How Africa Civilized Europe; How Europe is in Denial

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Greeks ‘borrowed Egyptian numbers’

By Paul Rincon
BBC Science

The astronomers, physicists and mathematicians of ancient Greece were true innovators.

But one thing it seems the ancient Greeks did not invent was the counting system on which many of their greatest thinkers based their pioneering calculations. New research suggests the Greeks borrowed their system known as alphabetic numerals from the Egyptians, and did not develop it themselves as was long believed.

Greek alphabetic numerals were favoured by the mathematician and physicist Archimedes, the scientific philosopher Aristotle and the mathematician Euclid, amongst others.

Trade explosion

An analysis by Dr Stephen Chrisomalis of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, showed striking similarities between Greek alphabetic numerals and Egyptian demotic numerals, used in Egypt from the late 8th Century BC until around AD 450.

Both systems use nine signs in each “base” so that individual units are counted 1-9, tens are counted 10-90 and so on. Both systems also lack a symbol for zero.

Dr Chrisomalis proposes that an explosion in trade between Greece and Egypt after 600 BC led to the system being adopted by the Greeks.

Greek merchants may have seen the demotic system in use in Egypt and adapted it for their own purposes.

BBC Science: Greeks ‘borrowed Egyptian numbers’

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58 thoughts on “How Africa Civilized Europe; How Europe is in Denial”

  1. “How Europe is in Denial”, huh? The very existence of this article should have discouraged that conclusion, but I suppose such a lack of intellectual sophistication is predictable from you people. As you would know if you weren’t biased, the Egyptians have never been black. So an “African” influence, yes; but a black influence, no. So don’t get so excited. Westerners have risen far beyond simple computations anyway. The Egyptians never approached rocket science or nanotechnology, or computer and internet technology, or satellite and radio technology. So where does math count more?

    1. @ Skeptic: Everyone in the Bible and ancient Egypt were black. Christ himself was as black as black can be. You are an edomite the very people God hates and will deal with upon the Messiah’s return.

    2. Hello Skeptic,
      1. Egpytians were not whites. They were Negros with all the negroid features. I suggest you do more reading. Do not look at the present Egyptian complexion to draw a conclusion of the Ancient Egyptians. Yes ancient Egypt was surrounded and threatened by white invaders such as Lybia but ancient Egyptians and their civilization were purely BLACK.
      2. I would agree that modern civilisation has been dominated by the westerner, but as every scientists or thinker will attest to that, that technology, invention and science to be precise are built on previous work. It should be well accepted that Black Africans have contributed immersely to Philosophy, Science, Medicine, Art and Music intetectually via Ancient Egyptian (black) civilsation since what we know as western adavncement is basically building on what was borrowed.
      3. Although colonization on Africa in my mind did more harm for Africa than good, I would also not excuse the present dire situation/conditions Africans or blacks find themselves in. I think Blacks should reclaim the stolen legacy, which will give them more confidence to take their own destiny in their hands and minds.

      Mr Skeptic, if you want more facts and evidence reagrding what I have written, pls contact me on I think we can have sensible debate with the intention of coming to the facts and truth about Black civilization.


    3. Zero is an Indian concept. It filtered through Arabia and was transmitted to Europe that way. It’s common knowledge. No one denies knowledge is portable.

      It’s wierd how there’s an attempt to pretend the Greeks didn’t have a moment where they were breaking new ground. I do not understand it.

    4. Huge numbers of them had to have been black. However, probably not many more or less than are in Modern Egypt. It’s hard to imagine they are very different from the current Egpytians. Sadat was black. So I imagine there were black pharoes. America is majority white but it has a black president and a politically active black population.

      However, ideas originate in the minds of innovative individuals. It’s why we have patent and copy laws today.

    5. The Egyptians weren’t black, sure lol.

      Try again.

      “Westerners have risen far beyond simple computations anyway. The Egyptians never approached rocket science or nanotechnology, or computer and internet technology, or satellite and radio technology.”

      You forget that Black Americans and Black Africans have contributed to those very subjects and findings as well.

      A gifted mathematician, Katherine Johnson joined the tracking team for manned and unmanned missions and used math and physics to calculate complex spacecraft trajectories, navigation and the orbits or spacecraft. Any error in calculations would cause astronauts to possibly not return from space.
      Katherine Johnson was a member of NASA’s historic 1961 team which calculated the flight paths of the first manned space flight in 1961 by astronaut Alan Shepard, the first manned orbit of Earth in 1962 by John Glenn, and the landing of the first man to walk on the moon by Neil Armstrong in 1969.

