-B.L. Freeborn, (c) Oct. 2012 – last update Sept. 2022
The “Sator Rotas” to an archaeologist is a trivial, long worn out mystery. To any fifth grader it is a quick puzzle. After the fifth grader explains it to the archaeologist then it becomes an out-of-place artifact.
Let us first discover what is known and believed about this grid before we look at the way an un-influenced mind would perceive it.
It is a five by five grid of letters that has been found in several places spanning both time and distance. The oldest is dated to 79 AD from Pompeii. The clear representation pictured below is from Oppede, France. A number of them have been found in England. Others have been found throughout Europe and one has been found in Syria. It is assumed it is in Latin. It is thought to be a secretive sign between Christians but others consider it magical. There are others who think it is a Jewish puzzle.
Before we throw the current translation out, let us reiterate it:
From Wikipedia we have………
“Sator Sower, planter; founder, progenitor (usually divine); originator
Arepo (arrepo) (I) creep/move stealthily towards, also trust, or likely an invented proper name. Its similarity with arrepo, from ad repo, ‘I creep towards’, may be coincidental
Tenet holds, keeps; comprehends; possesses; masters; preserves
Opera work, care; aid, service, (an) effort/trouble
Rotas (rota) wheel, rotate; (roto) (I) whirl around, revolve rotate; used in the Vulgate Psalms as a synonym for whirlwind and in Ezekiel as plain old wheels.”
They continue with …
“One likely translation is “The farmer Arepo has [as] works wheels [a plough]”; that is, the farmer uses his plough as his form of work. Although not a significant sentence, it is grammatical; it can be read up and down, backwards and forwards. C. W. Ceram also reads the square boustrophedon (in alternating directions). But since word order is very free in Latin, the translation is the same.”
Now let’s think about this….. They have been found in England. They have been found in Italy – Pompeii, Portugal, France, and Syria. So is it logical to conclude it is written in Latin? Probably. However – let us pause to think like a modern fifth grader who speaks the language spoken in England at this current time which is conveniently – this one.
What would a fifth grader see?
I suspect he/she could make a rather large list of words very similar to the list compiled below. The first two words any fifth grader is likely to identify are TEN and NET. Surely, the word ten appears four times and when read in the opposite direction they spell net. The four “nets” create a picture which forms a net spread out from the central N.
These are in fact two very revealing words which will lead us forward – momentarily. Our fifth graders would also spot the words SAT and ARE very quickly. A very bright child might find the word OPERA and then OPERATOR. We would not expect them to find TOR since it is not commonly used today but they would see the commonly used English word TENET. They might go on to find POT, OPEN and AT. They of course would not realize that they are finding Modern English words in a puzzle written many years before the creation of the language they speak. Unless!!!! There is something we do not understand about English.
This has led us off topic but it is a necessary deviation. The history of the English language must be checked. Is it possible this is written in modern English or even Old English?
Or that is what we must infer from references such as the quote below from Wikipedia: English Language which does not conflict with other references I have on the subject. (Reference notes are found in Wikipedia article.)
“Historically, English originated from the fusion of closely related dialects, now collectively termed Old English, which were brought to the eastern coast of Great Britain by Germanic (Anglo-Saxons) settlers by the 5th century – with the word English being derived from the name of the Angles, and ultimately from their ancestral region of Angeln (in what is now Schleswig-Holstein). A significant number of English words are constructed based on roots from Latin, because Latin in some form was the lingua franca of the Christian Church and of European intellectual life. The language was further influenced by the Old Norse language due to Viking invasions in the 8th and 9th centuries.
The Norman conquest of England in the 11th century gave rise to heavy borrowings from Norman-French, and vocabulary and spelling conventions began to give the appearance of a close relationship with Romance languages to what had then become Middle English. The Great Vowel Shift that began in the south of England in the 15th century is one of the historical events that mark the emergence of Modern English from Middle English.”
So, according to this English even as Old English was a dialect developed 400 years too late.
Darn!!! And it works so well in English if you look at the gematria. Like, the four tens actually are made of four 10’s!
Well, they do! Look…..
Using the Hebrew sounds for these letters, not a modern gematria for English letters and not translating them to Greek or Roman gematrias we substitute according to this:
A = 70
E = 1
R = 200
S = 60
T = 9
P = 80
N = 50 but if it considered to be a Hebrew Alef then = 1
let O = 6
S A T O R 60 70 9 6 200
A R E P O 70 200 1 80 6
T E N E T 9 1 50 1 9
O P E R A 6 80 1 200 70
R O T A S 200 6 9 70 60
By this replacement, using the sounds provided by the Hebrew letters, we observe that indeed the tens create ten. There are four of them around a central 50.
