The Babylonians subdivided the circle using the angle of an equilateral triangle as the basic unit and further

subdivided it into 60 parts following their numeric system that was based on the number 60. The earliest trigonometry, used by the Babylonian astronomers and their Greek successors, was based on chords of a circle. A chord of length equal to the radius made a natural base quantity. One sixtieth of this, using their standard divisions, was a degree. The motivation for choosing the number 360 may have been that it is readily divisible: 360 has 24 divisors, making it one of only 7 numbers that have more divisors than any number twice itself Furthermore, it is divisible by every number from 1 to 10 except 7. This property has many useful applications, such as dividing the world into 24 time zones, each of which is nominally 15° of longitude, to correlate with the established 24-hour day convention. Finally, it may be the case that more than one of these factors has come into play. According to that theory, the number is approximately 365 because of the apparent movement of the sun against the celestial sphere and that it was rounded to 360 for some of the mathematical reasons cited above.

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