Pythagoras, also known as Pythagoras of Samos, is one of the most important people in the history of the world; however there is not much that we know about this famous ancient
Greek. Unfortunately a lot of the information about him was recorded centuries after he died and it is therefore unclear if some of his great accomplishments can really be
attributed to him or to one of his many followers or perhaps neither. He is credited with major contributions to mathematics and philosophy. He is also credited with significant
contributions to astronomy and music. Perhaps he is most famous for the theorem that bears his name; the Pythagorean Theorem which every kid who has taken high school math is
familiar with. The list of interesting facts below will provide information about what we do know about this Greek mathematician and philosopher and what facts about him are in
Interesting Pythagoras Facts
- It is known that Pythagoras was born around 570 BC on the island of Samos located in the eastern Aegean Sea.
- How and where he died is a mystery. It is possible he died during a revolt against the Pythagoreans sometime around 500 BC.
- He was an Ionian; which was one of the 4 main tribes of ancient Greece.
- In approximately 530 BC he moved from Samos to the city of Croton which is in an area of Southern Italy where numerous ancient Greek city-states were located referred to as
Magna Graecia (Latin meaning "Great Greece").
- It is believed that he was the first person to refer to himself as a philosopher. The word philosophy comes from the combination of the ancient Greek word for love (phileo) and
the word Sophia meaning "wisdom"; therefore a philosopher is someone who loves wisdom.
- He is most famous for the mathematical theorem named for him; the Pythagorean Theorem. Some historians believe that the theorem predates Pythagoras. This theorem states that the
side opposite the right angle of a triangle (the hypotenuse) equals the sum of the squares of the other two sides of the triangle.
- There are no known surviving texts written by Pythagoras.
Facts about the Pythagoreans
- After moving to Croton in 530 BC Pythagoras founded a religious sect; the Pythagoreans. He influenced thousands of people to follow him and convinced them to live a purer and
- The Pythagoreans included both men and women.
- The Pythagoreans were very secretive which is one reason not much is known about Pythagoras.
- Pythagoreans practiced the religious beliefs established by Pythagoras and also studied his philosophical theories. It is believed that Alcmaeon, one of the greatest medical
theorists of ancient times, was one of his pupils.
- Aristotle wrote about the Pythagoreans and explained how important mathematics was to them. He stated they believed that the principles of math were the principles of every
- The Pythagoreans believed in reincarnation.
- At some point and for unknown reasons the Pythagoreans were attacked and driven out of Croton, and other places, with many being killed.