Terry Reedy <tjre...@udel.edu>:

> Part of the answer is Python's history. Up to about 2.1, most built-in
> types did not have methods, though I know lists did. Ints and strings
> did not, or chr and ord might have been int.chr() and str.ord(). (The
> current string methods were originally functions in the string
> module.)

Ints still aren't quite like regular objects. For example:

   >>> x = 500
   >>> x.__str__ is x.__str__


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