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Pythagoras lived approximately from 582 to 507 BC. He was a Greek mathematician and philosopher, for whom the Pythagorean Theorem is named. Pythagoras was one of the Presocratic Philosophers. He was also an astronomer and a musician. Pythagoras believed in the reincarnation of human souls as animals, and consequently kept a strictly vegetarian diet.

Pythagoras sought to reduce music and astronomy to numerical patterns. He believed in a concept of translating musical notes into mathematical equations and vice versa called Pythagorean tuning by use of the ratio 3:2. He also believed that the mathematical motions of the planets in outer space produced a cosmic musical symphony that he called the harmony of the spheres. He was one of the first people to realize that Venus seen as the morning star and Venus seen as the evening star were actually the same planet.

The Pythagorean School was founded by Pythagoras in about 585 B.C. A brief list of Pythagorean contributions includes:[1]

  1. Philosophy.
  2. The study of proportion.
  3. The study of plane and solid geometry.
  4. Number theory.
  5. The theory of proof.
  6. The discovery of incommensurables.
  7. The round Earth.[2] (though this actually originated with Isaiah of Judah[3] 100 years earlier.[4]

See also


  1. The Origins of Greek Mathematics
  3. Isaiah 40:22
  4. The book of Job in chapter 26 verse 10 also describes the Earth as round describing its terminator (line where day and night "meet") as a circle, which would only be true 100 percent of the time on a perfect (or close enough to perfect) sphere. However, the Bible gives almost no clue as to when Job was written.