Historians believe that modern numerology is an integration of the teachings from Ancient Babylonia, Pythagoras and his followers, (6th century B.C. Greece) Astrological philosophy from Hellenistic Alexandria, early Christian mysticism, the occultism of the early Gnostics and the Hebrew system of the Kabbalah. The Indian Vedas, the Chinese "Circle of the Dead",and the Egyptian "Book of the Master of the Secret House", (Ritual of the Dead) are records giving strong evidence that Numerology dates back thousands of years.
Pythagoras and other philosophers of the time believed that because mathematical concepts were more "practical" (easier to regulate and classify) than physical ones, they had greater actuality. This is an idea in harmony with philosophical pragmatism and a choice for permanent concepts over changeable physicality.
St. Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354 - 430) wrote " Numbers are the Universal language offered by the deity to humans as confirmation of the truth." Similar to Pythagoras, he too believed that everything had numerical relationships and it was up to the mind to seek and investigate the secrets of these relationships or have them revealed by divine grace.
In 325 A.D., following the First Council of Nicaea, departures from the beliefs of the state Church were classified as civil violations within the Roman Empire. Numerology had not found favor with the Christian authority of the day. It was assigned to the field of unapproved beliefs along with astrology and other forms of divination and "magic." Through this religious purging, the spiritual significance assigned to the heretofore "sacred" numbers began to disappear. In spite of this suppression there were still many devout believers, who kept the secret knowledge locked away.