666 (number)

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← 665 666 667 →
Cardinalsix hundred sixty-six
(six hundred sixty-sixth)
Factorization2 × 32 × 37
Greek numeralΧΞϚ´
Roman numeralDCLXVI
Greek prefixἑξακόσιοι ἑξήκοντα ἕξ
hexakósioi hexēkonta héx
Latin prefixsescenti sexaginta sex
Chinese numeral六百六十六

666 (six hundred [and] sixty-six) is the natural number following 665 and preceding 667.

666 is called the "number of the beast" in (most manuscripts of) chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation of the New Testament,[1][2][3] and also in popular culture, for example the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden's third studio album The Number of the Beast and its title track.

In mathematics[edit]

666 is the sum of the first 36 natural numbers (, i.e. 1 + 2 + 3 + ... + 34 + 35 + 36 = 666), and thus it is a triangular number. Because 36 is also triangular, 666 is a doubly triangular number. Also, 36 = 15 + 21; 15 and 21 are also triangular numbers, and 152 + 212 = 225 + 441 = 666.

In base 10, 666 is a repdigit (and therefore a palindromic number) and a Smith number. A prime reciprocal magic square based on 1/149 in base 10 has a magic total of 666.

The prime factorization of 666 is 2 • 32 • 37. Also, 666 is the sum of the squares of the first seven primes:

The number of integers which are relatively prime to 666 is 6•6•6 and the number of twin primes less than + 666 is 666.[4]

The Roman numeral for 666, DCLXVI, has exactly one occurrence of all symbols whose value is less than 1000 in decreasing order (D = 500, C = 100, L = 50, X = 10, V = 5, I = 1).

In religion[edit]

Number of the beast[edit]

666 is often associated with the devil, who is illustrated here in an engraved interpretation by Gustave Doré.

In the Textus Receptus manuscripts of the New Testament, the Book of Revelation (13:17–18) cryptically asserts 666 to be "man's number" or "the number of a man" (depending on how the text is translated) associated with the Beast, an antagonistic creature that appears briefly about two-thirds into the apocalyptic vision. Some manuscripts[which?] of the original Greek use the symbols χξϛ chi xi stigma (or χξϝ with a digamma), while other manuscripts spell out the number in words.[5]

In modern popular culture, 666 has become one of the most widely recognized symbols for the Antichrist or, alternatively, the devil. The number 666 is purportedly used to invoke Satan.[citation needed] Earnest references to the number occur both among apocalypticist Christian groups and in explicitly anti-Christian subcultures. References in contemporary Western art or literature are, more likely than not, intentional references to the Beast symbolism. Such popular references are therefore too numerous to list.

It is common to see the symbolic role of the integer 666 transferred to the digit sequence 6-6-6. Some people take the Satanic associations of 666 so seriously that they actively avoid things related to 666 or the digits 6-6-6. This is known as hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.

The Number of the Beast is cited as 616 in some early biblical manuscripts, the earliest known instance being in Papyrus 115.[6][7]

Other occurrences[edit]

  • In the Bible, 666 is the number of talents of gold Solomon collected each year (see 1 Kings 10:14 and 2 Chronicles 9:13).
  • In the Bible, 666 is the number of Adonikam's descendants who return to Jerusalem and Judah from the Babylonian exile (see Ezra 2:13).
  • Using gematria, Neron Caesar transliterated from Greek into Hebrew short-form spelling, נרון קסר, produces the number 666. The Latin spelling of "Nero Caesar" transliterated into Hebrew short-form, נרו קסר, produces the number 616. Thus, in the Bible, 666 may have been a coded reference to Nero, the Roman Emperor from 55 to 68 AD.[8]

In other fields[edit]

666 float in a Paris parade
  • Is the magic sum, or sum of the magic constants of a six by six magic square, any row or column of which adds up to 111.
  • Is the sum of all the numbers on a roulette wheel (0 through 36).[8]
  • Was a winning lottery number in the 1980 Pennsylvania Lottery scandal, in which equipment was tampered to favor a 4 or 6 as each of the three individual random digits.[9]
  • Was the original name of the Macintosh SevenDust computer virus that was discovered in 1998.
  • The number is a frequent visual element of Aryan Brotherhood tattoos.[10]
  • Aleister Crowley adopted the title "the Great Beast 666". As such, 666 is also associated with him, his work, and his religious philosophy of Thelema.
  • Molar mass of the high-temperature superconductor YBa2Cu3O7.
  • In numerology, it is often associated with the need for spiritual balance.[11]
  • In China the number is considered to be lucky and is often displayed in shop windows and neon signs.[12][13] In China, 666 can mean "everything goes smoothly" (the number six has the same pronunciation as the character 溜, which means "smooth".[14]
  • Is commonly used by ISPs to blackhole traffic using BGP communities.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Revelation 13
  2. ^ Beale, Gregory K. (1999). The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 718. ISBN 080282174X. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  3. ^ "The Numerology of the Beast". people.math.harvard.edu. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  4. ^ Chris K. Caldwell and G. L. Honaker, Jr.,Curio for 666
  5. ^ "Revelation 13:18". Stephanus New Testament. Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2006-06-22.
  6. ^ Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle and Aland, 1991, footnote to verse 13:18 of Revelation, page 659: "-σιοι δέκα ἕξ" as found in C [C=Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus]; for English see Metzger's Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, note on verse 13:18 of Revelation, page 750: "the numeral 616 was also read ..."
  7. ^ The Other Number of the Beast
  8. ^ a b "666 – professors explain Roulette and Nero in detail; numberphile.com". Archived from the original on 2013-03-31. Retrieved 2013-04-06.
  9. ^ Baer, John (1980-09-20). "Six Won $1.2 Million in Rigged Lottery, Pa. Says". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  10. ^ Brook, John Lee (June 2011). Blood In, Blood Out: The Violent Empire of the Aryan Brotherhood. SCB Distributors. ISBN 978-1-900486-80-4. OCLC 793002272. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Keep Seeing 666? Find Out If You're Doomed!". Takanta. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  12. ^ Mah, Adeline Yen (2009). China: Land of Dragons and Emperors. ISBN 978-0375890994. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
  13. ^ "Know the Meaning of Numbers in Chinese Culture". Retrieved 2014-10-30.
  14. ^ "666 – Good day, bad day or just another day?". Retrieved 2014-10-30.
  15. ^ RFC 7999

External links[edit]