The four tens sum to 40. This is a significant number. A square of sides of 40 has a diagonal of 56.56 which is a number often pointed out as important in these posts. Or they might see it as a very Biblical number as in “Moses wandered for 40 years and it rained for 40 days and 40 nights.”
When the 40 is added to the 50 it sums to 90. Furthermore, each ten is at 90 degrees to the other which is true if the longitude and latitude of the planet is called a “net” and the four cardinal directions are then at 90 degrees to each other just as shown.
In other words; North, South, East and West are at 90 degrees to each other and each is depicted by the word NET fanning out from the center.
We take this idea one step further. Each degree of longitude and latitude is made of 60 minutes and each of those minutes of 60 seconds. Note that each 9 + 1 or ten when added to the central 50 creates 60. There are four 9’s on the exterior of the net and 4 x 9 = 36 which then repeats the number of seconds in a degree.
Hmmm. In the above image of the Sator Rotas from France the N is reversed which calls attention to it. The Hebrew Alef and the letter N are very similar. This letter in Hebrew has the value 1. Now if the central letter is allowed both values, both 50 and 1, then their sum is 51 and 51 degrees is the latitude of Greenwich, England from which longitude is measured today. It is in the center of both the puzzle and the Net created by longitude and latitude numbered from Greenwich.
If the letters surrounding the center (REPEREPE) are summed, the number 564 is obtained. This is significant. The value ‘560’ was discussed in the prior post about the Hebrew alphabet. 40, 56, and 79 are the three most important numbers in this secret system. The 40 we have touched upon. The 79 appears as the word AT and might be said to refer to the diameter of the Earth at 7920 miles. It most certainly refers to something the ancients kept as an ultimate secret. Indeed the word AT is very appropriate. The 56 appears in the sum of the letters REPEREPE (564) surrounding the middle. It is often found in secret writings as 565 or 56.5. If the center is allowed to be 1 then the 565 appears quiet nicely. This also repeats in the RPNPR diagonal. 560 + 50. But that can also be said to be 610 which repeats the 60’s.
Is this all that is hidden here?
No, it is a very plush garden of numerical facts. Notice that our ten’s reveal something else. The closest distance Earth comes to the sun is considered to be 91.4 million miles. Our 9 + 1 + 50 can be re-written as 91.50 miles. Not too bad for a bit of graffiti!
The circumference of the Sun is 2.72 million miles. Ra is the Sun God of the Egyptians. R = 200 and A = 70 …..Ra. RA appears four times.
I would be disappointed if the diameter of the Sun was not easily found and there….summing the exterior letters we find it equals 860. The diameter of the Sun is 864,000 miles plus a few.
Here then is another point. Hebrew does not have the letter O so the value for ‘v’ (vav) was used as 6. There is some logic to using 7 for the O. Seven is the value for the letter ‘z’ in Hebrew. Z is the first letter in zero and zero was originally called ‘cipher.’ If the value 7 is used then the exterior sum is 864 and that perfectly reflects the diameter of the Sun. What is more, ATO would then sum to 86 which would repeat it.
This then is no simple rhyme about farmers with fabricated names tilling soil. It is in fact a dire message.
To obtain this message we must take a daring step. We will declare the establishment, quite respectfully of course, in grave error. For this is a grave matter and an even deadlier message. We will accept that this is not written in Modern English but will allow it to be plain OLD ENGLISH. Why Old English and not French, German or Russian? 10 !!! How is it said in French – dix, in Spanish – diaz, in German – zehn, in Russian – desyat, in Hebrew – yod, in Latin!!! – decem, and in English both old and new – ten!!! So, English it is!
But we are taught these willy nilly old timers knew nothing of longitude and latitude. Maybe that is an incorrect perception as well! We have already seen the 60’s. We even found 610 in one diagonal. The sum of the opposing diagonal SRNRS is 570. What is 570 and why is it pertinent to longitude and latitude? The value of a radian is 57.29 degrees. Radians are used in circular measure. That is important in longitude and latitude, and other matters involving the circular movement of objects.
Shall we explore further? Shall we look at what has become an eerily out-of-place artifact? Is this evidence of time travel or evidence that we just do not understand something?
