The digits 1 to 9 in the Hindu-Arabic numeral system evolved from the Brahmi numerals. Buddhist inscriptions from around 300 BCE use the symbols which became 1, 4 and 6. One century later, their use of the symbols which became 2, 7 and 9 was recorded.
The first universally accepted inscription containing the use of the 0 glyph is first recorded in the 9th century, in an inscription at Gwalior in Central India dated to 870. By this time, the use of the glyph had already reached Persia, and was mentioned in Al-Khwarizmi's descriptions of Indian numerals. Numerous Indian documents on copper plates exist, with the same symbol for zero in them, dated back as far as the 6th century CE.
The first mentions of the numerals in the West are found in the Codex Vigilanus of 976. From the 980s, Gerbert of Aurillac (later, Pope Sylvester II) used his position to spread knowledge of the numerals in Europe. Gerbert studied in Barcelona in his youth. He was known to have requested mathematical treatises concerning the astrolabe from Lupitus of Barcelona after he had returned to France.
In 825 Al-Khwārizmī wrote a treatise in Arabic, On the Calculation with Hindu Numerals, which was translated into Latin from Arabic in the 12th century as Algoritmi de numero Indorum, where Algoritmi, the translator's rendition of the author's name, gave rise to the word algorithm (Latin algorithmus, "calculation method").
Fibonacci, a mathematician born in the Republic of Pisa who had studied in Bejaia (Bougie), Algeria, promoted the Indian numeral system in Europe with his book Liber Abaci, which was written in 1202.
The European acceptance of the numerals was accelerated by the invention of the printing press, and they became widely known during the 15th century. Early evidence of their use in Britain includes, in England, a 1445 inscription on the tower of Heathfield Church, Sussex; a 1448 inscription on a wooden lych-gate of Bray Church, Berkshire; and a 1487 inscription on the belfry door at Piddletrenthide church, Dorset; and in Scotland a 1470 inscription on the tomb of the first Earl of Huntly in Elgin Cathedral.