Pope Sylvester II;
or Silvester II (c. 946–12 May 1003) was Pope from 2 April 999 to his death in 1003. Originally known as Gerbert of Aurillac (Latin: Gerbertus Aureliacensis or de Aurillac; French: Gerbert d’Aurillac), he was a prolific scholar and teacher. He endorsed and promoted study of Arab and Greco-Roman arithmetic, mathematics, and astronomy, reintroducing to Europe the abacus and armillary sphere, which had been lost to Latin (though not Byzantine) Europe since the end of the Greco-Roman era. He is said to be the first to introduce in Europe the decimal numeral system using Hindu-Arabic numerals. He was the first French Pope.