar de uma conferência num destes clubes, em 662, o bispo sírio Severus Sebokt, profundamente irritado com o fato de as pessoas elogiarem qualquer coisa vinda dos gregos, explodiu dizendo:

“Existem outros povos que também sabem alguma coisa!
Os hindus, por exemplo, têm valiosos métodos de cálculos.
São métodos fantásticos! E imaginem que os cálculos
são feitos por apenas nove sinais!”.
A referência a nove, e não dez símbolos, significa que o passo mais importante dado pelos hindus para formar o seu sistema de numeração – a invenção do zero - ainda não tinha chegado ao Ocidente.
A idéia dos hindus de introduzir uma notação para uma posição vazia – um ovo de ganso, redondo – ocorreu na Índia, no fim do século VI. Mas foram necessários muitos séculos para que esse símbolo chegasse à Europa.
Com a introdução do décimo sinal – o zero – o sistema de numeração tal qual o conhecemos hoje estava completo.
Até chegar aos números que você aprendeu a ler e escrever, os símbolos criados pelos hindus mudaram bastante.
Hoje, estes símbolos são chamados de algarismos indo-arábicos.
Se foram os matemáticos hindus que inventaram o nosso sistema de numeração, o que os árabes têm a ver com isso?
E por que os símbolos

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

são chamados de algarismos?

De acordo com o site: http://upf.tche.br


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