Stephen Chrisomalis wrote:

> The best work I've been able to find on this subject is Thomas V.
> Gamkrelidze's "Alphabetic Writing and the Georgian Script" (Delmar,
> NY: Caravan Books, 1994), which despite its title is a comparative
> work that is heavily focused on the historical relationships among the
> alphabetic numerals and scripts of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. 
> However, it is slight on historical data and information about texts,
> and seems somewhat dubious on some other fronts. A. Schenker's "The
> Dawn of Slavic" (New Haven: Yale, 1996) has lots of early historical
> information on Glagolitic & Cyrillic numerals, but little for later
> periods.  "The World's Writing Systems" and other comparative studies
> of scripts have been of no help to me on this topic,

Why is that? Did you read both Pettersson's chapter and bibliography,
and O'Connor's chapter on "The Alphabet as a Technology"?

Did you find my "brief notice" of Gamkrelidze in *Language*? And, if you
read Russian and Georgian, you should look into his bigger book on the
same topic. The English is a translation/adaptation of (part of) the
Russian section.

> and while some
> grammars describe these systems, they don't discuss the historical
> contexts of their use and decline.

That would seem to be part of the history of mathematics rather than the
history of writing; there are books in that area. What do you think of
Ifrah's big one, which he calls a new edition of the earlier one?
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...