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The Knights Templar & The Circular Number Nine

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Written by   439
1 year ago (Last updated: 7 months ago)

The Knights Templar

There is a legend about the Order of the Knights Templar and the number nine. Guillaume de Tyre (c.1130-1185), who wrote some 50 years after the events he relates, says that for nine years there were only nine knights, and no new candidates were accepted ["Cumique iam annis noven in eo fuissent proposito, non nisi novem errant"]. This is not true (unless the order was founded earlier than we believe), evidently a few new members were admitted. This occurrence of nine, however, whether true or not, has been repeated again and again, and has become an established part of Templar legend.

Some scholars have suggested that nine was chosen because it is circular, which - according to number symbolism – would make it "incorruptible." I will show you here why that is unlikely. If number nine really played a role for the first Templars, it is very improbable that it was because of its circularity.

Let's first see what circularity means.

Circular Numbers

The number 9 has special properties.

If you add the digits of a number that is divisible by 9, the sum will be divisible by 9 too. Example: 63 => 6+3=9, or 16023870 => 1+6+0+2+3+8+7+0=27, which is divisible by 9.

If you get a sum that contains more than one digit, you can repeat the procedure, 2+7=9, and then you will always get 9 in the end.

It is more general than that:

A number is divisible by 9 if, and only if, the sum of its digits is divisible by 9.

Or say it like this: for every multiple of 9, the sum of its digits is divisible by 9.

This property is called circularity; 9 is a circular number. In number magic, it is sometimes referred to as pure, or incorruptible. This, I claim, is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of circularity. This property has no legitimate place at all in number magic.

As I will soon explain, the circularity of 9 is a relatively new addition to number magic. It was not known by the Pythagoreans during Antiquity, and there is a perfectly good reason for that: they had no number 9!

Let us assume that we use Roman numerals. Three plus four equals seven (III+IV=VIII) just as we are used to; and three times four equals twelve (IIIxIV=XII). Addition and multiplication work in the same way as we are used to, no matter how we express the numbers. That is to say, addition and multiplication are operations with numbers. In the same way, seventeen is a prime number; however you express it, because the property of being a prime is a property of numbers. That applies for many other operations and properties as well.

But what would circularity be if we use Roman numerals? IX times IX is LXXXI. There is no meaning in an expression like "the sum of the digits of the result." There are no digits. Circularity is not a property of numbers, but of the way we organise or represent numbers. Using so-called Arabic numerals and the decimal system, nine (then written 9) becomes circular.

Are there other circular numbers?

Yes, indeed, they are infinitely many. In the decimal system there is the numbers 3 and 9, but provided we use a positional system, we can make any number circular by choosing a suitable base.

In the decimal system 10 is the base, 9 is circular.

In the binary system 2 is the base, 1 is circular.

If we choose 5 as the base, 4 is circular.

The last digit in a positional system is always circular. You can make any whole positive number, n, circular by creating a positional system with the base n+1.

Arabic numerals, including the zero, and the decimal system came to Europe during the Middle Ages. The Greeks of Antiquity did not know them; they had no 9 (although they had a number nine) and they cannot have known about the circularity of 9.

Number magic is based on the assumption of an intimate relationship between numbers and the structure of reality. To be meaningful in such a context, properties of numbers must be based on numbers as such, not on circumstantially created relative qualities. That number 9 is circular is not, or should not be, relevant for number magic. When it is, it must be seen as a result of a misunderstanding of the involved concepts.

Back to the Templars

As we have seen, nine becomes circular when we use Arabic numerals and the decimal system. Even if scholars at the time of the Templars started to learn about the system from the Arabs, it was not established in southern Europe until later. So, while Arabic numerals, the decimal system and the circularity of 9 can - in theory - have been known to Guillaume de Tyre, it is not likely to have been his (or his source's) motive to elaborate on 9 as a symbol. Even less so when the Order of the Temple was founded, half a century before Guillaume's writing.

Originally there happened to be nine knights, but they were hardly nine for such a long time. That Guillaume (or someone he got it from) "invented" a story including the number nine is likely, and that they based it on number magic or symbolism is probable too; it was a living part of the culture of their time. There is no reason to involve circularity, however, for millennia nine had been magic in its own right. The Sumerians held it as a number of perfection and completeness, and in subsequent cultures it was often seen as an extension of three (three times three), the number of divinity. The Muses of Antiquity were nine; in Christianity, nine is the order of angels.

