Quincunx, Electricity, Computer… The Mastermind of Sir Thomas Browne


Sir Thomas Browne was an English author of numerous medical, religious, scientific and esoteric works. He was born on the 19th of October 1605 and died exactly 77 years later on the 19th of October 1682. This numerological symmetry seems in his case more of a necessity than a coincidence for it supports his theory on the quincuncial order in nature. In 1658 Browne published The Garden of Cyrus, a book in which he composed a whole discourse upon the significance of the geometric pattern of quincunx in various forms of nature and art.

In short, quincunx is arranged of five points, with four of them forming a square (sometimes rectangle) and the fifth one at its centre. “Browne’s use of the quincunx is in certain respects straightforwardly numerological: it is the sovereign number, the middle digit in the sequence of primary Arabic numerals one to…

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