Numerical Nature of Ancient Philosophy is Number Squares. There are three varied approaches to ancient mathematics. Today we will only examine “real numbers.” Categories 2 and 3 will be future blogs.
- Use of “Real numbers” being numbers 1 – 9.
- Synthetic numbers being 10, 110, 1110, 11110.
- Repeated “real numbers” as 11, 22, 33…Or; 111, 222, 333…Also; 111,222,333…. to the nines.*
Numerical Nature of Ancient Philosophy is Found in the Phrase “To the nines.”
Lyrics from “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”. You won’t believe me, all you will see is a girl you once knew
Although she’s dressed up to the nines.
My blog traces the history of “to the nines” to prehistoric times. Number squares were of prime importance. What set the concept and pattern of the number squares in motion was the smallest. It is referred to as the grain of mustard seed in the Bible. It uses the numbers one to nine. Nine becomes the maximum. Higher numbers are synthetic. For example: Ten is the total of any two opposite numbers around the perimeter of the featured picture. Examples are 9 + 1 or, 3 + 7. They combine two or more numbers in set patterns. Ten, in the distant past, did not exist as an independent number. In musical terms repeated patterns on different tones is called a sequence. They musically demonstrate a property we will study in number squares.
The meaning of this ancient number square is revealed in the phrase Dressed to the nines. But the history of nines is much older than this defining quote. Perhaps some 10,000 years older. *”To the nines” is an English idiom meaning “to perfection” or “to the highest degree” or to dress “buoyantly and high class”. In modern English usage, the phrase most commonly appears as “dressed to the nines” or “dressed up to the nines”.The phrase “dressed to the nines” is just a specific application of the Scottish phrase “to the nine ” The earliest written evidence of this phrase appeared in the late 18th century in the poetry of Robert Burns. Its meaning is “to perfection; just right.
Much more to come on the featured picture of the Grain of Mustard Seed and categories 2 and 3. Keep checking the blogs.