So, we diligently continue………………………..
We find these words in this little 25 letter grid.
In bold-italics is the Old English Spelling as provided by “The Student’s Dictionary of Anglo-Saxon,” by Henry Sweet, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1896. A few spellings are provided by “The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language,” Houghton Mifflin Company, 1976. The Modern English equivalent is then provided. ME denotes Middle English, OF – Old French, and bold-italic – Old English.
From the Sator Rotas we read:
a = a, meaning ………always
ar = ar = meaning……….brass, copper, counting device, ær = early, ar = origin
aras = arise??? aries, arisan = rise, arasian = explore, detect
are = ar = aer = early, reverence, before
as = as ME = alswa = as
asa = assay ME = assai OF = ascian
aten = ateon = to draw out
at, ato, ate = æt = origin, ate
a= Ea, one supreme god, æ = divine law
ene = ane = one time, ænne = anne = one
era = ar = brass, copper, counting device, ær = early
net = nett = net, mesh
open = open
opera = opera = work, drama
= apperen ME = appear
aparian = take in the act, discover
operator = operator
opor = ? opportune
opo = oppose, against- pose, pose from post
or = or = before, beginning, origin
oro = ora = bank, shore
ot = ut = out, oth = until
per = aparian = take in the act, see doing = appear = peer
po = fa = foe (if P is soft) = fæh
po = pawa = pea = pea, pee, poor, pour, pore
po = pohhe = pouch, purse
por = poren ME = pour = to stream forth
por = porus = pore = passage, porr = leek (vegetable), see ‘po’
pot = pott = pot
potenet = potent ME, Scottish = power
ra = Ra (god), ray, ræge = ra = roe
rasa = ræs = attack, running rush
= race = course
= ræsc = shower of rain
rep = repan = reap, rip = reap, rap = rope, riepan = spoil, rape
repe = ripan = reap, ripien = ripen = repeat
ro = reow = row, order
rope = rap = rope
rot = rot = hrot
rota = rotare = wheel
rotas = rotates ????
rotare = rotare = wheel
roten = rote = repeat, rotian = rotung = decay
sa = seah = see, sa = bucket
sara = sare = sore, sorrow, sarian = painful, sad
sat = sæt = ambush, lair
sator = sætere = robber
satoro = satori = Buddhist enlightenment
tare = taru = tear
tas = teoso = injury, tæsan = tease (wool)
ten = teon = draw, drag, make, tien = ten
tenet = belief, tan = twig, tænen = of twigs
to = to
top = topp = summit
tor = torr = tor, rock
torot = tarot = Italian 14th century game, plural of Torah
This is a substantial list of Old English words. What is very odd is that the Sator words are closer to modern English than Old English. From this we might easily conclude that the historian’s have misunderstood something. This simple out-of-place artifact suggests English was spoken as a distinct language some 500 years before it was supposedly invented.
Perhaps our understanding can be improved by looking at the numbers. They have not all been sought out.
Let us continue…Alas, there are many numbers. If you dread them more than the pox skip to the bottom.
We repeat for ease of study…
A = 70
E = 1
R = 200
S = 60
T = 9
P = 80
N = 50 but if it considered to be a Hebrew Alef then = 1
O = 6
Center number is both 1 (Hebrew Alef = 1) and N = 50 which sums to 51….. 51
S A T O R 60 70 9 6 200
A R E P O 70 200 1 80 6
T E N E T 9 1 50/1 1 9
O P E R A 6 80 1 200 70
R O T A S 200 6 9 70 60
Significant numbers are on the right side.
