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‘No other culture of the ancient world developed a sexagesimal number system, although non-Sumerian groups adopted the Sumerian script to represent their languages and used their numerical system.’

‘Writing developed and counting was based on a sexagesimal system, that is to say base 60.’

‘The Babylonian scale of enumeration is known as the sexagesimal system.’

‘The most important of these was the sexagesimal place value system, widely associated with signs for the numbers 1, 10, 60, 600, and 3600.’

‘In ancient Babylon a sexagesimal system, that is a base of 60, was in use.’

noun

A fraction based on sixtieths (i.e. with a denominator equal to a power of sixty), as in the divisions of the degree and hour.

‘In fact there are fascinating glimpses of the Babylonians coming to terms with the fact that division by 7 would lead to an infinite sexagesimal fraction.’

‘More fractions can therefore be represented as finite sexagesimal fractions than can as finite decimal fractions.’

‘The necessary background mathematical tools are then introduced such as the arithmetical operations on sexagesimal fractions and the trigonometric functions.’

‘The first deals with integers, the second with proper common fractions, the third with improper fractions, and finally the fourth with sexagesimals.’

‘It gave tables of sines with entries calculated to three sexagesimal places for each half degree of the argument.’

Origin

Late 17th century: from Latin sexagesimus ‘sixtieth’ + -al.