Pythagoras's Lie


Three things your teacher never taught you about Pythagoras.

1. Pythagoras was taught his theory it wasn't his.
2 Pythagoras was a cult leader.
3 Pythagoras was a murderer.

Pythagoras is boring, its one of the most boring things you are made to learn in school.
The thing is, in school they lie to you and tell you he invented the triangle, i have no idea at all why maths teachers who are meant to be clever, don't ever mention this? they are either all in it together like a cult , or not as clever as they would think they are.

Well it turns out Pythagoras did actually have a cult, around 500 BCE he founded a religion called Pythagoreanism where he and his disciples believed everything in the universe was expressible by  rational numbers.

-Rational numbers are numbers that can be expressed as the ratio of two whole numbers 

So some of you may be thinking, wow thats amazing, i understand numbers do make up an answer for the universe and it sounds lovely. But no, like all cults 'Pythagoreanism' had a dark sinister side.

Enter Hippasus
Hippasus was an excellent mathematician, maybe to good. As a signed up member of the Pythagoreanism cult he and his buddies did maths all day long, until one day he discovered that a pentagram actually contained the golden ratio, 1.61803, of which Fibonacci coined in the 12th century bce.
So Hippasus, who actually came up with his own theory unlike Pythagoras who was taught his.
So the story goes, Hippasus, Pythagoras and some of the other cult members were hanging out drinking on a boat one day, looking for rational numbers in the waves of the sea. Hippasus declared that the waves in the sea were infact not rational numbers at all, but indeed what we know as Fibonacci numbers which explained nature more accurately. A large drunken row ensued, Hippasus declared he was right and the cult of Pythagoreanism was actually floored and further more, he was going to destroy the cult.
And heres where we have to unassociate what we think we know about Pythagoras... The cult leader got real, real mad, they had a fight and Pythagoras tipped him over straight over the side, and left him to drown. To cover the dark deed he swore the rest of the cult to secrecy.

Pythagoras (570 –  495 BCE)

Pythagoras is in the top 5 most famous Greek people ever and top 10 most famous people throughout history.
all because of his work in triangles.

Pythagoras' theorem =

where c represents the length of the hypotenuse and a and b the lengths of the triangle's other two sides.

Although he was a Greek national, during the Hellenistic age in Egypt (Hellenistic = after Alexander the great had carved out the world) The Egyptian were excepting students into their 'mystery schools'
It may be clear already, that the Egyptians knew more about triangles than the Greeks.

To the best knowledge of historical evidence...
The Mysteries schools was a course that was incredibly hard to get into, a guy called Thales had done an exchange program but even he didn't get initiated into the mystery school. The factual evidence reads, that, Pythagoras went first to the court of Amasis in Heliopolis Egypt, in the northern part of the Nile valley, where he presented the letter of introduction he had secured in Samos, Greece.

Pythagoras therum in Egyptian on papyrus

He was warmly received by the Pharaoh Amasis, who, in addition to being indebted to Polycrates, was an admirer of the Greek culture although with the world renowned pyramids he held back his patriotic feelings that it was humble in the shadow of the Egyptian historic legacy but by this page in history Alexander the Greek Macedonian had became a Pharaoh and built a library changing Egyptian life for ever, in New Hellenistic Egypt as it was called, Greeks were complete allies in the shrinking new world. So Amasis had made lavish gifts to a number of Hellenic sanctuaries, including the temple of Apollo at Delphi, which he helped to rebuild after its destruction by fire. Impressed by the speech and bearing of the young scholar, the Pharaoh provided him with the documents necessary to be admitted to the priestly schools.

At this time, the scientific and religious knowledge of Egypt was preserved at four centers—Heliopolis, Memphis, Hermopolis and Thebes—each with its own distinctive traditions. Following the recommendation of Amasis, Pythagoras called first upon the priests of Heliopolis. Sworn to protect their ancestral teachings, the priests there sent him southward to Memphis, on the pretense that the temple schools there were more ancient and authoritative. Using the same explanation, the priests at Memphis directed him further up the Nile valley to Thebes.

