On Realization

The first recorded zero appeared in Mesopotamia around 3 B.C. The Mayans invented it independently circa 4 A.D. It was later devised in India in the mid-fifth century, spread to Cambodia near the end of the seventh century, and into China and the Islamic countries at the end of the eighth. Zero reached western Europe in the 12th century.

Prior to the concept of negative numbers, mathematicians such as Diophantus considered negative solutions to problems “false” and equations requiring negative solutions were described as absurd.

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