Tuesday, January 31, 2006
In his article 'Theory and Practice in the Vergilian Cento' (ICS 9, pp. 79-90), David F. Bright points out (p. 83 and n. 20) that, when the prologue is subtracted, Proba's cento (in which Vergil is Christianized) has exactly 666 lines.666 is the number of the beast in Revelation 13:18.
Here are a couple more examples of the same sort of thing:
- Richard J. Clifford, Proverbs: A Commentary (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996), p. 108, points out that Proverbs 10:1 - 22:16 bears the title The Proverbs of Solomon. The numerical values of the Hebrew consonants in the name Solomon add up to 375, and 375 is also the number of two-line verses in this section of Proverbs.
- Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum 8.212-213 is a two-part Latin verse epitaph from a mausoleum in Kasserine, Tunisia, dated at the middle of the 2nd century A.D. The number of lines in the two parts combined is 110. The deceased, Titus Flavius Secundus, lived 110 years, according to the accompanying prose inscription (CIL 8.211): "uix(it) an. cx". This was apparently first noticed by F. Bücheler. A recent commentator, E. Courtney, in Musa Lapidaria: A Selection of Latin Verse Inscriptions (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995), p. 400, says that the coincidence "is hardly accidental."
Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges (aka Gypsy Scholar) writes in an email:
You'll be interested to know that in Paradise Lost, Book 5, Satan (though his name was different then) reacts to the heavenly enthronement of the Son with:
"Deep malice then conceiving and disdain"
This is the first true evil to emerge among God's creatures, and it occurs in line 666.
Mere coincidence? Not likely.