The curse of the number 13

22 novembre 2010 | Dans History, Religions

Philippe Champaigne, la Cène

The number 13 has long been associated with fear and curse. There is even a technical term for the fear of the number 13 which is ‘Triskaidekaphobia’! The origin of this phobia is traced to religious thinking. According to this superstition Jesus and his apostles were thirteen around the table on the night of the Last Supper (the Last Supper of Christ presented by Philippe Champaigne, above). That evening, Judas, the thirteenth guest to sit at table, betrayed Jesus who was arrested by the Romans. The next day, a Friday, Jesus was tried and crucified. But the numerous accidents involving the number 13 in history and other domains like mathematics seem to explain the mysterious and superstitious character surrounding it: The Mayan and Aztec calendars for example included twenty months of thirteen days each, these civilizations have disappeared as a result of the Spanish invasion in the 16th century. The same thing goes for tarot, where the thirteenth arcana represents a mowing skeleton.

A plane without row N° 13

A plane without row N° 13

Nowadays, this superstition is still very present. Thus, in airplanes, there is no row 13! Often in the elevators there is no thirteenth floor, and in some hotels there is no room number 13,even some streets are not given the number thirteen.

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