Pythagoras of Samos Essay

925 Words Feb 6th, 2011 4 Pages
PYTHAGORAS OF SAMOS

Pythagoras of Samos, more commonly known as Pythagoras is recognized as the world’s first mathematician. Pythagoras’ image is mysterious because none of his writings are published, and the ‘society he led, half religious and half scientific, followed a code of secrecy’ (O’Connor and Robertson, 1993). He was born c575 BC in Samos, Greece, and was killed in c495 BC. Details about Pythagoras can be found in early biographical writings who would write of him having ‘divine powers’ and ‘present him as a god-like figure.’ (O’Connor and Robertson, 1993). Overall, stories that have been written about Pythagoras and his journey are generally seen as legend.
Historians accept that Pythagoras spent his childhood in Samos
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(O’Conner and Robertson, 1993). In an effort to impose the culture and teachings he had experienced in Egypt, he and his followers became ‘politically powerful’ and built a school for those who followed him. He and group acquired positions in the local government to espouse their belief of purity, but a rival group initiated opposition and the followers were almost extinguished. It is written that Pythagoras was either forced to leave Croton or offered to leave the city prior to the assault. It is not accurately recorded when he died but some historians report that his death occurred in Metapontum early in the fifth century B.C.E. Pythagoras discovered that numbers were a method to uncover the universe and its secrets. A famous and well respected discovery was in regards to the first four integers (positive whole numbers). He lead the idea and proved the theory that the number ten, the sum of the first four integers, embraced the whole nature of number (Notable Biographies.com, n.d.). The theory of adding the first four integers is known as the “Tetractys of the Decad”. He also made great strides in the area of Geometry, and is recognized for several theorems in this area. The first of these is how the sum of the angles on triangle is equal to two right

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