      The 3-man crew aboard the flight that landed on the moon, consisted of Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, Command Module pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module pilot.
      “The early trajectory was a parabola, and it was easy to predict where it would be at any point,” Johnson says. “Early on, when they said they wanted the capsule to come down a certain place, they were trying to compute when it should start. I said, ‘Let me do it. You tell me when you want it and where you want it to land, and I’ll do it backwards and tell you when to take off.’ That was my forte.”

      NASA would still call on her to verify the calculations even though NASA began using computers for the first time in 1962 to calculate John Glenn’s orbit around Earth.
      Katherine developed the first emergency navigation systems for astronauts by star-mapping. She also helped develop better navigational procedures for the Apollo missions by analyzing data from tracking stations around the world.

      As an integral member of the team she helped write the first textbook on space. In total she co-authored 26 scientific papers, also working on the space shuttle program and on plans for a mission to Mars.
      Katherine’s worked at Langley between 1953 and 1986. “I found what I was looking for at Langley,” she says. “This was what a research mathematician did. I went to work every day for 33 years happy. Never did I get up and say I don’t want to go to work.” Katherine retired from NASA in 1986.

      For her pioneering work in the field of navigational problems and space flight, she received numerous awards from NASA in 1971, 1980 and 1985 including the Group Achievement Award presented to NASA’s lunar space craft and operations team. Other awards include Mathematician of the Year from the National Technical Association in 1997 and an honorary doctorate of law from Farmingdale State University of New York in 1998.

      Your really are clueless, and there are millions of people like her.

    6. Thru the Dark Ages and The Renaissance the nouveau European ( caucasians that were chased out of Central Asia by the Mongol type peoples) overwhelmed the original black civilized cultures of Europe. First with genocide, then “whitenization” of all the black icons from Russia to Ireland and have been trying to do the same in Egypt for centuries. Almost perfect mimmickry. And if you don’t think it plausible take a look at North America where the Red Man was almost totally erased from the map. We could debate this all the way to kingdom come, but I have proof and truth on my side.

    7. It’s funny how they’re referred to as Egyptians to dissociate them from Africa. They were Kemites and made advances in “Alchemy” (Khemistry) Study the linguistics. And if you want to talk about advances after that, how about you check history about when Moors ruled Spain. Arabs and African Muslims. Built much of Spain and fell in 1491.their defeat funded the inquisition and Columbus’ trip. #2 black has been used to describe people of color throughout history. Even if you had a slight tan, you were referred to as black. And if you want to get slick and say the moors weren’t black, let’s look into the literature of that time. Othello by Shakespeare. How does he refer to the moors? “Black faced”… What a joke. It’s sad that people can’t accept history. Over time, you learn never to take history from those who win the war.

    8. Okay, I am officially confused! Was this a case were a bunch of people just walked nicely up to some cave dwelling europeans and said “Hi, we are here to civilize you! Things are going to be great” or was this a conquer and kill situation, and being civilized came from the most uncivilized acts?

    9. I’m not a scholar or scientist but I ask you to read what the white scholar Herodotus had to say, cause unlike you and I he actually seen them face to face and he says they all are black or rather Negroid. Shalom

    10. This is what simple minded non believing barbaric whites say when the facts stare them dead in their faces they say this bullshit. And btw simple computations you fucking idiot try to build abuilding a skys sc raper with no foundation this is the same ol tired db argument crackers make when they start to experience COGNITIVE DISSONANCE. WITHOUT AFRICAN INVENTION OF MATHEMATICS, SCIENCE, ASTROLOGY, ASTRONOMY, CARPENTRY, UNIVERSITIES, MEDICINE, LAW AND GEOMETRY, PHILOSOPHY, RELIGION, MUSIC AND A WHOLE HOST

    11. For a white person you dum as a box of rocks!! Look it up your own people even admitted to it blacks had civilization before whites even tought whites how be clean
      Blacks build Europe and Europeans destroyed Africa do your research dummy

    12. Who built the westerns states the black slaves,go and your history Mr. Skeptic first Egyptians were black.
      #dont be a asholic rasist.

    13. Rejecting African influence in the development of the West is rejecting your very own existence.
      Where did the raw materials come frome for your technologies?
      Where did the manpower come from for your ”sophisticated ideologies”?

