“Leporello, manservant of the fictional rake Don Giovanni (Don Juan), revealed that his master made 1,003 sexual conquests in his Spanish homeland…as well as 640 in Italy, 231 in Germany, 100 in France, and 91 in Turkey. Of course, it must be remembered that Leporello’s purpose was to gently persuade Donna Elvira not to put too much trust in his master–and to amuse an operatic audience. Still, Don Giovanni’s figures stack up well alongside his historic rivals. Casanova claimed to have slept with a mere 122 women. Byron (who wrote his own Don Juan) raced through more than 300 women (plus numerous rent boys and transvestites) before his early death in Greece, aged 36.”
Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.