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# An Introduction to the Life and History of Pythagoras

Pythagoras 560-480BC Do any of you know who is considered the first true mathematician Well the answer is Pythagoras of Samos He was a Greek philosopher and religious leader who was responsible for important developments in history in the fields of mathematics astronomy and the theory of musicWe know little of his early life and even less of his writings Everything that we know about him was through his students and disciples He was born on the island of Samos in 560BC He was taught about the teachings of the early Ionian philosophers such as Thales Anaximander and Anximenes Pythagoras fled to Crotona because of political unrest in his homeland It is there that he started PythagoreanismPythagoreans believed that all relations could be reduced to number relations or in other words all things are numbers For example he believed that things like justice could be explaned numerically This idea was based on his observations in music mathematics and astronomy Pythagoras made most of his discoveries in the field of math He or perhaps one of his students discovered one of the most important relationships in math In geometry the great discovery of the school was the Pythagorean theorem This formula states that the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides For example a right triangle with leg lengths of 3 and 4 would have the hypotenuse be 5 A use for that time would be for marking off the boundaries of fields after the annual flooding of the Nile River Math and geometry arent the only areas that the Pythagoreans made advances in They thought the celestial spheres of the planets produced harmony called the music of the spheres Pythagoreans believed that the earth itself was in motion This theory upset Greek mathematics as well as the Pythagoreans own belief that whole numbers and their ratios could account for geometrical

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