Arabic numerals, also called Hindu–Arabic numerals, are the ten digits: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, based on the Hindu–Arabic numeral system, the most common system for the symbolic representation of numbers in the world today. In this numeral system, a sequence of digits such as "975" is read as a single number, using the position of the digit in the sequence to interpret its value. They are descended from the Hindu-Arabic numeral system developed by ancient Indian mathematicians around 500 CE.
The system was adopted by Arabic mathematicians in Baghdad and passed on to the Arabs farther west. There is some evidence to suggest that the numerals in their current form developed from Arabic letters in the Maghreb, the western region of the Arab world. The current form of the numerals developed in North Africa, distinct in form from the Indian and Eastern Arabic numerals. It was in the North African city of Bejaia that the Italian scholar Fibonacci first encountered the numerals; his work was crucial in making them known throughout Europe. The use of Arabic numerals spread around the world through European trade, books and colonialism.
The term Arabic numerals is ambiguous. It most commonly refers to the numerals widely used in Europe and the Americas; to avoid confusion, Unicode calls these European digits. Arabic numerals is also the European name for the entire family of related numerals of Arabic and Indian numerals. It may also be intended to mean the numerals used by Arabs, in which case it generally refers to the Eastern Arabic numerals. It would be more appropriate to refer to the Arabic numeral system, where the value of a digit in a number depends on its position.
Although the phrase "Arabic numeral" is frequently capitalized, it is sometimes written in lower case: for instance, in its entry in the Oxford English Dictionary, which helps to distinguish it from "Arabic numerals" as the East Arabic numerals specific to the Arabs....LESS