Origins of Mathematics in Ancient Civilizations

Paper Info
Page count 3
Word count 734
Read time 3 min
Topic Sciences
Type Coursework
Language 🇺🇸 US

The role of the following civilizations and their impact on mathematics


The ancient Chinese invented an uncomplicated numbering system, which is considered to be at least four thousand years old. Its essence lied in the use of tiny bamboo poles that were organized in such order that they mirrored the numerals from one to nine. These numbers were arranged in columns in order to display units, tens, hundreds and so on. As a result, the Chinese had an efficient decimal value system, which was rather comparable to the one people are using today. As a result, the Chinese has endorsed the first numeral system known to mankind, even a thousand years before the West nations, thus enabling it to solve even the most complicated counting (“History of Calendars” par. 5). Abacus is traditionally considered to be the invention of the Chinese nation; however, there are some mentions of the abacus in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece that was dated earlier than second century B.C (“Egyptian Mathematics” par. 3).


Sumer is an area of Mesopotamia that is situated on the territory of modern Iraq; it is considered to be the place of origin for “writing, the wheel, agriculture, the arch, the plow, irrigation and many other innovations, and is often referred to as the Cradle of Civilization” (“Sumerian/Babylonian Mathematics” par. 1). Moreover, the people of Sumer established the “a pictographic writing system known as cuneiform script, using wedge-shaped characters inscribed on baked clay tablets” (“Sumerian/Babylonian Mathematics” par. 2), which is considered to be the first writing system known to mankind. Sumerian mathematics, as well as Egyptian, established the counting system for the assessment of the land, the tax collection, etc.


“Mantras from the early Vedic period (before 1000 BCE) invoke powers of ten from a hundred all the way up to a trillion, and provide evidence of the use of arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, squares, cubes and roots” (“Indian Mathematics” par. 3). Moreover, the Indian mathematicians had evaluated numbers up to 1053 and even six numbering systems beyond this. They also had depicted the redundancy of numbers in order to determine the size of an atom, and they had come very close to the actual number.


According to the Origins of Greek Mathematics, Greeks changed from the Egyptian hieroglyphic writing to the Phoenician alphabet. This allowed them the ability to teach the concepts better to others. The Greek mathematicians mostly based their studies and works on geometry (“Greek Mathematics”, par. 4).


The Roman mathematicians had no application for the high mathematics, only for the practical. Roman numerals are used up to the present day; it has been a leading counting method in most parts of the Europe. However, the Roman numeral system did not include zero and was based on the letters of the alphabet, that is why it could hardly be identified as an efficient way of counting. With the course of time the system had been simplified, but, on the other hand, the computing became even more complicated.

What were some similarities between the Chinese and the early Babylonians?

People of the both nations had adopted a basic counting system with the use of the abacus. Chinese abacus (suanpan) had seven or more rods with seven beads on each row. Babylonians had “a table of successive columns, which delimited the successive orders of magnitude of their sexagesimal number system” (“Abacus” par. 8)

How did the Roman civilization play a role in the occupations listed in the presentation?

Industrial engineer

The Romans are known for their technology development and the expansion of the civil engineering. The Rome possessed one of the most leading machinery at that time, which was only progressing over the centuries.


The most known architectural monument from ancient Rome is the Coliseum. The first thing to do in the occupied territories for the Roman nation was to build a new masterpiece of architecture. Even today our contemporaries are using the architectural methods of the Roman Empire in the construction, such as domes, spiral stairs, and mosaics. The Baroque and Renaissance tendencies are still commonly used in architecture.


The educators of ancient Rome were teaching the boys of age from seven to eleven, like the teachers in the modern pre-schools. Moreover, they were teaching reading, the writing, counting, poetry and sometimes music, which is the basic level of education for modern schools.

Works Cited

Abacus 2015. Web.

Egyptian Mathematics 2014. Web.

Greek Mathematics 2014. Web.

History of Calendars 2015. Web.

Indian Mathematics 2014. Web.

Sumerian/Babylonian Mathematics 2014. Web.

Cite this paper


EssaysInCollege. (2022, May 23). Origins of Mathematics in Ancient Civilizations. Retrieved from


EssaysInCollege. (2022, May 23). Origins of Mathematics in Ancient Civilizations.

Work Cited

"Origins of Mathematics in Ancient Civilizations." EssaysInCollege, 23 May 2022,


EssaysInCollege. (2022) 'Origins of Mathematics in Ancient Civilizations'. 23 May.


EssaysInCollege. 2022. "Origins of Mathematics in Ancient Civilizations." May 23, 2022.

1. EssaysInCollege. "Origins of Mathematics in Ancient Civilizations." May 23, 2022.


EssaysInCollege. "Origins of Mathematics in Ancient Civilizations." May 23, 2022.