Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The culture of numbers from 1001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World
By Barnaby Rogerson
Profile Books, 2013
Rogerson’s Book of Numbers is a deceptively simple list of virtues, spiritual attributes, gods, devils, sacred cities, dominions, powers, heroes, saints and symbols. It provides a dazzling mass of information for those intrigued by the many roles numbers play – not only in mathematics and science, but also in poetry, in the hierarchies of heaven and hell and in the many religions, cultures and belief systems of our world. And as one reads further into this seemingly innocuous little book – and what could be simpler, more basic, than numbers? – It becomes clear that all of our supposedly separate cultures are magnificently interlinked and inter-related by a shared belief in the magical significance of numbers.