The Number Nine

Dominique.Thillaud thillaud at
Mon May 19 15:21:59 UTC 1997

At 14:43 +0200 19/05/97, Sarin wrote:
>The number nine was of great importance in ancient China as well as it
>represented the heavenly regions.  More recently, in the time of Timur,
>most royal gifts were made in nines.  Did Chinese and Indians discover the
>mathematical qualities of nine independently, or did ancient central asian
>tribes take this idea with them wherever they went?

	Are Egyptians a central asian tribe ? They count the Gods by enneads.
	Existence of numeration systems in the oldest known documents show
us arithmetic is extremely old. Surely before Chinese was Chinese and
Indians was Indians.
	Surely mill-games are too very old (see the very elaborate wei-ki
in China) and the smallest, the tic-tac-toe, has nine intersections. And
the making of nets and baskets generates many squares. The simplest games
need an odd number of plays to give a winner, &c. I believe improbable that
any of the civilizations known today be the 'inventor' of the small numbers
and of their elementary properties. Using stone tools and living in caves
is not a proof of stupidity. And Lucy is a very very old woman ...

Dominique THILLAUD
Universite' de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France

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