T, E = 9 + 1= 10
4 x ten = 4 x 10 = 40
10 x 4 = 40 and……………………………..40² + 40² = 56.56²
56 refers to their secret
Corner letters are S = 60…………………………. 60
Minutes in an hour
2 x 60 = 120………………………………………… 12
Signs of the Zodiac
R = 200 and 2 R’s = 400……………………….. 400
Ratio of Diameter of Moon/Sun
Four T’s of 9 = 4 x 9 = 36…………………….. 3600
Seconds in an hour
Four A’s of 70 = 4 x 70 = 280 and 280 x 2 = 560
Refers to their secret
Four O’s 4 x 6 = 24………………………………….. 24
Hours in a day
A T = 70 + 9 = 79…………………………………….7920
Diameter of Earth
A R E = 70 + 200 + 1 = 271…………………….. 271
Circumference of Sun
P = 80 = 2³ x 10……………………………………… 2³
Infinity of a sphere
PERA = 80 + 1 + 200 + 70 = 351, 351 x 2 = 702…. 70
Rough distance between two degrees of longitude
RA in four places = 200 + 70 = 270……………. 270
Circumference of Sun
ENE (in middle) 1 + 50 + 1 = 52………………. 52
Weeks in a year
PR (in two corners) = 80 + 200 = 280, 280 x 2 = 560……
PO in four places = 80 + 6 = 86…………………… 86
Gematria of Elohim and Diameter of the Sun
OPO in two places = 6 + 80 + 6 = 92…………… 92
Distance of Earth to Sun
Two corners of RSAA 200 + 70 + 70 + 60 = 400
Ratio of distance Earth to Moon / Earth to Sun
Two corners of OPOR = 6 + 80 + 6 + 200 = 292 times 2 = 584
Circumference of Earth’s orbit around the Sun
All four corners = RRSS = 200 + 200 + 60 + 60 = 520… 52
Weeks in a year
Center ring of 8 letters:
REPEREPE = 200 + 1 + 80 + 1 + 200 + 1 + 80 + 1 = 564 +
(center as = 1) + 1 = 565………….. 565
Their secret about the reaper.
Sum of 16 exterior letters: SATOROTASATOROTA
60+70+9+6+200+6+9+70+60+70+9+6+200+6+9+70 = 860……860
Diameter of the Sun
Sum of first / last row: SATOR = 345……………………………………………. 345
345 x 2 = 690 or 69……………….. 69
345 = 18.57²
345² + 345² = 238,050
345 = Gematria Value of Moses,
69 = approximate distance between two degrees of longitude,
18.57 = diameter of Earth’s orbit,
238000 distance between Earth and Moon
Sum of second /fourth row: AREPO = 357……357² + 357² = 254,900
Distance between Earth and Moon
Sum of middle row: TENET = 70………..(if N = 50)……………………… 70
Approximate distance between two degrees of longitude
Sum of entire square = 345 + 357 + 70 + 357 + 345 = 1474
1474 = 79.2 x 18.6
Diameter of Earth x diameter of Earth’s orbit.
Let O’s = zero = 0 then…
Sum is = 1450, 1450 x 4 = 5800 or 58…………………………….. 58
Gematria of Noah and circumference of Earth’s orbit
16 exterior letters…………………. 16
Earth moves 1.6 million miles per day
5 x 5 square of letters…………… 5
Diagonal of the square 5² + 5² =7.07²………. 7.07
7 relates to their secret and we are reminded
by the number of days in a week
8 letters surround the middle N and 8 = 2³…………. 2³
The Earth is just less than 8000 miles in diameter.
It is 8000 – 80 miles or 7920 miles.
Diagonal SRNRS sums to 570
Number of degrees in one radian is 57.29
Diagonal RPNPR sums to 610
And who is the author of this ancient puzzle? Whose secret message was this?
English is the modern way of saying Engle, Anglo, or Angle. And how does one determine latitude? Do we not take a measurement in degrees off the Sun? Do we not measure its angle? Perhaps we should call the Sun – Ra and measure its rays? We can deduce that the puzzle is the work of: an Anglo, who knew Hebrew numbers and letters, the Latin Alphabet, and key astronomical values. The author was also initiated into the secrets of the Anglos, Egyptians and the Hebrews.
And so we come to understand the very beginnings of the English language. We now know a little more about who spoke it, when they spoke it, and where the word Anglo for English comes from. We can also date the use of Greenwich as the zero longitude line to the early days of the Christian era or before.
A new understanding is revealed so neatly by a little puzzle!
Greetings, I wanted to share with you my theory for the meaning of the Sator Square. Since posting it a few weeks ago I have received no negative feedback, and almost no feedback at all; which I find encouraging. I thought you might have some remarks.
I read your post. What you suggest might be true. It would have certainly denoted places where certain beliefs were understood whether they be methods of war or secret ancient knowledge. However, I wonder, wouldn’t a straightforward sign bring in more business then something that those of the time period labored to understand?
Thanks for your reply.
Beyond the translation which is the core of my theory, I get into pure speculation.
I am thinking that soldier or civil workers who would be ordered to join construction crews might very well be illiterate. I can imagine soldiers who were tasked with getting carts or other equipment to a repair place were given directions as to where to go. Upon arrival, their destination would be confirmed by the presence of the Sator square. They would not need to be able to read it literally, due to its uniqueness.
