What’s So Magical About Magic Squares?

All your troubles would be over if you had a magic square! At least that’s what people believed long ago in China, India, Greece, and Rome.

A magic square is an arrangement of numbers in the shape of a square. The numbers are arranged so that the sum of each horizontal row, each vertical column, and each diagonal line are all equal.

Magic squares were believed to possess mystical and magical powers, and were worn as talismans, or good luck symbols. Magic squares can contain 9 boxes, 16 boxes, 25 boxes, 49 boxes, 64 boxes, 81 boxes, and so on.

Those with 9 boxes contain only the numbers from 1 to 9, with none repeated; those with 16 boxes contain only the numbers from 1 to 16, with none repeated; and so on.

The largest reported magic square, which added up to 578,865, was completed in 1975 by a 13-year-old boy!