The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were by no means a comprehensive agreed-upon list of the most impressive structures of the day. Today a list like this would be determined by a TV phone-in. The masterpieces included in the original list are the traditionally accepted Wonders as first set down by Philo of Byzantium although when he drew up the list he had no way of knowing about the caves of Altamira in Spain, the Pueblos of North America or Stonehenge. in England.
The Seven Wonders of The World got me thinking about the number 7.
According to Wiki the Pythagoreans invested particular numbers with unique spiritual properties. The number seven was considered to be particularly interesting because it consisted of the union of the physical (number 4) with the spiritual (number 3). Does that make any sense to anyone?
In a standard pack of Tarot cards number 7 is the chariot which represents succour, providence, war, triumph, presumption, vengeance and trouble
In the play “As You Like It” Shakespeare described the seven ages of man as Infancy, Child, Teenager, Young Man, Middle age, Old age, and Death.
In Antiquity and in Religion there are often seven wise men as law makers and judges, seven is a good number, not to big, not to small, a manageable in-between sort of number which works well in a voting situation (so long as no one abstains).
Seven Days a Week – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The seven metals of Antiquity -gold, silver, copper, tin, lead, iron, and mercury.
The Seven Seas – Arctic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, South Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, North Pacific Ocean, South Pacific Ocean and the Southern (or Antarctic) Ocean
The Seven Deadly Sins – Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Anger, Envy and Pride.
The Seven Year Itch, a supposed tendency to infidelity after seven years of marriage and a movie starring Marilyn Monroe.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sneezy, Dopey, Sleepy and Bashful.
Seven Continents of the World – Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia, North America, South America and Antarctica.
Seven colours in a Rainbow – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet.
The Dance of the Seven Veils is Salome’s dance performed before King Herod Antipas, an interpretation of the New Testament story of the Feast of Herod and the execution of John the Baptist.
The Seven Hills of Rome of course but also the Seven Hills of Edinburgh -Arthur’s Seat Blackford Hill, Braid Hills, Calton Hill, Castle Rock, Corstorphine Hill and Craiglockhart Hill.
The Magnificent Seven – Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, James Coburn, and Horst Buchholz.
Anyone care to make another seven suggestion?