Gerbert's satanic signs

In the history of numbers, Gerbert of Aurillac, better known as Sylvester II, the 139th Pope of the Catholic Church, takes on a curious role.
He was an eclectic character: enthusiast about science and mathematics, it is handed down that he was the introducer of the Arabic numbers in Europe:
Gerbert was a figure of utmost importance as a religious, politician and scientist, who could not be ignored by his successors to the papal throne. He was considered the greatest intellectual exponent of the 10th century and one of the most important of the Middle Ages, a multifaceted and profound connoisseur of the arts of trivium and quadrivium. Thanks to his contact with the most advanced Islamic culture, Gerbert introduced in Europe the use of the clock, of a siren running on water vapor, and was the inventor of complicated musical and astronomical instruments. He used these inventions in Reims for teaching in the cathedral school. For example, Gerbert had built a complex system of celestial spheres designed to calculate the distances between the planets and, again in astronomy, asked in a letter of 984 to Lupito of Barcelona for the translation of an Arabic astronomy treaty, the Sententiae Astrolabii. Always in Reims he had a hydraulic organ built that excelled on all the previously known instruments, in which the air had to be pumped manually, and that in the sixteenth century was still visible in Ravenna. In the field of mathematics, the introduction of Arabic numerals in Europe has long been attributed to Gerbert, a merit of difficult attribution: surely the young aquitan knew them at the Hatto's school in Vich, but nothing authorizes us to think that he then made them know in the old continent. Certainly, Gerbert had the great merit of contributing to the studies on the astrolabe and of reintroducing the abacus in Europe, of which, according to an ancient chronicle, he would have learned the use by the Arabs.
The Arabic numbers were then considered demonic signs, so it should not be surprising that Pope Innocent X, in 1648, decided to resume the body with the aim of finding out if there was any trace of these sings on his predecessor. The exhumation was thus narrated by Cesare Rasponi:
When we dug under the portico, the body of Sylvester II was found intact, lying in a marble sepulcher at a depth of twelve palms. He was dressed in pontifical ornaments, his arms crossed over his chest, his head covered by the sacred tiara; the pastoral cross still hung from his neck and the ring finger of his right hand carried the papal ring. But in a moment that body dissolved in the air, which still remained impregnated with the sweet perfumes placed in the urn; nothing else remained but the silver cross and the pastoral ring.
The Arabic numbers derive from the Indian Brahmi symbols probably dating back to 300 BC and were spread mainly by the Arab mathematicians al-Khwārizmī and al-Kindi. Despite the meritorious work of introduction of Gerbert, it was only with Leonardo Fibonacci that, at the turn of the 1200s, the Arabic numbers were adopted in Europe in a systematic and widespread manner.

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