Much of the information we have gathered about Pythagoras was passed down by word of mouth or written in books. Because of this most of the statements made about him are most likely unreliable.
Pythagoras himself was a great philosopher of his time. He was born in Samos in 569-500 B.C.E . His father was Mnesarchus, a merchant, and his mother was Pythias and she was also a native of Samos. In his early years, Pythagoras often travelled with his father. He was well-educated, often reciting poetry by Homer as well as playing the lyre. What fueled his love for learning even more were his mentors: Thales, Pherekydes, and Anaximander. Pythagoras married Theano, who was a native of Croton. Together they had one son named Telauges and three daughters: Myia, Damo and Arignote. There isn’t much knowledge about his childhood or personal life but his accomplishments as an adult are known around the world and even still taught in schools. ACHIEVEMENTS Although most of Pythagoras’ work was lost in time, a few great pieces remain. One of Pythagoras’ greater, widely-known achievements was the Pythagorean Theorem that happens to still be around today and is taught to students around the world. Pythagoras is widely known to be the first person to offer any proof of the theorem, however, many others have been found to have proposed the theorem from different places around the world as much as 1,000 years before Pythagoras’s time, but none of them were recognized until after Pythagoras’ proof was discovered and globalized. These places include: India, China, and Babylonia. The Pythagorean Theorem states that the sum of the squares of the lengths of the two other sides of any right triangle will equal the square of the length of the hypotenuse, a2 + b2 = c2. According to legend, he was so happy when he discovered the theorem that he offered a sacrifice of 100 oxen. But, like many other philosophers of his time, Pythagoras wanted to keep his findings a secret so they would not be claimed by others. It wasn’t until after he died the theorem was widely spread. However, 200 years after his death, Euclid wrote about the theorem in his book the “Elements”. Pythagoras was also the first to represent musical harmonies as simple ratios. As an adult Pythagoras did a lot traveling through Egypt learning mathematics. He first gained his fame by founding a group called the “Brotherhood of Pythagoreans”. This group was almost cult-like with its own rituals, symbols, and prayers. It was dedicated to the study of mathematics and was very secretive. However, the Brotherhood of Pythagoreans did not stand the test of time and died out shortly after Pythagoras’ death.
Many people in Pythagoras’ time described him as a god-like figure. Stories were written about him claiming that he had the power to speak to animals. One story in particular claimed that he once persuaded a cow to stop eating beans. Pythagoras believed that "Number rules the universe" and the Pythagoreans gave numerical values to many objects and ideas. According to his beliefs, men were represented by odd numbers and women were represented by even numbers. These numerical values were endowed with mystical and spiritual qualities. He believed that the world was ruled by harmony and that numerical relationships could best express this harmony. Pythagoras’s teachings were also centered on the idea of metempsychosis. Metempsychosis is the supposed transmigration at death of the soul of a human being or animal into a new body of the same or a different species. Pythagoras believed that a person’s soul does not die and is destined to live through a cycle of rebirths. The soul is freed from the cycle of rebirths only through the purity of its life. These beliefs later became known as “Pythagoreanism”. Pythagoras and his followers also believed that a soul or spirit lies in all animals and vegetable