Cyrillic numerals

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Reverse of silver half ruble (left) and copper beard token featuring the year 1705 in Cyrillic numerals (҂АѰЕ).

Cyrillic numerals are a numeral system derived from the Cyrillic script, developed in the First Bulgarian Empire in the late 10th century. It was used in the First Bulgarian Empire and by South and East Slavic peoples.[1] The system was used in Russia as late as the early 18th century, when Peter the Great replaced it with Arabic numerals as part of his civil script reform initiative.[2][3] Cyrillic numbers played a role in Peter the Great's currency reform plans, too, with silver wire kopecks issued after 1696 and mechanically minted coins issued between 1700 and 1722 inscribed with the date using Cyrillic numerals.[4] By 1725, Russian Imperial coins had transitioned to Arabic numerals.[5] The Cyrillic numerals may still be found in books written in the Church Slavonic language.[6]

General description[edit]

The system is a quasi-decimal alphabetic system, equivalent to the Ionian numeral system but written with the corresponding graphemes of the Cyrillic script. The order is based on the original Greek alphabet rather than the standard Cyrillic alphabetical order.[7]

A separate letter is assigned to each unit (1, 2, ... 9), each multiple of ten (10, 20, ... 90), and each multiple of one hundred (100, 200, ... 900). To distinguish numbers from text, a titlo  ҃ ) is sometimes drawn over the numbers, or they are set apart with dots.[8] The numbers are written as pronounced in Slavonic,[9] generally from the high value position to the low value position, with the exception of 11 through 19, which are written and pronounced with the ones unit before the tens; for example, ЗІ (17) is "семнадсять" (literally seven-on-ten, cf. the English seven-teen).[2]


  • ҂АѰЅ (҂АѰЅ) – 1706
  • ҂ЗРИІ (҂ЗРИІ) – 7118

To evaluate a Cyrillic number, the values of all the figures are added up: for example, ѰЗ is 700 + 7, making 707. If the number is greater than 999 (ЦЧѲ), the thousands sign (҂) is used to multiply the number's value: for example, ҂Ѕ is 6000, while ҂Л҂В is parsed as 30,000 + 2000, making 32,000. To produce larger numbers, a modifying sign is used to encircle the number being multiplied.[10] Two scales existed in such cases (similar to the long and short scales), one (Малый счёт; Lesser count) giving a new name and sign every order of magnitude, the other (Великий счёт; Greater Count), each squaring except for the end (extending to 10 in the 49th power)[11][12]

Modifying signs used to denote values 1000 and greater. For example, А҉ denotes 1 million.

Glagolitic numerals[edit]

Tower clock with Cyrillic numerals, in Suzdal

Glagolitic numerals are similar to Cyrillic numerals except that numeric values are assigned according to the native alphabetic order of the Glagolitic alphabet.[13][9] Glyphs for the ones, tens, and hundreds values are combined to form more precise numbers, for example, ⰗⰑⰂ is 500 + 80 + 3 or 583. As with Cyrillic numerals, the numbers 11 through 19 are typically written with the ones digit before the glyph for 10; for example ⰅⰊ is 6 + 10, making 16.[12] Whereas Cyrillic numerals use modifying signs for numbers greater than 999, some documents attest to the use of Glagolitic letters for 1000 through 6000,[14] although the validity of 3000 and greater is questioned.[15]

Table of values[edit]

Value Greek Cyrillic Glagolitic
1 Αʹ А
2 Βʹ В
3 Γʹ Г
4 Δʹ Д
5 Εʹ Е
6 Ϛʹ or Ϝʹ Ѕ
7 Ζʹ З
8 Ηʹ И
9 Θʹ Ѳ
Value Greek Cyrillic Glagolitic
10 Ιʹ І Ⰺ or Ⰹ
20 Κʹ К
30 Λʹ Л
40 Μʹ М
50 Νʹ Н
60 Ξʹ Ѯ
70 Οʹ О
80 Πʹ П
90 Ϟʹ Ч or Ҁ
Value Greek Cyrillic Glagolitic
100 Ρʹ Р
200 Σʹ С
300 Τʹ Т
400 Υʹ У or Ѵ
500 Φʹ Ф
600 Χʹ Х
700 Ψʹ Ѱ
800 Ωʹ Ѡ
900 Ϡʹ Ц or Ѧ
Cyrillic Modifying Signs
Name (English)[11] Lesser count multiplier Greater count multiplier Sign Example
Тысяча знак (Thousand mark) 1,000 1,000 ҂ Tysyacha-1000-Cyrillic.jpg
Тьма (Myriad) 10,000 1,000,000  ⃝ Tma-100000-Cyrillic.jpg
Легион (Legion) 100,000 1012  ҈ Legion-1000000-Cyrillic.jpg
Леодр (Legion of Legions) 1,000,000 1024  ҉ Leodor-1000000-Cyrillic-.jpg
Вран (Ворон) (Raven/Crow) 10,000,000 1048  ꙰ Вран.jpg
Колода (Trough/Log) 100,000,000 1049  ꙱ Колода 1.jpg
Тьма тем (Many Myriad) 1,000,000,000 possibly 1050  ꙲ слева
Glagolitic Thousands
Value Glagolitic
3,000 Ⱏ or Ⱐ

