Pythagoras, the man behind the A biography of pythagoras an ancient greek mathematician theorem was more than just a mathematician.
He was a spiritual leader with followers who thought he’d been sent from Heaven. For the Pythagoreans, math was a religious experience and some equations were divine secrets, unfit for public eyes. When your middle school teacher showed you how to find the hypotenuse of a right triangle, you probably didn’t get down on your knees and start worshiping him as a god. But when it first happened in ancient Greece, that was pretty much how people reacted.
There was a whole cult behind the man who figured out how to measure the side of a triangle, and—as you might imagine—they had some pretty strange beliefs. A whole group of mathematicians signed up to be his pupils, to learn everything he knew, and to help him solve the great riddles of the universe. But this was more than just a group of people who liked math—it was a full-blown religion. Numbers, Pythagoras believed, were the elements behind the entire universe. He taught his followers that the world was controlled by mathematical harmonies that made up every part of reality.
Mathematician than that, though, these numbers were sacred—ancient pythagoras gods. Seven was the number of biography, of was the number of justice, and 10 was the most sacred an of all. Greek part of a was holy.
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When they solved a new mathematical theorem, they would give thanks to the gods by sacrificing an ox. The Greeks thought it was a little freaky. They didn’t just call it a philosophy or a religion—they saw it as a cult and a dangerous one at that. They even burned down his house and chased him out of town, fearing his mystic command over the sacredness of numbers. The Pythagoreans had a sacred symbol called the Tetractys. It was a triangle with 10 points across four rows, meant to symbolize the organization of space and the universe.
Ten, they believed, was the number of the highest order, which contained the course of all mortal things. Pythagoras’s followers had a set prayer they used to worship the number 10. Bless us, divine number, thou who generated gods and men! If you wanted to join the Pythagoreans, you had to swear an oath to the holy triangle.
Pythagoras’s followers really believed that he was a demigod. Hermes or Apollo, depending on whom you asked. They even had hymns to Pythagoras’s divinity. Bore from th’ embraces of the God of Day. Renown’d Pythagoras, the friend of Jove!
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