More recently, cranks have sought the secrets of the universe in the dimensions of the Great Pyramid of Giza, an aberration so common that it even has a name—pyramidology.Millions of otherwise rational people are terrified of the number 13, to the extent that hotels omit it from their floors, airplanes do not have a row 13, and the numbers for Formula 1 racing cars skip from 12 to 14 so that, for example, 22 cars would be numbered from 1 to 23.
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The Pythagoreans’ ideas were a mixture of prescience (the numerical features of musical sounds) and mysticism (3 is male, 4 is female, and 10 is the most perfect number).
Numbers were associated with names for magical purposes: the biblical “number of the beast,” 666, is probably an example of this practice.
Curiously, Revelation is the 66th book in the Bible, and the number of the beast occurs in verse 18, which is 6 6 6. Carlyle Hynes, a Seventh-day Adventist, added up the Roman numerals in the phrase Martin Luther.
Not coincidentally, Stifel was a Protestant theologian and Bungus a Catholic.
The Pythagoreans invested specific numbers with mystical properties.
The number 1 symbolized unity and the origin of all things, since all other numbers can be created from 1 by adding enough copies of it. The number 2 was symbolic of the female principle, 3 of the male; they come together in 2 3 = 5 as marriage.
All even numbers were female, all odd numbers male. The most perfect number was 10, because 10 = 1 2 3 4.
This number symbolized unity arising from multiplicity. A single point corresponds to 1, a line to 2 (because a line has two extremities), a triangle to 3, and space to 4. The Pythagoreans recognized the existence of nine heavenly bodies: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the so-called Central Fire. The square numbers (1, 4, 9, 16,…) were arranged in squares, and the triangular numbers (1, 3, 6, 10,…) were arranged in triangles (Polygonal numbers The ancient Greeks generally thought of numbers in concrete terms, particularly as measurements and geometric dimensions.
The name Jesus in Greek has the numerological value 888, three repetitions of the number 8, which is often considered auspicious.