Click here to return to HOME page.

This is the oldest post in category MATHEMATICS

<><><> start of synopsis ><><><><><>

The ancient Chinese constructed the first magic squares in size 3 x 3 and several other sizes, and thought that magic squares had magical powers.

In the numerology of the alchemist Geber (Jabir ibn Hayyan) the numbers in a corner of the 3 x 3 magic square are 3 (=earth), 8 (=air), 1 (=fire) and 5 (=water).

The Sabian star-worshiper Thabit ibn Qurra ( 836–901), living in Baghdad, added several additional sizes of magic squares.

A Muslim in 12th century Persia discovered the general method of how to construct magic squares for all odd numbers of rows and columns [11 x 11, 13 x 13 etc.].

In another type of magic square used by Muslims, not all the rows and columns added up to the same number, but the numbers used had magical properties.

<><><> end of synopsis ><><><><><>

The ancient Chinese constructed the first magic squares in sizes 3 x 3, 4×4 and 6×6 sizes, and thought that magic squares had magical powers.

In the numerology of the alchemist Geber (Jabir ibn Hayyan) the numbers in a corner of the 3 x 3 magic square are 3 (=earth), 8 (=air), 1 (=fire) and 5 (=water). In Geber’s theory, the number 17 is the sum of the numbers for earth, air, fire and water and thus is the base of his theory of balance that explained everything.

The Sabian star-worshiper Thabit ibn Qurra ( 836–901), living in Baghdad, constructed 5×5, 7×7, 8×8 and 9×9 magic squares.

A Muslim in 12th century Persia discovered the general method of how to construct magic squares for all odd numbers of rows and columns [11 x 11, 13 x 13 etc.].

In another type of magic square used by Muslims, not all the rows and columns added up to the same number, and the same number could be used more than once, but the numbers used had magical properties in Muslim numerology.

Image by User:Phidauex, via Wikimedia Commons.

image credit https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Magicsquareexample.svg#mw-jump-to-license