Read my whole series of articles about the Knights Templar. I list the articles here, in the best order for reading; it is not the order in which they were published.

1. The Order of the Temple - The Knights Templar

2. The Mysteries of the Knights Templar

3. Symbols of the Knights Templar & Templars in Fiction: Literature and Film

4. The Knights Templar & The Circular Number Nine

Related article: The Number 666 & The Essence of the Beast

(This article is based on material previously published in Meriondho Leo and in my e-book “Numericon”, 2019.)

Copyright © 2008, 2019, 2021 Meleonymica/Mictorrani. All Rights Reserved.

Here you can find my articles about History, and here are my articles about the Knights Templar.

Interested in history, legends and myths, join my community History, Myths, Legends & Mysteries (be45).

You find all my writings on Read.Cash, sorted by topic, here.


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Written by   439
1 year ago (Last updated: 7 months ago)
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Comments

Not only the 9 is circular. The 3 is also a circular number. The number 9 also has some interesting features.

9+9=18

9×9=81

10/9= 1 rest 1

100/9= 10 rest 1

1000/9= 100 rest 1

10000/9= 1000 rest 1

...

$ 0.00
1 year ago

Yes, of course, you are right, 3 is circular as well. I will update the article in that respect. These rests were interesting too. Thanks for that - and your donation.

$ 0.01
1 year ago

Interesting story. The love the history of the knight templars. Be great if you could post a few stories about them.

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1 year ago

We will see. I'll take a note about that. No doubt there is much to say about them. So many strange things, so many myths, so many lies - it's hard to perceive the truth.

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1 year ago

An interesting observation: You were the only one who mentioned the Templars; all other comments were about number 9.

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1 year ago

ohoo, very good knowledge about nine,My Mobile Number sum is nine(9824930108) as well as My Vehicle number's sum is nine, and india's hindu goddes are also nine, and most religious festival also have nine days i.e. Navratri in india.

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1 year ago

I can see from the comments that a lot of people enjoy numbers - I do too, so I just posted about two tricks one can do, which are based on the circularity of 9: https://read.cash/@Mictorrani/two-tricks-based-on-the-circularity-of-9-f7cd23aa

I am also interested in more comments about numbers. Numbers are fun!

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1 year ago

i can add also 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8=36 ==> 3+6=9 and if x is between 1 to 9 then any 9+x will give you x after adding the two digits of the number you got for exemple 9+8= 17 ===> 1+7=8. nicola tesla said that number 9 ( and also 3 and 6) are the keys to the universe , and definitely he had good reasons to say that!

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1 year ago

Thanks for your contribution. Numbers are fun! I didn't know that about Nicolai Tesla before. Can you refer to any literature (book, website) elaborating on that?

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1 year ago

you are welcome! there are many ressources talking about that. here is an example https://royalverse.com/facts-about-369-the-secret-key-to-universe/ there is an article about that on quora too. alot of videos as well are talking about this topic

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1 year ago

Thank you. I will look into it.

Interesting that so many people are fascinated by numbers and properties of numbers.

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1 year ago

yeah especially famous scientists, it's good tho, i love reading about numbers and mysteries so i appreciate those articles. i hope you still have similar articles to post here :D

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1 year ago

Nice that you enjoy them. There will be some more, but I have to keep some other topics of mine alive as well, so it won't be every article I post.

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1 year ago

sure. thats alright as well. i hope it's not boring you to see me commenting on many articles of yours lol

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1 year ago

Not boring at all. It's a pleasure to have you here. You are most welcome.

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1 year ago

thank you very much! :D that's very kind of you, much appreciated

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1 year ago

Lovely, keep it up

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1 year ago

Good article their especially when you're talking about me THE 9TH SON. Nice more of it@mictorrani

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1 year ago

In other way round, you can also solve it this way: 11-2=9 81%9=9 3*3=9 2+7=9 4+5=9 8+1=9 10-1=9

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1 year ago

I love the bit about number nine, numbers always intrigued me. Posted an article about the invention of the number zero and how it changed the known world.

https://www.publish0x.com/bragato18/bitcoin-and-the-number-zero-only-unstoppable-ideas-can-break-xgepmn?a=y1aKo5raQG

Wasn't exactly popular. Good to see some one else likes numbers too.

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1 year ago

You can find more about numbers in my community https://read.cash/c/numbers-7b6a

I did read your article. Zero is a very interesting number.

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1 year ago