During the first half
of the 1st millennium BC in the Eastern Mediterranean region there
appeared a mode of writing in which the letters of the Greek alphabet
served as numerals. Genuine attempts to exemplify the system (Greek
Isopsephia or its Hebrew counterpart Gematria) have only been partially
successful for the precise rules of play are still unknown. The origin of
the curious numerical scripts like the alphabets they applied to are not
easily traced for each in its own way appears to be an experiment with
something that preceded it. The Greeks believed the alphabet to be an Egyptian invention and while it might now be
disputed in favour of the Canaanites the quest for origin is far from
over. It is clear however that within Isopsephia and its concealed
teaching lies a considerable body of mathematical
There was once a sixth letter to the alphabet, the digamma or double gamma of value 6 (F sound = w) but it fell out of use as did the letters with the values 90 and 900. The value 6 remains however where the letters s and t occur together. An example might be stauroV (a cross) which would thus either have the value 777 or 1271.
It is through Isopsephia that we can confirm the Egyptian use of
certain key geodetic numbers. The Egyptian geodetic code revolved around
the four numbers 1080, 666, 1665 and 2220 and in the
following illustrations it will be shown how they were used. They will
appear highlighted as above. The Greeks inherited these numbers together
with the Egyptian hand dimension theme and glorified them with
The hand of Abraxas
Where 1080 = (hand) +
One of the more obvious occurrences in Isopsephia is the continual
appearance of words and phrases the numerical sums of which are always the
multiples of 37 or 74, the above phrase being no exception. The Egyptian
circumference number 1665 can be easily demonstrated in the above
as part of the celebrated Pythagorean proportion 3:4:5 or 1665 : 2220 :
2775 where 2775 is the sum of all the numbers 1 - 74. There is beauty
of number and proportion here, the architecture of which was well known to
the egyptian geodetic code according to Isopsephia
The holy spirit
666 x 88
Diam of Earth
the number of Man
666 x 300
Circ of Earth
Spirit of the Earth
60 x 60 x 1665
Circ of Earth
Note : 88 handlengths of 7.92 = 10 armspans of 69.696 ... thus Earth's diam = 10800 x 666 armspans
Recent research, in particular that of John Michell, confirms that the
numbers 1080 and 666 were by far the two most important of
Greek Isopsephia. In the above where there is emphasis on the measure of
man we also have the original biblical reference to fall back on. The
numbers 1665 and 2220 although less common are easily found
in Isopsephia. All four numbers are geodetic and all four are
Egyptian. When combined as they are above to express Earth measure
using the ancient anthropometric theme of hand magnitudes the results are
truly surprising. As a direct comparison the modern middle degree is used. Did their astronomical
observations allow them to take into consideration an irregular sphere ?
greek architectureThe architects of the Piesistratid period appear to have been partly familiar with an Egyptian metrological code because in Athens the temple foundations of both the Parthenon and the Olympieion temple of Zeus are laid in accordance with the geodetic digit. Not only was the digit employed but it was also used in conjunction with the number code which originally supported it, a code that through the numerical language Isopsephia is now understood to apply to Earth measure.
Parthenon (stylobate dimensions) 30.86 x 69.51 * metres (1665 x
3750 digits) ratio 111:250
1665 digits = 1215.33582 inches = 30.869 metres
It is understood that at least one of the architects of the Parthenon was also responsible for the mysterious temple of Apollo high up in the Arcadian mountains at Bassai. Here the temple proportions reflect similar ideas:
Temple of Apollo : 13.7 x 34.7 * metres. (1665 x .444 digits) x
739.26 digits = 13.706 metres
While in the foundations of the Olympieion there is knowledge of the ’Golden section’ or the irrational number (Phi )
Olympieion : 41.10 x 107.75 * metres (2220 x 5812.035 digits)
2220 digits = 41.159 metres
* Quoted measures ... R.E. Wycherley. "The
Stones of Athens" (Princeton UP 1978)
Confirmation of an Athenian digit does not necessarily defame the foot
for it appears that the latter being typically Greek was chosen to replace
it. The geodetic digit and its supporting code were probably the exclusive
property of the Athenian architects and as such were not meant for the
common man. The foot of approximately 12.15 inches which equaled
16.65 digits or 1/100th sec of latitude was meaningful enough to
the Greek except when it came to understanding the digit's odd value or
its role within the geodetic code. By all accounts Herodotus didn't
receive any instruction as to the foot's origin, nor it seems to its
correct value, although in fairness to Plutach who later referred to the
Parthenon as 'Hekatompodon' or 100 foot, it is reasonably clear that some
linear clarity eventually prevailed.
alignmentsIn the Greek examples given there is a definite Egyptian influence because the digit multiples 1665 and 2220 are geodetic and memories of their much earlier use survived in the libraries of Alexandria.
