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Certain numbers were considered sacred, holy, or magical by the ancient Egyptians, particularly 2, 3, 4, 7, and their multiples and sums.[1][clarification needed]

Three: symbol of plurality

The basic symbol for plurality among the ancient Egyptians was the number three: even the way they wrote the word for "plurality" in hieroglyphics consisted of three vertical marks ( | | | ). Triads of deities were also used in Egyptian religion to signify a complete system. Examples include references to the god Atum "when he was one and became three" when he gave birth to Shu and Tefnut, and the triad of Horus, Osiris, and Isis.[2]

Examples

Five

Examples

Fives are less common in Egyptian mythology.

Seven: symbol of perfection, effectiveness, completeness

The number seven was apparently the Egyptian symbol of such ideas as perfection, effectiveness, and completeness.

Examples

See also

References

  1. ^ "Meaning in Many: The Symbolism of Numbers," Symbol & Magic in Egyptian Art, by Richard H. Wilkinson, Thames and Hudson, 1994, page 127.
  2. ^ "Meaning in Many: The Symbolism of Numbers," Symbol & Magic in Egyptian Art, by Richard H. Wilkinson, Thames and Hudson, 1994, page 131–133.
  3. ^ See Hermes Trismegistus.
  4. ^ "Tale of the Doomed Prince," Egyptian Myth and Legend, Donald Mackenzie, chapter 23. 1907.
  5. ^ "The Peasant and the Workman"
  6. ^ "Se-Osiris and the Sealed Letter"
  7. ^ "Se-Osiris and the Sealed Letter"
  8. ^ "Se-Osiris and the Sealed Letter"
  9. ^ "The Land of the Dead"
  10. ^ "The Land of the Dead"
  11. ^ "The Knot of Isis (tiet, tit, thet, tiyet)"
  12. ^ "The Story of Re"
  13. ^ Associated with the five "extra" days in the Egyptian calendar. From "The Story of Isis and Osiris".
  14. ^ Associated with the five "extra" days in the Egyptian calendar. From "The Story of Isis and Osiris".
  15. ^ "Se-Osiris and the Sealed Letter"
  16. ^ "Se-Osiris and the Sealed Letter"
  17. ^ "The Star (seba)"
  18. ^ "Creation Legend of Sun Worshippers," Egyptian Myth and Legend, Donald Mackenzie, chapter 1. 1907.
  19. ^ "The Tragedy of Osiris," Egyptian Myth and Legend, Donald Mackenzie, chapter 2. 1907.
  20. ^ "The Tradition of Seven Lean Years in Egypt," The Ancient Near East Volume 1, James B. Pritchard, ed., page 24–27. Princeton University Press, 1958.
  21. ^ "The Tradition of Seven Lean Years in Egypt," The Ancient Near East Volume 1, James B. Pritchard, ed., page 26. Princeton University Press, 1958.
  22. ^ "Tale of the Doomed Prince," Egyptian Myth and Legend, Donald Mackenzie, chapter 23. 1907.
  23. ^ According to Plutarch. "Osiris, the murdered god," A History of Religious Ideas, Vol. 1: From the Stone Age to the Eleusinian Mysteries, Mircea Eliade, page 97, note 35. University of Chicago Press, 1978.
  24. ^ "The Pool (she)"
  25. ^ "Gold (nebu)"