Pythagoras Biography

# Pythagoras Biography

Pythagoras of Samos, widely known as Pythagoras, was a philosopher from ancient Greece. He is considered one of the most brilliant minds of the ancient world. The philosophies of Pythagoras significantly influenced the teachings of future thinkers like Aristotle, Plato, and many other western philosophers. Many details about Pythagoras’ life are based on Greek legends and stories, which means some information may not be entirely accurate.

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## Life History of Pythagoras

Pythagoras was born around 570 B.C. in Samos, Greece, which is near Turkey. However, there are no clear and accurate records of Pythagoras’s life. What we do have are biographical sketches made after his death. Many of his followers kept his life a secret, and many myths surrounded his life. One of the most outrageous myths claimed he was the son of the god Apollo.

It is believed that Pythagoras left Samos when he was about 40 years old during the reign of Polycrates. Throughout his life, Pythagoras studied with Greeks, Egyptians, and various people in Asia. His formal education included arithmetic, geometry, morals, astronomy, and religion.

Pythagoras was a kind of traveler, journeying across the world to increase his knowledge. Considering the vast array of knowledge he gained and shared through his teachings, his travels yielded great results. The Life History of Pythagoras shows that he was dedicated to learning and exploring different fields.

## Pythagoras Theorem

The Pythagorean Theorem is one of the most well-known principles in mathematics, attributed to the ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras. This theorem states that in a right-angled triangle, the square of the length of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the squares of the lengths of the other two sides. Mathematically, it is expressed as a2 + b2 = c2, where represents the hypotenuse, and and represent the triangle’s other two sides.

The Pythagorean Theorem is fundamental in geometry, offering a straightforward method to calculate distances. It has numerous applications in various fields, such as physics, engineering, architecture, and even computer science. For instance, it helps in determining the shortest path between two points and in various design and construction tasks.

Historically, the theorem was known to various civilizations before Pythagoras, including the Babylonians and Indians, but it was Pythagoras who provided the first known proof. This theorem not only underscores the brilliance of Pythagoras’ mathematical insights but also serves as a cornerstone for many other mathematical concepts and proofs. Understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem is a fundamental skill in the study of mathematics.

## Philosophy of Pythagoras

Today, Pythagoras is known as a famous thinker and mathematician. However, during his time, his reputation was built on more than just his scientific skills. Pythagoras had several philosophical ideas that led to the formation of the Pythagoreans.

Pythagoras’ popularity extended beyond his scientific achievements due to his expertise in various areas.

• He was skilled in performing religious rituals.
• Pythagoras taught that the soul is immortal and goes through several reincarnations after death.
• He promoted a strict lifestyle that included dietary restrictions and self-discipline.
• Legends claim that Pythagoras had golden thighs and mystical abilities, such as being in multiple places simultaneously. These stories likely contributed to his glorification by followers.
• Pythagoras did not leave any written records of his life, but he was mentioned by other philosophers like Xenophanes and Heraclitus.

## Death of Pythagoras

Just as with his birth and life, exact details about the death of Pythagoras are unclear. Various historians have different theories about his death. The most reliable accounts come from Aristoxenus and Dicaearchus. They state that after some time in the city of Croton, Pythagoras and his followers were forced to leave due to their unique lifestyle. Pythagoras then fled to Metapontum, where he died around 490 BC.

1. Mystical Abilities and Golden Thigh: Pythagoras was surrounded by numerous legends. One such legend claims he had a golden thigh, which he supposedly showed to his followers to prove his divine nature. Another legend says that he had mystical abilities, such as being present in multiple places at the same time.
2. Founder of a Religious Movement: Beyond his mathematical contributions, Pythagoras founded a religious movement known as Pythagoreanism. This group combined religious rituals with philosophical teachings, emphasizing the transmigration of souls and a strict lifestyle involving dietary restrictions and ethical conduct.
3. Influence on Music: Pythagoras is credited with significant contributions to the understanding of musical harmony. He discovered the mathematical ratios that correspond to musical intervals, which laid the groundwork for the study of acoustics and the science of sound.
4. No Written Works: Unlike many philosophers and mathematicians of his time, Pythagoras did not leave any written records of his teachings or discoveries. What we know about him comes from the writings of his followers and other philosophers who mentioned him, such as Plato and Aristotle.
5. Vegetarianism and Diet: Pythagoras was a strict vegetarian, and he believed in the spiritual significance of diet. His dietary rules forbade the consumption of beans, which he believed contained souls of the dead. This aspect of his teachings reflects his broader philosophy of the interconnectedness of all living beings and the importance of purity.

## FAQs on Pythagoras Biography

### Who was Pythagoras and why is he famous?

Pythagoras was an ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician, best known for the Pythagorean Theorem, which relates to right-angled triangles. He also founded the religious movement known as Pythagoreanism, which combined his philosophical teachings with religious rituals.

### What were the main teachings of Pythagoras?

Pythagoras taught that the soul is immortal and undergoes a cycle of reincarnations. He believed in the importance of a strict, disciplined lifestyle, which included dietary restrictions. His teachings also emphasized the connection between mathematics and the physical world, particularly in relation to musical harmony.

### Did Pythagoras write any books or leave any written records?

No, Pythagoras did not leave any written records of his teachings or discoveries. Information about his life and work comes from the writings of his followers and later philosophers, such as Plato, Aristotle, and others who mentioned him in their works.

### What are some legends associated with Pythagoras?

Several legends surround Pythagoras, including claims that he had a golden thigh and could be present in multiple places simultaneously. These stories likely contributed to his mystique and the reverence his followers had for him.

### How did Pythagoras influence later thinkers and philosophers?

Pythagoras' ideas had a profound impact on later philosophers and mathematicians. His emphasis on the importance of numbers and mathematical relationships influenced Plato and the development of Western philosophical and scientific thought. His teachings on the immortality and reincarnation of the soul also resonated with various religious and philosophical traditions.

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