The first estimates of the Earth’s circumference were made by Eratosthenes (275-194 BC) and as head librarian to Alexandria there is every possibility that he had access to the ancient records. Eratosthenes’ simplified procedure required no special equipment but it did rely on a few elementary considerations including the fact that light rays from a great distance appear to hit the Earth in parallel. Calculations were made on simultaneous events that occurred at Alexandria and Syene (Aswan) some 500 miles to the South, at Syene when the sun was vertical to the horizon at noon, directly overhead, and at Alexandria when the sun over an obelisk caste a shadow of about 7º 12’. Eratosthenes simply divided the shadow angle into the degrees of a circle and multiplied by the distance separating the two events.
The knowledge that Eratosthenes relied upon was probably extremely old because archaeology now tells us that Syene on the first cataract was Egypt’s most southerly Early dynastic boundary. The site around Aswan or Elephantine was a cult centre, one of the few in Egypt which can be traced on the ground back into the 4th millennium BC. It would also have been the perfect site for the ancient astronomers to record the limits of Atum’s influence on Egypt, or as we understand it the sun’s furthest journey North on the tropic of cancer (then much closer to the 24th parallel). Today’s tropic of 23º 27’ North has been slowly shifting South away from the 24th parallel at an ever increasing rate. Based on today‘s rate of change 48 seconds of arc per century, the tropic would have probably been recorded near the first cataract in about 3000 BC.
But if the astronomers were Heliopolitan intent on laying down the ancient boundaries of Egypt in relation to some prime position associated with Atum and the river, would they not have tried to include in their calculations the locality of their own sanctuary at Heliopolis where the river first divides to enter the Delta.
There are definite grounds to consider a Heliopolitan alignment, especially when some 568 miles due South on the second cataract lies another Predynastic settlement, the Old Kingdom boundary of Buhen. The two sites are uniquely aligned for at the river crossing at el-Badari (latitude 26° 59' 30" N) the distance between them is divided into its mean and extreme ratio. The coincidence is not an isolated one for if the same idea is applied to an alignment between the two (3rd dynasty ?) pyramid type structures at Tukh near Nubt and the ancient Naqada cemeteries, and el-Kula near ancient Nekhen, a tropic is located which just happens to align with the Heliopolis - Buhen river division at el-Badari and the only other 3rd dynasty pyramid type structure within the vicinity which is at Zawyet el Amwat near el-Minya. How this might have come about without the prior mapping of the entire river system between the Delta and the 2nd cataract is difficult to imagine, and it suggests that the Heliopolis - Buhen alignment was juggled into place according to some pre - determined mensuration that first occurred at the cataract near Aswan, Syene or Elaphantine.
As the geometry illustrates Tukh and el-Kula pinpoint the viewing area
from which the tropic was measured. The tropic was originally located at
about 24° 02' N (just after 3000 BC) where the geometry crosses the Nile
at Syene, which fixes the viewing area at approximately 23° 47' some 15'
South , the reasoning being as follows : To observe the least shadow at
the summer solstice the recording apparatus must be positioned under the
outer edge or the upper limb of the sun disk, not its centre, and as the
sun has an apparent diameter of about 30', an adjustment of 15' or half
the diameter must be made to locate the tropic. The recording apparatus
would therefore have been set up either 15’ North of the tropic or 15'
South (23° 47'). This particular geometric interpretation based on the
ruins of four Early dynastic settlements and three of its remaining
monuments produces some fairly impressive results (see last link above).
It remains to be seen if the distances have any significance
Heliopolis approximately 30 º 08' North
And by conversion where the coincidence 1665/27 digits approximates
45.012 inches :
Incidentally if you wish to check the co-ordinates and distances
between the key positions mentioned here in this section then the Baines
and Malek Atlas of Ancient Egypt is a fairly good starting point.