29 Facts About Pythagoreans


The worship of Pythagoras continued in Italy and as a religious community Pythagoreans appear to have survived as part of, or deeply influenced, the Bacchic cults and Orphism.

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Ancient sources record that early-Pythagoreans underwent a five-year initiation period of listening to the teachings in silence.

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In Croton, a house where Pythagoreans gathered was set on fire and all but two of the Pythagorean philosophers burned alive.

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Today, Pythagoras is mostly remembered for his mathematical ideas, and by association with the work early Pythagoreans did in advancing mathematical concepts and theories on harmonic musical intervals, the definition of numbers, proportion and mathematical methods such as arithmetic and geometry.

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Pythagoreans used dots, known as psiphi, to represent numbers in triangles, squares, rectangles and pentagons.

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Pythagoreans engaged with geometry as a liberal philosophy which served to establish principles and allowed theorems to be explored abstractly and mentally.

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Pythagoreans came up with three of the five regular polyhedra: the tetrahedron, the cube and the dodecahedron.

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Pythagoreans objectively measured physical quantities, such as the length of a string, and discovered quantitative mathematical relationships of music through arithmetic ratios.

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Early Pythagoreans established quantitative ratios between the length of a string or pipe and the pitch of notes and the frequency of string vibration.

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Pythagoreans used different types of music to arouse or calm their souls.

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Pythagoreans, harmony signified the "unification of a multifarious composition and the agreement of unlike spirits".

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Pythagoreans determined that stars revolved at distances and speeds that were proportional to each other.

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Pythagoreans equated justice with geometrical proportion, because proportion ensured that each part receives what it is due.

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Early-Pythagoreans believed that after the death of the body, the soul would be punished or rewarded.

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Pythagoreans believed that body and soul functioned together, and a healthy body required a healthy psyche.

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Early Pythagoreans conceived of the soul as the seat of sensation and emotion.

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The surviving texts of the Pythagorean philosopher Philolaus indicate that while early Pythagoreans did not believe that the soul contained all psychological faculties, the soul was life and a harmony of physical elements.

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Pythagoreans believed that a vegetarian diet fostered a healthy body and enhanced the search for Arete.

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Pythagoreans believed that human beings were animals, but with an advanced intellect and therefore humans had to purify themselves through training.

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Pythagoreans reasoned that the logic of this argument could not be avoided by killing an animal painlessly.

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The Pythagoreans thought that animals were sentient and minimally rational.

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The arguments advanced by Pythagoreans convinced numerous of their philosopher contemporaries to adopt a vegetarian diet.

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Pythagoreans had argued that certain types of food arouse the passions and hindered spiritual ascent.

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Women were given equal opportunity to study as Pythagoreans and learned practical domestic skills in addition to philosophy.

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Female Pythagoreans are some of the first female philosophers from which texts have survived.

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Pythagoreans's was noted as distinguished philosopher and in the lore that surrounds her, is said to have taken over the leadership of the school after his death.

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Pythagoreans believed that numbers constituted simply a quantitative determinant and had no ontological value.

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Pythagoreans argued that the octave was essential in attaining perfect harmony.

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Pythagoreans set out to measure whatever is measurable, and to render everything measurable that is not.

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