Number Tattoos Barre VT
Number Tattoos - Since mankind first began to count, numbers and destiny have always gone hand in hand. Our fascination with numbers begins in the cradle - remember counting fingers and toes? Then come the days of the week, the months of the year, the planet, the stars, and onwards to infinity.
Numbers are also potentially intriguing tattoo elements. Who, in a moment of truth, won't confess to harbouring a number they consider 'lucky'? Johnny Depp has the number 3 tattooed on his left hand, on the web between his thumb and forefinger. Soccer star, David Beckham, has his lucky Roman numeral 'VII'. Some numbers are especially and profoundly important to us -- the birthdays and anniversaries of loved ones, for example, or the date of a dearly departed. We will never forget them, but do we really understand them? Do we know where they came from?
0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9… we call them 'Arabic numerals'. Arabs call them 'Hindu numerals', which is where the copyright belongs, with Indian mathematicians living around 500 AD. Arabs get the credit, because it was from North Africa that medieval Europeans first encountered these characters, which have formed the basis of our number system, roughly since Gutenberg invented his moveable type (1450s), which launched Western Europe out of the Dark Ages.
But long before the Indians introduced the concept of 'zero', people were already counting. Fingers and thumbs were certainly the first abacus, making the decimal system - based on '10' - an inevitable invention. The earliest evidence of a counting system comes from Egypt and involves repeated signs for '1', up to the count of ten, then a repeated sign for each group of '10'. Roman numerals are a classic example of this system. Who doesn't know what XXII stands for? Ten plus ten plus one plus one equals…? America's annual Super Bowl pageant continues to identify with the gladiators of old - the 2010 version in Miami is dubbed Super Bowl XLIV.
But the 'Arabic' system of numerals emerged the victor. From its ancient Brahmi origins, to Hindu, then to Arabic and through medieval to modern times, the organic growth of the numerals, zero through nine, can be visibly traced.
CHART SHOWING DEVELOPMENT OF NUMERALS FROM BRAHMI TO MODERN
While the symbols are unencumbered by historical meaning beyond their numerical value, various traditions have since cloaked the numerals with esoteric significance. From Pythagoras to pure hokum, our numbers have been alchemized into concepts to either fear or revere. St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD), for instance, is quoted as saying, "Numbers are the universal language offered by the deity to humans as confirmation of the truth."
Here are various meanings ascribed to our basic numbers by various traditions from numerology to the Tarot - to sheer superstition:
0. The beginning and the end. The Alpha and Omega. Pure potential. Or i...