Likewise groups of workers or slaves in a civilian setting might be tasked with major civil projects and might ordered to form-up at a location marked with a Sator square.
I think of Pompeii in particular here. The bay of Naples was likely a major shipping port. The area was struck by a major earthguake 17 years before the 79ad eruption and was indeed in need of major repairs.
So I can imagine civil construction battalions forming up daily for instruction and direction. Likewise I can see military personell, laying over in the port, being instructed to report to such areas to work on projects until it was time for them to leave. I can also imagine soldiers and sailors being tasked with finding such a facility to drop off equipment in need of repair or pickup new or repaired equipment for shipment overseas.
I am guessing that most of the laborers and soldiery was illiterate, thus the recognizable and symbolic nature of the Sator square.
I have also mused about an analogy to modern times. When driving in or out of small towns in America, we often see a rack of signs indicating the presence of civic or fraternal organizations, their meeting places and times; eg. Lions clubs, rotary international, Masonic lodges ect.
I also see the same analogy but knowing what the Masonic symbol looks like does not mean we understand it the way a Mason does. Are we not trying to grasp how the ‘group’ behind the symbol understood it?
You nailed it.
I occasionally revisit this subject To date, I have received no negative opinions. I think I have received almost no opinions at all. But I always remember your comment, Meret, and I have not been sure if you were referring to the theory I have posed. If so, it is important to me so I came back to inquire: were you referring to my theory when you posted “you nailed it”?
I am -guessing- he was referring to this:
“I also see the same analogy but knowing what the Masonic symbol looks like does not mean we understand it the way a Mason does. Are we not trying to grasp how the ‘group’ behind the symbol understood it?”
i’m sorry, but i don’t speak english.
The word AREPO can be translate :
A RE P O.
A RE Pater Optimus = da ciò ( per tale cosa) Padre Buonissimo
Sator = Il Creatore
Arepo = per tale cosa Padre Buonissimo
Tenet = dirige/conserva
Opera = con attenzione/con cura
Rotas = l’universo
Andrea from Padova (Italy)
Gilgamesh: “I also see the same analogy but knowing what the Masonic symbol looks like does not mean we understand it the way a Mason does. Are we not trying to grasp how the ‘group’ behind the symbol understood it?”
I am suggesting a meaning and context for the square, but your question is compelling. So I will speculate on your question.
I would suggest that the soldiers, sailors, slaves and technicians would be “the group behind the symbol”. It was essential to the function of their system and the completion of their projects, if only as a marker for a facility. The success and efficient operation of their organizations and sustems were critical in maintaining the power and prestige of the Emperor and senatorial class. I venture to say that such an organization would adopt symbols and practices of the other institutions such as the senate and temple system. But, this “group” could not run afoul of, overshadow or otherwise compete with traditional and imperial personality cults, it had to be immune to failure, the state had to function, wage war, trade, explore, dominate. Their endeavors were too big to fail. Their skilled workers needed to survive the civil wars, proscriptions and other mayhem.
Which brings us to Mithras. I am think inning that this cult was essential in providing bureaucratic, organizational, public and indeed, spiritual and social needs of the the system that keeps the wheels of the empire turning. The Mithraic cults and temples needed to filfill all these needs cult needed to keep its head low. It’s temples could not be resplendent with luxury. it’s fortunes and the respect with which it was held could not be conspicuous in its glory or neglect. So they went underground, so they could survive the fickle fortunes, with which time tests all things man-made.
So I am seeing the Mithraic cult as one which clandestinely served socio-religious-political needs of this sub society of people tasked with maintaining and building building the empire. The sator square was a simple tool to indicate where the uninitiated would form-up in order to build, move, or transport things. I am sure diverse languages were often encountered at such places and again, the square would not need to be read to be recognized.
Amazing work. Thank you for sharing this info on your blog (I have your book on my wishlist). I quickly wanted to add a small insight I had while reading this. In the first Sator Square image, the “T” looks more like an L. In that case, we can see “SALOR”. Or, an anagram of SOLAR, which reinforces your interpretation nicely.
It’s possible. Thanks for the input.
I think you may be very correct in fact. Salor, also spelled solar, means upper room in Anglo-Saxon. Indeed, look closer at the A’s in both puzzles and even more hidden meanings are discovered.
I believe the Sator square is an ancient way of saying keep the faith. Tenet Poro Aras. Hold open the altar.