# Whose idea was it to use Greek symbols?

Greek letters are used everywhere in science and mathematics. When did this tradition start? If it is because the Greeks were pioneers of maths? why did the Indian literals, for example, not become popular?

• Because in Europe the Greek tradition was widespread and the Indian was not. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Nov 19 '15 at 12:59

There was no one person who decided one day to use Greek letters for all of their mathematics. It was a very slow process. The person to popularize the use of $\pi$ to signify the mathematical value was Euler. He also started the use of $\Sigma$ for summations. Alternatively, Francois Viete was the first to use letters to represent unknowns. This in all likelihood led to the introduction of Greek letters when Latin characters ran out.