Does any body know how old-Persian numeral were used and provide some example?

enter image description here

(source of image is Unicode characters maps)

  • Your question seems a little too broad... :) The answerer would need to make a research for each of these (unless there is a common resource, but I doubt that).
    – Alenanno
    Nov 25, 2012 at 14:42
  • I was going to point you at Daniels & Bright, The World's Writing Systems, but I find that though it covers scripts of those names, it doesn't have anything on numerical notation for them.
    – Colin Fine
    Nov 25, 2012 at 16:29
  • Are you interested in the ideographs (how they were written) or how they were pronounced?
    – Alex B.
    Nov 25, 2012 at 20:57
  • As something to start with (on Old Persian), pp. 256-258, also Table 7.17 and Figure 7.2 in Chrisomalis, Stephen. 2010. Numerical notation: A comparative history. Cambridge: CUP. cambridge.org/us/knowledge/isbn/item2709599/?site_locale=en_US
    – Alex B.
    Nov 25, 2012 at 21:09
  • 1
    @Alenanno "somewhat like" Roman, but not identical. The numerals I listed work for Old Persian. Yes, Roman had symbols for 5, 50, 500 instead of 2, 20 Nov 27, 2012 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


Old Persian numerals were treated somewhat like Roman numerals: they were based on juxtaposition or addition[PDF], and not place-value [PDF] like Arabic, Mayan, or Bablylonian numerals

Unlike Roman, the numerals were always placed in a single direction (largest-value-on-the-left); there was no subtractive notation like IV for 4. Also, Roman had symbols for 5 (V), 50 (L), 500 (D) instead of 2, 20.

So n Old Persian, "5" was 2 2 1 and "18" was 10 2 2 2 2. Decimal 453 would have been 100 100 100 100 20 20 10 2 1.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.