I was looking for some properties of the prime numbers, and I found some curiosities of the number 17 in that site.

One of them is this

17 was called by the Pythagoreans - opposition, obstruction, and evil, and the day the Devil triumphed over God.

But, unlike the other curiosities, it has no reference. Have you read anything like that? Can you tell me more about this?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome. Something like that appears in Plutarch "Pythagoreans call this day [the17th] "the Barrier," and utterly abominate this number": (link(s)&more in wikipedia at 17(number) ). $\endgroup$ – sand1 Oct 13 '18 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ Pythagoreans lived around 6-4th century BC in Greece, for them there was no God, only gods, and most certainly no Devil. Curiously, there is a mathematical sense in which 17 was "the barrier", "In Plato's Theaetetus we learn that mathematician Theodorus has established irrationality of square roots for all non-square numbers up to 17 and then he stopped", see Why 17? on Cut the Knot. $\endgroup$ – Conifold Oct 13 '18 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ Some details in R.Laroche, Popular Symbolic/Mystical Numbers in Antiquity (1995). $\endgroup$ – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Oct 13 '18 at 20:50
  • $\begingroup$ It's a well-known fact that 17 is the world's most random number. You could look it up. :-) $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Oct 15 '18 at 12:58

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