What Is a Pythagoras in Ancient Greece?

What Is a Pythagoras in Ancient Greece?

Ancient Greece is known for its rich history in various fields, including mathematics and philosophy. One prominent figure from this era is Pythagoras, a Greek mathematician and philosopher who made significant contributions to the field of mathematics.

This article will delve into the life of Pythagoras, his theories, and his impact on ancient Greek society.

The Life of Pythagoras

Pythagoras was born around 570 BCE on the island of Samos in Greece. He was a student of various scholars, including Thales and Anaximander, who greatly influenced his intellectual development.

Later in his life, he established a school called the Pythagorean Brotherhood in Croton (now known as Crotone), Southern Italy.

Pythagorean Theorem

One of the most well-known contributions by Pythagoras is the Pythagorean theorem. This theorem states that in a right-angled triangle, the square of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.

This theorem can be expressed mathematically as:

    In a right-angled triangle with sides a, b, and c (where c is the hypotenuse), 
    according to the Pythagorean theorem: 
     <b>c² = a² + b²</b>

Impact on Ancient Greek Society

Pythagoras and his followers believed that numbers held mystical and spiritual qualities. They explored the mathematical relationships in music, believing it had a profound impact on the human soul.

The Pythagoreans also believed in the concept of the harmony of spheres, suggesting that the movement of celestial bodies produced harmonious sounds.

Additionally, Pythagoras emphasized ethical teachings, promoting virtues such as temperance, kindness, and justice. His teachings influenced many ancient Greek philosophers and had a lasting impact on Western philosophy as a whole.


Pythagoras was an influential figure in ancient Greece, contributing significantly to mathematics and philosophy. His theorem, known as the Pythagorean theorem, remains a fundamental concept in mathematics to this day.

Furthermore, his emphasis on ethical teachings showcased his holistic approach to knowledge and greatly impacted ancient Greek society. The legacy of Pythagoras continues to inspire scholars and learners across generations.