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On 28 Jan 2012 at 11:10, Dennis King wrote:

> I suspect that this is because it's a visual image that is an artifact  
> of our written decimal system.  When said aloud ("trí chéad tríocha is  
> trí") it is not quite as striking.  In the manuscripts, numbers are  
> normally either spelled out as words or indicated by roman numerals.   
> The use of arabic numerals in Irish MSS is extremely unusual, as far  
> as I can tell.

I have come across a few (really few). What one has to be careful 
with is that those Arabic numerals do not look at all like the Arabic 
numerals we are used to. This page gives you a good overview what the 
numerals looked like in the Middle Ages:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_numerals

David