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It's standard nowadays for the real line to be horizontal (negative numbers on the left, positive numbers on the right) and for $i$ to be above (rather than below) 0 in the complex plane. Were these conventions universally adhered to in the past?

For instance, I don't know how Argand and Wessel and Gauss actually drew the complex plane.

For that matter, did Oresme (who used something resembling Cartesian coordinates) always draw time as going from left to right, and time-varying quantities on a vertical axis?

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    $\begingroup$ (You could also try asking this on HSM; there are some people there that know a lot about questions relating to the ho.history-overview tag) $\endgroup$ – Jules Lamers Nov 21 '17 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! I've gone ahead and posted it at hsm.stackexchange.com/questions/6735/… . $\endgroup$ – James Propp Nov 21 '17 at 18:59

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