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sexagesimal




Of, relating to, or based upon the number sixty. Sexagesimal refers especially to the number system with base 60. The Babylonians began using such a scheme around the beginning of the second millennium B.C. in what was the first example of a place-value system. Our degree of 60 minutes, minute of 60 seconds (in both time and angle measure), and hour of 60 minutes hark back to this ancient method of numeration. Quite why the Babylonians counted using sexagesimal isn't known, but 60 certainly has more factors than any other number of comparable size.


Related category

   • TYPES OF NUMBER