A member of the blog, Douglas Harder, was inspired by yesterday’s post on how to make numbers in Greek, to come up with a full description and chart of how it works.  He sent it to me and gave me his approval to post it.  I think it is very clear and interesting.   So here is what he has come up with.  (In my next couple of posts I’ll talk about how knowing this information matters for understanding some early Christian texts, including a curious passage in the letter of Barnabas and, then, the 666 — the number of the Beast — in the book of Revelation.)


Greek numerals

Like the Romans, the Greeks used letters to represent numbers.  An older pre-Hellenistic Greek alphabet had 27 characters, not 24, and this allowed them to create three groups of nine letters where

  1. the first nine represented the values 1 through 9,
  2. the next nine represented 10, 20, 30 up to 90, and
  3. the last nine represented 100, 200, 300 and up to 900.

These are the letters and the numbers they represent….

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