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"If anything, all fixed height numerals are the newer invention"

I doubt it, given that all-uppercase is the older style. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_case#History seems to agree:

"Originally alphabets were written entirely in capital letters, spaced between well-defined upper and lower bounds"

But feel free to research and refute.

Roman numerals were upper case, but arab numerals were introduced in latin after lower case letters had evoved.

I don't think there is a direct correlation between letter case and old-style vs lining numerals. Most examples of early hand written numerals seem to be variable height, but regardless I'm more concerned with actual type, not hand lettering.

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