He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it—namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain. — Mark Twain

Pythagoras

570–480 BC
Civilization: Greek — Thales
   Field of Renown:  science — Philosopher
Era:  City States

Pathagoras
PYTHAGORAS AND THE BEAUTIFUL THEANO
Pythagoras is best known today for his well known pythagorean theorem, which defines the mathamatical relationship between the sides of a right triangle. It was used in very early times for surveying property, and ascertaining true right angles when marking off areas, or buildings sites. Pythagoras considered himself a philospher however, but in that age, philosophy, science, and mathematics were closely related disciplines.

Pythagoras was born in Samos, but soon fled to Croton, a Greek colony in Italy, to evade the tyrant Polycrates. There he started a philosophical school that was governed by very strict rules of conduct, and sought to promote virtue in his followers. The precise nature of his teachings is still disputed, but he is thought to have believed in reincarnation, and was a mystic, a political reformer, and a vegetarian. His followers studied music, astronomy, mathematics, science, and literature.

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Other Resources


Story Links
Book Links
Before the Time of Christ  in  Stories of the Great Scientists  by  Charles R. Gibson
Greek Colonies: The Tyrants  in  The Story of the Greek People  by  Eva March Tappan

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Image Links


Pythagoras and the Beautiful Theano
 in 

Pythagoras and his Friend
 in Stories of the Ancient Greeks

School of Pythagoras
 in The Story of the Greek People


Contemporary
Short Biography
Democedes Greek physician, valuable slave of Darius. Schemed and plotted to return to Greece.
Polycrates Prosperous king of Samos who was overthrown by Oretes, his enemy from Asia Minor.