Magi Math

Jason Micheli —  January 3, 2013 — Leave a comment

the_magi_henry_siddons_mowbray_1915-zkq72e2This Sunday is Epiphany, the arrival of the magi to Bethlehem.

Around January 6, the symbol +C+M+B+ with two numbers before and two numbers after (for example, 20+C+B+M+14) is sometimes seen written in chalk above the doorway of Christian homes. The letters are the initials of the traditional names of the Three Magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. These letters also abbreviate the Latin phrase Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless the house.” The beginning and ending numbers are the year, 2014 in the example above. The crosses represent Christ.

Jason Micheli

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