Greek used a similar system called the Milesian (or Ionian) system which replaced the earlier Attic system. The Attic system was somewhat similar to the Roman system. Greek uses 3 glyphs that had become obsolete at the time it was used to allow numbering to 900; though the position of fau (Ϝ) leaves one curious as to whether it may still have been in use at the time the system was invented/ copied.
Below are the Hebrew and Greek glyphs for the corresponding numbers. The lower case Greek was non-existent at the time of the New Testament.
|Hebrew Glyph||Number||Greek Glyph|
|כ, ך||20||Κ κ|
|מ, ם||40||Μ μ|
|נ, ן||50||Ν ν|
|פ, ף||80||Π π|
|צ, ץ||90||Ϙ ϙ|
Thus 23 is written ΒΓ, and 799 is ΨϘΘ.
Gematria is the association of words with numbers. The development of a word to number correspondence is understandable because the twofold sense of the glyphs. Every word has an associated number that is obtained by adding up the values of the glyphs read as numbers. For example the word king melek (מלך) is calculated as 40 + 30 + 20 = 90 (assuming 20 rather than 500 for kaph). David (דוד) is 4 + 6 + 4 = 14. This may be why Matthew included groups of 14 in his genealogy of Jesus.