For a very, very long time Europe did not have any idea of Zero. Although the Babylonians already had a symbol for Zero as a placeholder around 300 BC, Europe (mainly the Greeks at that time) completely ignored it.

The concept of zero as a mathematical number originated from India during 7th century and it took another 6 centuries until it was brought to Europe via Arabs trough the Hindu-Arab numeral system we still use today.

Again it took a while, it was hard for the Zero to be accepted in Europe since it seriously challenged existing proofs of god and Aristoteles's doctrine of world view. But sophisticated mathematics required a zero and a core reason for the need of a sophisticated mathematic system and therefor a zero was - what else - economical pressure.

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