In mathematics, The Pythagorean Theorem solves geometrical equations related to a right-angled triangle. The man who came up with the theorem during ancient Greek times was a mathematician named Pythagoras. While we learned The Pythagorean Theorem in school, we may not know anything about the man himself.

Let’s learn 5 facts about Pythagoras.

1. Cult Following

When Pythagoras created the equation a2 + b2 = c2, the theorem was ground-breaking. Pythagoras gained a cult-like following of Pythagoreans, who believed that he was a spiritual leader sent from the Gods. Pythagoreans worshipped numbers, and to them, math was a religious experience.

2. Refused to Eat Meat

In ancient Greece, meat was consumed in moderation and saved for the wealthy. However, Pythagoras was a vegetarian for moral reasons. Pythagoras taught followers that eating the dead animals polluted the body. Pythagoras believed that being a vegetarian allowed the body to be healthy. Until the 1840s being a vegetarian was referred to as following the Pythagorean Diet.

3. Created Strict Rules

Pythagoras’ influence was not only in the mathematical world but in the personal life of his followers. He put strict measures for the Pythagoreans to follow.

These include:

  • Put the right shoe on first.
  • Do not travel on public roads.
  • Follow the 5-second rule for food that falls on the floor.
  • Abstain from sex. Pythagoras believed that body fluids were part of a man’s soul, and if he were to expel them, he would be giving up part of his strength.

4. Ranked Followers on Devotion

The Pythagoreans were split into two groups:

Mathematikoi: The devoted, closest, and most trusted followers of Pythagoras met with Pythagoras in person, and he would explain his theorems to them in detail. Although Pythagoras hid the secrets of advanced math from the rest of the world, this select group had access to his knowledge. To earn such a position, men had to give up private possessions, eating meat, and women.

Akousmatikoi: These followers were not allowed to see Pythagoras’s face. When addressing them, Pythagoras would hide behind a veil. Pythagoras didn’t trust them with his mathematical secrets, and they had to follow Pythagoras’ rituals and rules, but they still could listen to his teachings in person.

5. Claimed to be the Son of Hermes

Pythagoras believed in reincarnation. He claimed that he could sense old souls in new bodies and that the human soul repeatedly returns in different forms. Pythagoras claimed that in his past life, he was the son of Hermes, a Greek deity.

Pythagoras was a hero and a literal God for his contribution to mathematics and had a lasting influence on modern mathematics.

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Last Update: April 14, 2021