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Pythagoras: Numbers, Numbers!

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This title is a part of the series Science Gossip! Series: Famous Scientists' Private Lives


Catalogue Number:  FI0041
Producer:  Film Ideas
Subject:  History, Science
Language:  English
Grade Level:  6 - 8, 9 - 12
Country Of Origin:  United States
Copyright Year:  2014
Running Time:  7:00
Closed Captions:  Yes


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In 570 BC, a new Persian Empire was forming, Buddha was starting a new religion in Nepal and on the Greek island of Samos, the famous mathematician Pythagoras was born. He travelled widely in search of knowledge, and is said to have invented philosophy. While none of his writings survived the Alexandria library fires, Greek philosophers like Plato and mathematicians like Euclid later wrote about him and were influenced by him.  In Crotona, southern Italy, he founded a school where many of his vegetarian male and female followers lived and studied. His wife Theano became the first known female mathematician. Pythagoras was almost god-like to his followers, and was said to have magical powers.

Pythagoras believed that the secrets of the universe could be understood in numeric form:  planets, musical scales, forms of art and justice could all be represented by numbers. The Pythagorean Theorem was mathematical proof of an idea that was already basic to Egyptian construction. The Pythagorean Theorem is still a cornerstone of mathematics today, and the formula can be used to build a pyramid, calculate a position using GPS, or solve a crime.


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