Hand in hand with the new numbers came the emergence of algebra. Most of mathematics up until this period was written in words, with problems and their solutions given rhetorically , numbers being largely for purposes of calculations. The Arabs extended Greek work on solving equations and initiated the move to a ‘syncopated’ style, with formulae given partially symbolically and partially in words. (Pacioli’s own book was a mixture of the rhetorical and the algebraic.) Progress was slow and every book adopted its own algebraic symbolism . We find the ‘=’ sign first used in England, and the ‘＋’ and ‘－’ signs coming from Germany . By the time of Descartes algebra seems very similar to our own, despite his incongruous use of ‘ ’ for ‘＝’. And certainly by Newton the use both of the new numerals and of algebra was truly well-established .
代數伴隨著新數字出現。大多數的數學直到這個期間被寫成詞，還有在問題和解答上給予修... 發展是慢的並且每本書採取它自己的代數符號使用。我們發現‘=’這個符號首先在英國被... ’當作‘＝’。但確實地經由牛頓使用兩個新數詞和代數才真實地被大家所接受。
and books on financial and navigational calculations became very popular in ports throughout Europe.