Pythagoras of Samos

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Pythagoras of Samos

- His father, Mnesarchus, was a gem merchant and his mother Pythais, was a native of Samos.- Pythagoras had two or three brothers. - He was well educated, and he played the lyre throughout his lifetime, he also knew poetry and recited Homer.- He was interested in mathematics, philosophy, astronomy and music. He worked under and was greatly influenced by Pherekydes (philosophy), Thales (mathematics and astronomy) and Anaximander (philosophy, geometry).- He went to Egypt where he was accepted into the priesthood at Diospolis between the ages of 18 and 20.- He founded a secret society called Pythagoreans who developed a theory that states that everything in the universe can be explained with numbers, specifically whole numbers. - He founded a school in Croton that stressed four disciplines: arithmetica (number theory), hormonia (music), geometra (geometry), and astrologia (astronomy). -The members of his school were divided into the "mathematikoi" (or "learners") the inner circle of which Pythagoras headed. The mathematikoi extended and developed the more mathematical and scientific work that Pythagoras himself began, and the "akousmatikoi" (or "listeners"), focused on the more religious and ritualistic aspects of his teachings.- The mathematikoi had no personal possessions and were vegetarians. They were taught by Pythagoras himself and obeyed strict rules. The beliefs that Pythagoras held were:(1) that at its deepest level, reality is mathematical in nature,(2) that philosophy can be used for spiritual purification,(3) that the soul can rise to union with the divine,(4) that certain symbols have a mystical significance, and(5) that all brothers of the order should observe strict loyalty and secrecy.- There are two popular stories of Pythagoras's death, some say that those who opposed Pythagoras banded together and created an uprising against the Pythagoreans. Others say Pythagoras fled to Metapontum and died from starvation.

c. 570 BC - Born on the Greek Island – Samos in the eastern Aegeanc. 535 BC - Left Samos for Egypt to study with the priests in the temples.530 BC - Pythagoras migrated to Croton in Southern Italy and established a school there. 525 BC - He was made prisoner by the King of Persia and was taken to Babylon.520 BC - Obtained freedom and returned to Samos.518 BC -Travelled to Italy.c. 495 BC - Died in Metapontum Italy

Pythagoras of Samos

*Of Pythagoras's actual work nothing is known. His school practiced secrecy making it hard to distinguish between the work of the individual and that of the group. In Math:- The most profound contribution to mathematics by Pythagoras and his society is the formalization of mathematics with the use of axiomatic systems. - From those axioms, a number of theorems were deduced. Among these is what Pythagoras is most widely known. He is credited for discovering the Pythagorean Theorem of geometry (although this theorem was previously utilized by Babylonians and Indians). It is widely believed that Pythagoras was the first to prove the theorem which says that for any right-angled triangle, the square of the length of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the square of the other two sides (as an equation: a2 + b2 = c2).-Among his other achievements in geometry, Pythagoras (or the Pythagoreans) also realized that the sum of the angles of a triangle is equal to two right angles (180°).-The discovery of irrationals, although some tried to suppress this discovery due to their belief in the sole existence of whole numbers. - Pythagoras was also credited with devising the tetractys, the triangular figure of four rows which add up to the perfect number, ten. As a mystical symbol, it was very important to the worship of the Pythagoreans.In Music:- He is credited with the discovery that the intervals between harmonious musical notes always have whole number ratios.In Astronomy: - He taught that the Earth was a sphere at the centre of the Universe.- He also recognized that the orbit of the Moon was inclined to the equator of the Earth and he was one of the first to realize that Venus as an evening star was the same planet as Venus as a morning star.


Atkins, William Arthur; Koth, Philip Edward. "Pythagoras." Mathematics. 2002. 19 Nov. 2014 ."Pythagoras - Greek Mathematics - The Story of Mathematics." Pythagoras - Greek Mathematics - The Story of Mathematics. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2014."Greatest Mathematicians Born before 400 A.D." Greatest Mathematicians Born before 400 A.D. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2014Hopkins, James. "Contributions of Pythagoras." YouTube. YouTube, 03 July 2008. Web. 19 Nov. 2014."Genius of Pythagoras - Science Documentary." YouTube. YouTube, 25 Nov. 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.



Lasting Impact

Credited with:

- With the help of Pythagoras ' discovery that the length and size of strings on a musical instrument corresponds to the tone of the musical not it produces, we are able to tune modern day string instruments. - A few jobs that use the Pythagorean Theorem today are construction managers, architects, aerospace engineers, computer hardware engineers, etc.


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