mrg | lettrure(s)

lire / écrire / numérique(s)

Talk to the Hand: Finger Counting and Hand Diagrams in the Middle Ages

leave a comment »


By Irene O’Daly

In the absence of computers and calculators, a highly elaborate system of finger-counting and gestural sign-language developed in the Middle Ages for representing numbers and facilitating conceptual reasoning. These are often represented graphically in medieval manuscripts and provide an insight into teaching and learning practices in this period. One of the most significant figures in the development of this tradition was the Northumbrian monk Bede (673/74-735) who wrote an important text on the calculation of time entitled De Temporum Ratione (725). Along with a series of calendar tables traditionally appended to it, the text often included a representation of Bede’s system of finger calculation, an elaborate version of learning to count from one to ten using one’s fingers. In this fourteenth-century version from Italy, the hand gestures are demonstrated by a series of figures, each labelled with a number. Note that the final figure in the middle…

Voir l’article original 578 mots de plus

Written by cercamon

14 mars 2014 à 15:07

Publié dans Non classé

Votre commentaire

Entrez vos coordonnées ci-dessous ou cliquez sur une icône pour vous connecter:


Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Déconnexion /  Changer )

Photo Google

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Google. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Image Twitter

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Twitter. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Photo Facebook

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Facebook. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Connexion à %s

%d blogueurs aiment cette page :