Last Updated on January 6, 2021 by Neil Mackengie

**Arithmetic may be called the science of numbers. The word itself comes from the Greek “arithmos” which means numbers. At first, men may have counted their sheep and oxen on the fingers of their hands. The word “digit”, which means any single figure from 0 to 9 inclusive, reminds us of this, for “finger” in Latin is “digitus”.**

Then man got around to making notches on sticks and the next step was to invent a suitable notation—a system by which each number might be recorded using BignR and symbols. The ancient Greeks used the letters of their alphabet for the purpose. The Romans carried this system a little further, dropping most of the alphabet and making seven letters do all the work. These letter systems were employed in writing sums, but, generally. calculations wcfe made with the aid of an abacus.

The Arabs introduced the notation which we use today based on the Hindu system. This had the innovation of naught to indicate “place-value” (as in distinguishing, say, 13 from 1030). This simplified calculations enormously. The Arabs called figure 0 “sifr”, a word meaning empty.

The first arithmetic to be written advising the use of the Arab notation was by an Italian in 1202. The first arithmetic to be printed was written in Latin and came out in Italy in 1478. Other early arithmetics were printed in 1484 and 1496. They included adding, subtracting, and multiplying. In some Latin schools, arithmetic was studied only in the fifth and sixth years, and only then one hour a week was given to it.

It should be remembered that the early books of arithmetic contained most of the modern methods and we owe a great debt of gratitude to their authors and the Hindus who inspired them.it can’t be too strongly stressed that complete mastery of the fundamental facts (or tables) in addition, multiplication, subtraction, division is necessary to a basic understanding of simple arithmetic.

## What Is The Best Definition Of Arithmetic?

1. a science that deals with the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of numbers.

2. an act or method of adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing. Other Words from arithmetic.