Pythagoras Essay

This essay has a total of 861 words and 4 pages.


Pythagoras must have been one of the world's greatest men. However, he wrote nothing and
it is unknown how much of the doctrine of Pythagoras is due to the founder of society and
how much is later development. Sometimes he is represented as a man of science, a
mathematician, and even as a preacher of mystical doctrines. None of these traditional
views, however, should be rejected, for he contributed his genius in each field.

Pythagoras lived from about 569 BC to about 475 BC. His father was Mnesarchus, a merchant
from Tyre; his mother was Pythais, a native of Samos. Pythagoras spent most of his early
years in Samos but traveled with his father. He was taught by the Chaldeans and the
learned men of Syria. Among his teachers, there were three philosophers who influenced
Pythagoras while he was a young man, Pherekydes, Thales, and Aleximander. They influenced
Pythagoras' interest in geometry and cosmology, encouraging him to pursue his studies in
Egypt. In 535 BC, Pythagoras went to Egypt where he visited many temples and took part in
many discussions with priests. Then, after his journeys to Samos and Crete, Pythagoras
founded a philosophical and religious school in Crotona. He was the head of the society
with an inner circle of followers known as mathematikoi.

Pythagoras influenced a group of early Greek scientific and religious thinkers, the
Pythagoreans. They believed that the soul was immortal and separable from the body.
Because they believed that the soul was reincarnated in different animal bodies, they
practiced vegetarianism. The group was almost cult-like in that it had symbols, rituals
and prayers. In addition, Pythagoras believed that "Number rules the universe," and the
Pythagoreans gave numerical values to many objects and ideas. These numerical values, in
turn, were endowed with mystical

and spiritual qualities.
The Pythagoreans discovered irrational numbers. If an isosceles right triangle is taken
with legs of measure 1, the hypotenuse will measure square root of 2. However, because
this number cannot be expressed as a length that can be measured with a ruler divided into
fractional parts, it deeply disturbed the Pythagoreans who believed that "All is number."
They called these numbers "alogon," which means "unutterable." So shocked were the
Pythagoreans by these numbers that they put to death a member who dared to mention their
existence to the public. There are a couple of theorems attributed to Pythagoras or
rather, more generally, to the Pythagoras.

I. The sum of the angles of a triangle is equal to two right angles.
II. For a right-angled triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides.
In ancient times, the Egyptians used their knowledge of the Pythagorean Theorem to
construct right angles. They knotted ropes with units of 3, 4, and 5 knot spaces. Then,
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