Journals Higher Education



Published: 07 April 1994

336 Pages | 105 illus.

5-5/16 x 8 inches

ISBN: 9780195089196

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Bookseller Code (03)

The Mystery of Numbers

Annemarie Schimmel

In The Mystery of Numbers, Annemarie Schimmel conducts an illuminating tour of the mysteries attributed to numbers over the centuries. She begins with an informative and often surprising introduction to the origins of number systems. But the heart of the book is an engrossing guide to the symbolism of numbers. Number symbolism, she shows, has deep roots in our culture, from the philosophy of the Pythagoreans and Platonists, to the religious mysticism of the Cabala and the Islamic Brethren of Purity, to Kepler's belief that the laws of planetary motion should be mathematically elegant, to the unlucky thirteen. After exploring the sources of number symbolism, Schimmel examines individual numbers ranging from one to ten thousand, discussing the meanings they have had for Judaic, Christian, and Islamic traditions, with examples from Indian, Chinese, and Native American cultures as well. From the Bible to the Mayans to Shakespeare, she shows how numbers have been considered feminine and masculine, holy and evil, lucky and unlucky, in this informative and entertaining book.

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