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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 ().
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.
Since 130 = 10 × 13, both the unlucky 13 and the perfect 10 are of importance; between themselves they explain just about anything, just like the superstition that seeing a praying mantis brings either good luck or bad luck—depending on what happens.
The best-known instance of numerology is the “number of the beast,” Martin Luther.
Pythagoreanism, a cult of ancient Greece, believed that numbers were the basis of the entire universe, which ran on numerical harmony.It is also the 17th tetrahedral number, meaning that if you pile up spheres so that successive layers form the triangular numbers 1, 3, 6, 10, and so on, by layer 17 the total number of balls will be 969. Little is known of his life, and in fact he may be a composite figure to whom the discoveries of many different people have been attributed by his followers.It is not even known whether the Pythagorean theorem in geometry was actually discovered by him.Many people have discerned numerical patterns in the Bible.