Computing codes[edit]

character  ҃ ҂  ⃝  ҈
(Cyrillic combining
ten thousands sign)
character encoding decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1155 0483 1154 0482 8413 20DD 1160 0488
UTF-8 210 131 D2 83 210 130 D2 82 226 131 157 E2 83 9D 210 136 D2 88
Numeric character reference ҃ ҃ ҂ ҂ ⃝ &#20DD; ҈ ҈
character  ҉   ꙰  ꙱   ꙲
Unicode name COMBINING
character encoding decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 1161 0489 42608 A670 42609 A671 42610 A672
UTF-8 210 137 D2 89 234 153 176 EA 99 B0 234 153 177 EA 99 B1 234 153 178 EA 99 B2
Numeric character reference ҉ ҉ ꙰ ꙰ ꙱ ꙱ ꙲ ꙲

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dejić, Mirko (2013). "How the old Slavs (Serbs) wrote numbers". BSHM Bulletin: Journal of the British Society for the History of Mathematics. 29 (1): 2–17. doi:10.1080/17498430.2013.805559. ISSN 1749-8430.
  2. ^ a b Chrisomalis, Stephen (2010). Numerical Notation: A Comparative History. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. pp. 180–182. ISBN 978-1-139-48533-3. Retrieved 2016-12-28.
  3. ^ Yefimov, Vladimir (2002), "Civil Type and Kis Cyrillic", in Berry, John D., Language Culture Type: International Type Design in the Age of Unicode, New York City: Graphis Press, pp. 369–147, ISBN 978-1932026016, retrieved 2017-01-02
  4. ^ Teplyakov, Sergei (2011). "How To Identify & Interpret Cyrillic Dates on Russian Coins of Peter I The Great". Metal Detecting World. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
  5. ^ Lorković, Tatjana (2003). "Coins and Medals of Imperial Russia". Yale University Library. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
  6. ^ Looijen, Maarten (2015). Over Getallen Gesproken/Talking About Numbers (in Dutch and English) (2nd ed.). Zaltbommel, Netherlands: Van Haren Publishing. pp. 59–60. ISBN 978-94-018-0601-5.
  7. ^ Ager, Simon. "Omniglot: Cyrillic Script". Retrieved 2016-12-29.
  8. ^ Gesang, Philipp (2013), Typesetting Cyrillic Numerals with ConTEXt MkIV (PDF), p. 3, retrieved 2016-12-29
  9. ^ a b Lunt, Horace Gray (2001). Old Church Slavonic Grammar (7th ed.). Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter. pp. 16–18. ISBN 978-3-11-016284-4.
  10. ^ Gamanovich, Alypy (2001). Shaw, John, ed. Grammar of the Church Slavonic Language. Jordanville, New York: Holy Trinity Monastery. ISBN 978-0884650645. Retrieved 2016-12-28.
  11. ^ a b Козловский, Станислав (2007-02-25). "У больших чисел громкие имена" [Big Names of Large Numbers]. Вокруг Света (in Russian). Moscow. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  12. ^ a b A. Kent; H. Lancour; J.E. Daily; W.Z. Nasri, eds. (1979). "Slavic Paleography". Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. 27. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker Inc. p. 510–520. ISBN 978-0-8247-2027-8. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  13. ^ Schenker, Alexander M. (1995), The Dawn of Slavic: An Introduction to Slavic Philology, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-05846-2
  14. ^ Veder, William R. (2004). The Glagolitic Alphabet as a Text. Glagoljica i hrvatski glagolizam. Zbornik radova s međunarodnoga znanstvenog skupa povodom 100. obljetnice Staroslavenske akademije i 50. obljetnice Staroslavenskog instituta. Zagreb, Croatia: Staroslavenski Institut/Krčka Biskupija. pp. 375–387.
  15. ^ Mathiesen, Robert (2004). A New Reconstruction of the Original Glagolitic Alphabet (M.S.). Brown University.