I just realized that 666 is DCLXVI in Roman numerals (all numerals in sequence from largest to smallest). I have checked wiki but there was nothing mentioned about it.

Are there any theories or explanations for this?

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    I'm confused. You want an explanation for why 666 is DCLXVI in Roman numerals? Are you asking about how Roman numerals work, or are you seeing some significance in this somehow? – Semaphore Mar 1 '16 at 8:38
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    @Semaphore Hi, significance of course, unless concensus is that it is just a coincidence. – Matas Vaitkevicius Mar 1 '16 at 8:50
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    @Semaphore I see that numerals are in sequence from largest to smallest, like everybody else. Now this might be a pure coincidence or there might be a reason for it. Since I doubt I am first person in 2000 years to spot this it is very likely that someone, likely historian, pondered on this already. Maybe translation from Roman mistake or something. Do you think this question does not belong with history? – Matas Vaitkevicius Mar 1 '16 at 9:19
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    @Semaphore Precisely, it's as if 9876543210 would be 'devils' number in Arabic. – Matas Vaitkevicius Mar 1 '16 at 9:28
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    Any race with two hands with a prime p number of fingers on each might well count in base (p x 2) and have symbols for 1, p, (px2), p(px2), (px2)^2, p(px2)^2 etc. The Roman numeral style for the sum of these will then be (p+1)(p+1)(p+1) as observed by taking p=5. In any case your example doesn't include the common M=1000. – TheMathemagician Mar 1 '16 at 11:33

Actually no one knows what '666' stands for. There is no evidence that it has some connection to Roman numeral, but not, say, Greek (or Jewish) numeral. Thus there are dozens of guesses, but no single answer.

Some examples to produce '666' are:

Nero: N+R+O+N + Q+S+R in Jewish numerals
Domitianus: A. KAI. ΔOMET. ΣEB. ΓE. i.e. "Imperator Caesar Domitianus Augustus Germanicus" in Greek
Pope: V+I+C[AR]+I+V[S] + [F]I+L+I+I + D[E]+I in Latin
Latin: Λ+Α+Τ+Ε+Ι+Ν+Ο+Σ in Greek
King of Israel: המלך לישראל

Another point is that it may be not about numbers at all. For example, in 2 Chronicles, 9, 13 is written:

The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents

So there is a guess that '666' is a metonymy for "gold" or "money".

Yet no one mentions anything about 'DCLXVI'.

  • The Pope has never had a title "Vicarus Fili Dei"; so while that phrase might add up to that number (i've heard it doesn't because there are no 0's in Roman Numerals), its not actually associated with the Pope. – shiningcartoonist Mar 1 '16 at 14:03
  • @shiningcartoonist Well, that's what "inventors" of this deciphering meant. Though it's more than doubtful that St.John could mean that also. – Matt Mar 1 '16 at 14:38
  • @shiningcartoonist there are no 0's in Roman Numerals There could be no strict rules, as this kind of "numerology" wasn't a real science. Anyone might do as he liked. So just thinking "A, R and S do not count" is possible. – Matt Mar 1 '16 at 14:43
  • Interesting. I think you're right about that; and I'm not too surprised that there aren't strict rules about it considering its an ancient practice and thus theres lots of room for people to sort of make up their own version or have a corrupted understanding of any rules that might have been. – shiningcartoonist Mar 1 '16 at 17:40
  • also - there are references to the number 616 instead of 666 in older texts – user13123 Mar 3 '16 at 3:27

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