The Origin of the Latin Numerals 1 to 1000

@article{Keyser1988TheOO,
  title={The Origin of the Latin Numerals 1 to 1000},
  author={Paul T. Keyser},
  journal={American Journal of Archaeology},
  year={1988},
  volume={92},
  pages={529 - 546}
}
  • P. Keyser
  • Published 1 October 1988
  • History
  • American Journal of Archaeology
The standard theory of the origin of Latin numerals, found in all the best handbooks, is that of Mommsen (1850). He explains I, V, and X on a pictographic principle, and L, C, and ↀ = 1000 as forms of Greek letters (aspirates) unused in Latin. There are four other important theories: a long-rejected one proposed by the fifth-century A. C. grammarian Priscian, a tally-mark theory (dating back to 1546), various pictographic theories (dating back to 1655), and various acrophonic theories. The… 
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