Monday, March 30, 2015

The Art of Isopsephism in the Greco-Roman World

New publication: R. Ast & J. Lougovaya, ‘The Art of Isopsephism in the Greco-Roman World’ in Ägytische Magie und ihre Umwelt (ed. A. Jördens; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2015), 82-98. Available here.

Since Greek letters are used to represent numbers, it is possible to assign numerical values to various words and names (as presumably in Rev 13.18), and to relate words representing equal numerical values to each other. This is isopsephism - assigning equal numerical value. Not only within the NT, but also some of the earliest Christian graffiti seems to feature an interest in this practice, see a much earlier post on a graffito in Smyrna. So this new publication will be of interest to people working on manuscripts, amulets, and numerical aspects of NT exegesis.

For an isopsephistic tool (which calculates the numerical value of whatever Greek words or phrases you enter), go here.

1 comment

  1. Thanks for this. Very helpful survey.