# Definition:Fraction/Historical Note

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## Historical Note on Fraction

The consideration of **fraction** was the next development of the concept of a number after the natural numbers.

They arose as a matter of course from the need to understand the process of measurement.

The convention where a bar is placed between the numerator and denominator was introduced to the West by Fibonacci, following the work of the Arabic mathematicians.

Previous to this, **fractions** were written by the Hindu mathematicians without the bar.

Thus $\dfrac 3 4$ would have been written $\displaystyle {3 \atop 4}$.

## Sources

- 1939: E.G. Phillips:
*A Course of Analysis*(2nd ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text {I}$: Number: $1.1$ Introduction - 2008: Ian Stewart:
*Taming the Infinite*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $3$: Notations and Numbers: The Dark Ages?