Fearing the anger of Amasis, the priests at Thebes accepted Pythagoras. Before initiating him, however, they imposed upon him extremely harsh disciplines, expecting that this would persuade him to abandon his purpose. He was assigned a strict program of study, service to the temple, fasting, and other ascetic hardships—a program that far exceeded the demands placed upon other applicants to the priesthood. These tasks he performed so readily and exactly that he at last succeeded in winning their respect. He was initiated, and invited to live among them, sacrifice to their gods and study their sciences. No foreigner had ever been granted such extensive privileges.

After mastering the teachings of the school of Thebes, Pythagoras proceeded to all the temples and schools of Egypt. As he traveled, he earned by his hard work and natural talents the respect of each of the priests and scholars he encountered. He sought out the heirs of every oral teaching and absorbed every detail of their knowledge. The first Greek to develop fluency in the Egyptian spoken language and written characters, he mastered mathematics, medicine, herbalism, and was instructed in the stages of the soul's life. He was introduced to the Egyptian sciences of architecture and music, and admitted into the most secret mystery rituals.

In the twenty-third year of his stay, Egypt was overwhelmed by the Persian armies of Cambyses. The Pharaoh Psammetichus, son of Amasis, was executed, and members of the Egyptian priesthood, including Pythagoras, were captured and brought to Babylon. Here, Pythagoras' prodigious learning and receptivity to new ideas were recognized by the Magi, the stewards of Persian religion and science.

It was a momentous time in the history of Persian thought. Only a century before, the reform movement inspired by Zoroaster had emerged, challenging the multiple gods and rigid social hierarchy of Babylonian religion. Fighting for the preeminence of their institutions, the Magi struggled to accommodate the rituals, ethical teachings, and monotheism of Zoroastrianism in their traditional practices. At the same time, the Persian Empire was expanding westward, first into Babylonia and Asia Minor, then Egypt, and ultimately to Athens. The religious hierarchy struggled to assimilate to varying degrees the new gods and foreign practices of subject nations.

Pythagoras found himself at the center of this convergence of old and new sources of knowledge. Sharing his learning and experience with his captors, he was in turn instructed by them, participating in such rituals as the consumption of hallucinogenic haoma-juice, and elaborate purification ceremonies before the sacred fire of Ahura Mazda. He perfected his knowledge of number, harmony, rhythm and the other mathematical sciences. He also mastered astronomy and the interpretation of the heavens, surpassing Thales himself in his ability to predict the future.

After twelve years in Babylon, Pythagoras was allowed to return home to Samos, which was now established as part of the Persian Empire. He was fifty-six years old.


Thus it an established fact:

Pythagoras, by tradition, is credited with the theorems first record.  

There is significant proof Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Indian and Chinese mathematicians all discovered the theorem independently and, in some cases, provided proofs for special cases.

The theorem has been given numerous proofs – possibly the most for any mathematical theorem. They are very diverse, including both geometric proofs and algebraic proofs, with some dating back thousands of years. The theorem can be generalized in various ways, including higher-dimensional spaces, to spaces that are not Euclidean, to objects that are not right triangles, and indeed, to objects that are not triangles at all, but n-dimensional solids.

The Plimpton, Babylonian tablet listing what are now known as Pythagorean Triples.

If only these days you could go to school learn something and for ever be remembered in history.



Pythagoras in 2 minutes 2

Pythagoras was a bit of a cheat and from what we understand today, cheated history in consequential retrospect. As the reader you can make your own mind up, if he intentionally mislead the record and said it was all his own work, or just the fortune of a good write up that got Exponentiated as neither have validated documented evidence and thus form a large ginormous hole in the things we think we know. .

Carl Sagan - Pythagoras and Plato

Born: Samos, Greece
Died: Metapontum, Italy


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