Pythagoras and His Contributions to Modern Mathematics Essays

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Pythagoras is truly a man unlike any other throughout history. Perhaps his greatest achievements are within the realm of mathematics; with his greatest known theory being the Pythagorean Theorem. His theory is so well known that even today it peaks the interests of many mathematicians, with more than 400 proofs being spawned off of his original theorem. Though his theorem is common knowledge in this modern age, his life still remains a mystery to most, similar to most pre-Socratic philosophers. What little we do know is often shrouded in rumors and conflicting reports, but despite this, it is clearly evident that his contributions to mathematics were substantial.
Born in approximately 569 BC in Samos Greece, Pythagoras grew up with his father, Mnesarchus and his mother Pythais, and he is believed to have had two or three brothers. His personal life is heavily debated, for some say that he had a wife by the name of Theano, while others believe her to just be another one of his students, and that he was neither married nor did he have any children. Though Pythagoras’ focus was mainly in mathematics, he was also interested in fields such as philosophy, astronomy, and music, and was influenced by the likes of Pherekydes, Thales, and Anaximander. Pythagoras also studied for several years in Egypt with priests in the temples there. It is widely believed that many of the practices of the society that he created later in life had origins in the beliefs and teachings of Egyptian priests. This included ideas such as codes of secrecy, purity, and the refusal to eat beans or wear animal pelts.
Around 518 BC, Pythagoras settled in Crotona and founded a philosophical and religious school where many of his followers lived and worked. The Pyt...

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..., his account on Pythagorean philosophy is tainted by the fact that his main source of reference was the Pythagorean Memoirs, a forgery dated to sometime around 200 BC.
Despite the doubts many cast on the significance of Pythagoras’ work, it is quite clear that whether or not he was a great philosophical mine, he revolutionized the world of mathematics forever. Through his secretive society and his own work, he was able to prove many of the theorems and postulates that form the basics of mathematics today. Those who put him up on a pedestal were perhaps partially justified, for this man helped pave the way for the advent of philosophers such as Plato and Socrates and ultimately the rapid expansion of civilization.

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