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Cyrillic numerals was a numbering system derived from the Cyrillic alphabet, used by South and East Slavic peoples. The system was used in Russia as late as the early 1700s when Peter the Great replaced it with Arabic numerals.

The system was quasi-decimal, being basically the Ionian numeral system written with the corresponding graphemes of the Cyrillic alphabet—the order was based on the original Greek alphabet, and didn't correspond to the different standard alphabetical order of Cyrillic. A separate letter was assigned to each unit (1, 2, ... 9), each multiple of ten (10, 20, ... 90), and each multiple of one hundred (100, 200, ... 900).

The numbers were written as pronounced—mostly left to right with the exception of numbers 11 through 19. These numbers were pronounced and written right to left. For example, 17 was pronounced sem-na-dzat ("seven-over-ten", compare English seven-teen). In order to convert Cyrillic numbers to Arabic, one has to add all the figures. To distinguish numbers from text, a titlo ( ҃ U+0483) was drawn over the numbers. If the number exceeded 1,000, the thousands sign ( ҂ U+0482) was drawn before the figure, and the thousands figure written with a letter assigned to the units. For numbers over the million, Combining Cyrillic Millions sign is used.

Slavic-numerals.jpg


Examples:

  • ҂АѰЅ - 1706
  • ҂ЗРИІ - 7118

Glagolitic numerals worked similarly, except numeric values were assigned according to the native alphabetic order of the Glagolitic alphabet, rather than inherited from the order of the Greek alphabet.

Tower clock with cyrillic numerals in Suzdal

See also

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Simple English

Cyrillic numerals was a numbering system using the Cyrillic alphabet.


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