Re: Why 13?

Orjan Smith (
25 Jul 1995 11:41:01 GMT

In article, (Stephanie A. Hall) writes:
|This started with a discussion about the months didn't it? I think I may
|be jumping in in the middle but --
|13 is a number of magic or at least of interest in a number of cultures.
|It is a prime number, and many prime numbers are thought to be magical.
|As I recall, early recorded instances of 13 being considered unlucky
|were associated with the belief that if you invite 13 people to dinner,
|one will die before the year is out. This may be by association with the
|Last Supper (Jesus + the disciples = 13) -- or from an even older source
|in Norse Mythology. The Norse Gods held a banquet to which 12 were
|invited. Loki (#13) was not invited but showed up. A fight broke out and
|Baldur was killed.

An even older source? The Norse (Scandinavian, actually) mythology(religion)
you are referring to is from a much later date than the Bible. This particular
story is most likely from sometime around the 8th century.

But, I do agree that the belief that thirteen people round a table means bad
fortune is older than the bible.

- Cut -

|Stephanie A. Hall, Archivist -
|Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540-8100
|Opinions mine

- €rjan Smith E-mail: -

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