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Pythagoras was born in Greece on the island of Samos, just off the coast of Asia Minor also known as Turkey. He traveled to places such as Egypt and Babylon where it is assumed he picked up some mathematics and other mystical doctrines. He founded his own school in Croton, a Greek settlement in southern Italy. His school consisted of religious, scientific and philosophical members. The members learned from their leaders. The teachings of the group were secretive. Pythagoras was murdered in Metapontum about 497 B.C. His followers, continuing his teachings spread throughout Greece.

Little is documented on the early life of Pythagoras. His approximate date of birth was about 569 BC. It is believed he studied under Thales. Unlike the other Greek mathematicians, there are no real accounts of his earlier life. The society which he led was one half religious, and one half scientific. This society led a secret life and held a code of secrecy, which explains why Pythagoras is such a mysterious figure.

Pythagoras is considered a god-like figure with his early life with his early life being documented with much diversity. As a child he traveled widely with his father and was very well educated and learned to play the lyre. He recited poetry written by Homer at a very early age. Among his teachers were three philosophers, which influenced him later in his life. One of the most important was Pherekydes. The other two were Thales and his pupil, Anaxmander, both who lived in Miletus. These two philosophers influenced him in geometry and cosmology.

Pythagoras was accepted into priesthood at Diospolis in Egypt. It is here where he developed his beliefs which he later imposed on the society that he set up in Italy. Some of these beliefs included the refusal to eat beans or wear skins from animals. He strived for purity and taught his followers the same. Later became a vegetarian, which can easily be traced to his ea... Continue Reading