    14. Honestly, you sound idiotic. 1. anyone with sense knows there were dark ass Egyptians lol 2. In Europe, no matter your country if you’re in Europe you’re European and Non-Hispanic Europeans laid claim (as in included) their advancement that contributed to Overall. Soooooo why can’t an Ethiopian lay claim to Egypt’s Advancements since their all African? Lol that’s a little hypocritical, isn’t it? Europeans can lay claim as a whole but Africans can’t? also if you want to know who really brought Europe up like that then go research what the Moors brought into Europe. Thank me later, or hate me later if you dislike the truth lol. He might seem bias but so do you.

    15. How!? Talking about sophistication stop it! You’re literally an idiot.. the country of Egypt is in fucking Africa! Like how stupid are you look at a map.. talking about you people.. YOU people so dumb that u would believe u are the superior race when we out do you in everything besides raping incest and genocide. Egypt is in Africa and guess what type of people live in Africa? I assure you it wasn’t white. You people are mind boggeling your denial is so outrageous it’s funny you say white people were Egyptian only because if you admit they were “Negroes” then you would have to also admit that they built the pyramids and you then would have to admit that niggers built a civilization and its structure so perfectly Precise that you can’t even figure out how they did it when today u can’t duplicate the pyramids. That’s why when u find out blacks lived in Egypt that must mean aliens constructed the pyramids.. please go back to your moms basement

    16. Your so full of it, there was no single person who invented mathematics. Mathematics was used, and technically invented, by many cultures around the world. These cultures used their own form of mathematics, which could be considered ‘math’ in their time and how they used it. These cultures include the Mayans, Indians, Greeks, and Chinese, India and Greece. NO Africans.

    17. The country was called Kemet and Ethiopia was the mother egypt..Ethiopia comes from the Greek word ethiops which means sun-burnt face

    18. You sound so ignorant African and black are one in the same. black people were stolen from Africa. Egyptians were also African. And Europeans are in denial because they refuse to believe that they not only stole knowledge from Africa and tried to make it seem like they are the originators but they also tried to erase our face from history and add their own. Example A white woman portrayed as Cleopatra or Jesus being white.

  2. Sceptic

    You sound angry and confused.  That one article must have surely deflated your ignorant hubris.

    And ignorantly you have asked, what has Maths got to do with it. Like a complete innumerate goy that you are.

    Maths is the key to it all.  He who founded Maths, founded it all.


  3. Africa is certainly in crisis today. But it is racist to assume that since the creation of the world Africa has not contributed to science nor influenced Europe. Aristotle, Plato, and Cicero thought of the rest of Europeans as barbarians. Chauvinism aside, Europe or the West is leading the world today because since the renaissance they borrowed from China, and the rest of the world. In ancient times, Greeks borrowed from Egypt, Mesopotamia, etc. What is Japan without China or Western influence. NOUS SOMMES TOUS DES METIS CULTURELS. By the Way China and India are rising up. Good luck Europe!
    As for the blackness of Egyptians, this debate is over. Egyptians were clearly not British, German or French.

  4. Well, thank you Mutombo for a breath of sanity between those bursts of jingoism. Egypt certainly WAS black, as archaeologists now recognize: Egyptian civilization formed from a mixture of Saharan (African Aquatic, the ancestors of modern W Africans) and Nubian-derived Neolithic Nile Valley farmers. And Greek was unique, not an imitation of Egypt, not a theft.

    Métis sommes nous! Indeed that is true. All peoples have contributed. I continue to learn from peoples of many varied ancestries and cultural traditions. I don’t see why all these traditions and peoples have to be set against each other in an endless racialist competition. This is madness! Stop it!

  5. Wow I think you guys got horribly side tracked by turning this discovery into a race war. Some of you are using big words to sound smart and others are just contradicting theselves. Just relax and learn something

  6. My two cents.

    The Egyptians of antiquity were with out a doubt Black/Negroid. 3 words Cheik Anta Diop, look this name up and read.

    Here is a question that Dr. Cheik Anta Diop Left me with. Why do we know whites come from Europe and Yellows comes from Asia, yet Blacks don’t have a home land? Hmmm

    Everyone agrees that the birth place of mankind is in western Africa so why do we not continue this obvious linear track?

  7. If B.S were currency,Skeptic could bail out the entire economy.
    Bigotry is the triumph of the imagination over both fact and common sense.
    The truth hurts!

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