Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Numbers.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Odd Numbers. “Numero Deus impare gaudet” (Virgil: Eclogues, viii. 75). Three indicates the “beginning, middle, and end.” The Godhead has three persons; so in classic mythology Hecate had threefold power; Jove’s symbol was a triple thunderbolt, Neptune’s a sea-trident, Pluto’s a three-headed dog; the Fates were three, the Furies three, the Graces three, the Horæ three; the Muses three - times - three. There are seven notes, nine planets, nine orders of angels, seven days a week, thirteen lunar months, or 365 days a year, etc.; five senses, five fingers on the hand and toes on the foot, five vowels, five continents, etc. etc. A volume might be filled with illustrations of the saying that “the gods delight in odd numbers.” (See ODD, NINE.)   1



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