Power of 100

“A hundred is a ubiquitous element of power and finance. If ancient Greek gods were angered the could be appeased with the bloodbath of hetacomb—the sacrifice of 100 oxen. A hundred was also long considered the largest group able to be governed by the command of one man. So there were 100 soldiers under the command of a Roman centurion; 100 slave-soldiers under the command of a mameluke emir; and, following the Roman model, there were 100 senators (two for each of the fifty states) in the US Senate. More prosaically, 100 units comprise all the major currencies of the world—be the yuan, yen, dollars, euros, rials, rupees, dinars, or pounds.”

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.

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