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As addition was first used extensively by the Chinese almost 6,000 years ago, it is safe to say the Chinese invented addition. However, addition is such a fundamental operation in mathematics that it cannot be completely attributed to one individual or a group of individuals.

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Men in the New Stone Age had a rudimentary idea of addition. The ancient Greeks and Romans also carried out addition. Philosophers in ancient India contributed to the concept of addition by inventing the number zero. Addition was formalized as a mathematical operation much later.

The symbol for addition, +, was invented by Michael Stiple in 1544. The symbol owes its origin to the word “et” in Latin.

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