Greek Isopsephy (Gematria) | About | Calculator |

Hebrew Gematria | About | Calculator |

Latin Gematria | About | Calculator |

English Gematria | About | Calculator |

Ethiopic Gematria | About |

(Note: the following has some minor 'pedagogical simplifications' for readers new to gematria. More details and peculiarities will be found on the specific language pages, for example the 'About' page for Hebrew above.)

Calculating the gematria value of a word or phrase is a two step process:

- Assign a numeric value to each letter. For English, we might use 'A' = 1 ... 'Z' = 26. (Other schemes are possible.)
We'll call that '
**mapping**' — because we're using an algorithm to map letters to numeric values. - One has options how to express those numeric values -- number bases in particular. One number base
vs. another may be more appropriate or congenial for the purpose at hand (as we shall see). We'll call that '
**expressing**'. - Combine these values somehow — perhaps just add them up. (Other schemes are possible). We'll call that '
**reducing**' — because we're using an algorithm to reduce a set of numeric values to a single number.

(See "MapReduce")

With 'mapping' we assign a numeric value to each letter in a word or phrase.

We use the alphabetic characters ('A' - 'Z') for words, and a separate set of characters for numbers ('0' - '9'). But ancient Greek and Hebrew (and other ancient languages) used their alphabetic characters both for words and numbers. So, for example, to write numbers the Greeks used their alphabet thus:

Letter | Name | Transliteration | Standard Value |
---|---|---|---|

Α α | Alpha | A | 1 |

Β β | Beta | B | 2 |

Γ γ | Gamma | G | 3 |

Δ δ | Delta | D | 4 |

Ε ε | Epsilon | E | 5 |

Ϝ ϝ* | Digamma (later Stigma) | St | 6 |

Ζ ζ | Zeta | Z | 7 |

Η η | Eta | Ē | 8 |

Θ θ | Theta | Th | 9 |

Ι ι | Iota | I | 10 |

Κ κ | Kappa | K | 20 |

Λ λ | Lamda | L | 30 |

Μ μ | Mu | M | 40 |

Ν ν | Nu | N | 50 |

Ξ ξ | Xi | X | 60 |

Ο ο | Omicron | O | 70 |

Π π | Pi | P | 80 |

Ϟ ϟ* | Koppa | - | 90 |

Ρ ρ | Rho | R | 100 |

Σ σ ς | Sigma | S | 200 |

Τ τ | Tau | T | 300 |

Υ υ | Upsilon | Y / U | 400 |

Φ φ | Phi | Ph | 500 |

Χ χ | Chi | Ch | 600 |

Ψ ψ | Psi | Ps | 700 |

Ω ω | Omega | Ō | 800 |

Ϡ ϡ* | Sampi | Ts? | 900 |

So the ancient Greeks would write 'TKB' ('T' = 300, 'K' = 10, 'B' = '2') for '312'. A stroke below and in front of a letter indicated thousands (e.g. ",B" = 2000). This is the 'standard' way gematria was originally calculated. Other ancient languages like Hebrew used a similar scheme.

For this scheme to work, you need 27 letters total (nine for 1-9, nine for 10-90, and nine for 100-900). Some Greek archaic letters such as digamma fell out of use by the time of Homer (8th century BCE), meaning that the number of letters in the alphabet still in use dropped to 24. So some archaic letters were retained just for numbers (the rows highlighted above).

The ancient Hebrews had a similar problem in that their alphabet only had 22 letters. But some of their letters had two forms — one when it was the last letter in the word (the 'final' form), and another when it occurred anywhere else. So for the purposes of gematria these five 'final forms' were used to have the requisite 27 letters available (the rows highlighted above). Thus in 'standard' Hebrew gematria, the letter Kaf would have the value 20 whether it was the last letter or not, but in 'extended standard' it would have the value 500 as the final form, 20 anywhere else.

Letter | Name | Transliteration | Standard | Extended Standard |
---|---|---|---|---|

א | Alef | ' | 1 | 1 |

ב | Bet | b | 2 | 2 |

ג | Gimel | g | 3 | 3 |

ד | Dalet | d | 4 | 4 |

ה | He | h | 5 | 5 |

ו | Waw | w | 6 | 6 |

ז | Zayin | z | 7 | 7 |

ח | Het | ḥ | 8 | 8 |

ט | Tet | ṭ | 9 | 9 |

י | Yod | y | 10 | 10 |

ך/כ | Kaf | ḵ | 20 | 500 |

ל | Lamed | l | 30 | 30 |

מ/ם | Mem | m | 40 | 600 |

נ/ן | Nun | n | 50 | 700 |

ס | Samekh | s | 60 | 60 |

ע | Ayin | ʿ | 70 | 70 |

פ/ף | Pe | p | 80 | 800 |

צ/ץ | Tsadi | ẓ | 90 | 900 |

ק | Qof | q | 100 | 100 |

ר | Resh | r | 200 | 200 |

ש | Sin/Shin | ś/š | 300 | 300 |

ת | Tav | t | 400 | 400 |

Another way of assigning numeric values is 'ordinal', in which you assign the counting numbers in order. Thus 'A' = 1, 'B' = 2 ... 'Ō' = 24:

Letter | Name | Transliteration | Ordinal Value |
---|---|---|---|

Α α | Alpha | A | 1 |

Β β | Beta | B | 2 |

Γ γ | Gamma | G | 3 |

Δ δ | Delta | D | 4 |

Ε ε | Epsilon | E | 5 |

Ζ ζ | Zeta | Z | 6 |

Η η | Eta | Ē | 7 |

Θ θ | Theta | Th | 8 |

Ι ι | Iota | I | 9 |

Κ κ | Kappa | K | 10 |

Λ λ | Lamda | L | 11 |

Μ μ | Mu | M | 12 |

Ν ν | Nu | N | 13 |

Ξ ξ | Xi | X | 14 |

Ο ο | Omicron | O | 15 |

Π π | Pi | P | 16 |

Ρ ρ | Rho | R | 17 |

Σ σ ς | Sigma | S | 18 |

Τ τ | Tau | T | 19 |

Υ υ | Upsilon | Y / U | 20 |

Φ φ | Phi | Ph | 21 |

Χ χ | Chi | Ch | 22 |

Ψ ψ | Psi | Ps | 23 |

Ω ω | Omega | Ō | 24 |

Numbers can be expressed in various number bases. We're accustomed to 'base 10' simply due to the evolutionary accident of 10 fingers. Depending on the purpose, a number base besides 10 may be more appropriate.

With 'reducing' we calculate a numeric value using the set of numeric values we determined in 'mapping'.

Sum all the values.

Given a value, add up the digits that comprise it. Thus, given "456", 'Digit Reduce' gives us 4 + 5 + 6 = 15. Then we can 'Digit Reduce' 15 to give us 6. Thus, 'Digit Reduce' can be iteratively applied: we can iteratively Digit Reduce 456 to 15 to 6.

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