Title

Numeric Transmission/Cultural Transition

Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

1995

Advisor

Jennifer Galovich

Abstract

This thesis is a study of the computational methods and common use of mathematics during the Middle Ages. It also discusses the cultural transition that was associated with the numeric transition from the Roman numeral system to the Hindu-Arabic numeral system and the numeric systems' corresponding calculation methods in Christian Europe during the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance. I claim that the transition from Roman numerals to Hindu-Arabic numerals was a result of cultural influences. Furthermore, I show that the transition was steady and found its basis in preexisting forms of calculation. I also look at the influences that cultures had upon one another and how this affected the transitions. My study also questions the bias presented by some sources on the bleakness of the Middle Ages. Finally, I have used manuscript evidence, from the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library to illustrate my hypotheses about the connections between the social and mathematical transitions.

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