PYTHAGORAS

PYTHAGORAS – LOVER OF WISDOM

Mathematics is always incomplete without learning the famous Pythagoras theorem in Geometry. Pythagoras of Samos formulated it and he is often termed as the first great mathematician. Pythagoras of Samos was a Greek mathematician and philosopher who was born in 570 B.C. His parents were Mnesarchus who is a merchant and his mother Pythais, a native of Samos. He is known to have two more brothers. He lived on the island of Samos which is now called Turkey. Young Pythagoras spent most of his early years in Samos. He also travelled to many places with his father. He was intelligent, well-educated and was also fond of poetry and recited the poems of Homer. His mentors were his two teachers Thales and Pherekydes and a student of Thales named Anaximander. These people inspired him to pursue mathematics and astronomy.

Thales especially created a huge impression on him. It was on Thales’s advice that Pythagoras travelled to Egypt and got educated about astronomy and mathematics. He attended many lectures given by Anaximander. Anaximander’s curiosity in cosmology and geometry made Pythagoras get interested to a major extent. Pythagoras also made significant discoveries in music, astronomy and medicine.

In 535 BC, Pythagoras left Samos in 535 BC and went to Egypt when Polycrates, the dictator of Samos, took control. Pythagoras and Polycrates were said to be friends at one point of time. There are evidences which propose that Pythagoras was not allowed to enter all temples in Egypt except the temple of Diospolis. He took priesthood and was permitted to enter the temple of Diospolis after the necessary rituals were done by him. He actively participated in various discussions with the Egyptian priests and got acquainted with the various customs of Egyptian priests. Some of such customs are secrecy, not eating beans and wearing those clothes which are not made from animal skins. He was a vegetarian and he never ate meat. Healso continued his education and got expertise in Geometry and Mathematics during his time in Egypt.

He founded a religious school in Croton in 530 BC and many people who adopted his philosophical principles turned into his followers. He had inner circle of followers known as the ‘Mathematikoi’. Even the name Pythagoreanism originated based on his teachings and his followers who were mostly influenced by Mathematics, Music and Astronomy. Even famous people like Aristotle and Plato were his followers. He became one of the most distinguished teachers of religion in ancient Greece.

Also Pythagoras was made prisoner and was taken to Babylon during invasion of Cambyses II, the king of Persia in the year 525 BC.He left Babylon in 520 BC and returned to Samos after relieving from prison. He then travelled to Crete to learn the system of laws. He then returned to Samos and established a school called the ‘Semicircle’. Pythagoras left Samos again for Southern Italy in 518 BC,.

Pythagoras studied properties of numbers and distinguished them as even numbers, odd numbers, triangular numbers and perfect numbers etc. The ‘Pythagoras theorem’ is said to be one of the most primitive theorems in geometry. The theorem states that in right-angle triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of square the other two sides. He also noticed that the orbit of the moon is inclined with the Earth’s equator.

History says that Pythagoras was married to Theano. She was a native of Croton. They had one son Telauges and three daughters Myia, Damo and Arignote. Many of his works were lost throughout the History and only very few were survived. He was said to be died in 495 BC. History says that he died along with his followers in a Temple and some evidences say that he fled to Metapontum and there he himself starved to death.

Some of His Famous Quotes

  • Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few.
  • Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself
  • Rest satisfied with doing well, and leaves others to talk of you as they please.
  • Above the cloud with its shadow is the star with its light. Above all things reverence thyself.
  • There is geometry in the humming of the strings; there is music in the spacing of the spheres.
  • Friends are as companions on a journey, who ought to aid each other to persevere in the road to a happier life.
  • Silence is better than unmeaning words.
  • Reason is immortal, all else mortal.
  • The oldest, shortest words — “yes” and “no” — are those which require the most thought.
  • As soon as laws are necessary for men, they are no longer fit for freedom

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