Pythagoras Biography | Philosophy, Family, Death & Facts

7 min read


Pythagoras of Samos, a legendary person in Ionian Greek history, has captivated our imagination throughout the ages. In this Pythagoras Biography, we will go into Pythagoras’ life, teachings, and influence, delving into the cryptic parts that have fascinated researchers and philosophers for ages.

Quick Facts about Pythagoras Biography

Birth DateAround 570 BC
BirthplaceSamos, Ionian Greece
Founder ofPythagoreanism
Key TeachingsMetempsychosis (transmigration of souls)<br> Musica Universalis (music of the spheres)<br> Pythagorean theorem and mathematical principles
Educational JourneyTraveled to Croton in southern Italy around 530 BC<br> Founded a secretive school with ascetic practices
Lifestyle PracticesInitiates sworn to secrecy<br> Lived communally<br> Adhered to ascetic and vegetarian practices
Contributions to MathPythagorean theorem, Pythagorean tuning, Theory of Proportions
Influenced PhilosophersPlato, Aristotle, Middle Platonists
Political InvolvementPythagoreans faced conflict with democracy supporters in Croton<br> Followers persecuted after Croton’s victory over Sybaris in 510 BC
End of LifeVarious accounts: possible escape to Metapontum, suicide, or death during persecution
LegacyInfluenced Copernicus, Kepler, Newton<br> Impact on art, philosophy, and later scientific thought
Surviving WritingsVarious accounts: possible escape to Metapontum, suicide, or death during the persecution
Historical DebatesDisagreement on contributions to mathematics and natural philosophy<br> Uncertainty about the authenticity of surviving accounts
Literary InfluenceReferenced in Dante Alighieri’s Paradiso for Pythagorean numerology

Early Life and Education:

Pythagoras’ journey into philosophy and mathematics begins with the shroud of legend that engulfs his early life. Little is known about his upbringing after he was born around 570 BC on the Greek island of Samos. Legend and fact blend as stories of his amazing skills and otherworldly experiences pervade the historical record.

The oldest records of Pythagoras’ life are brief, unclear, and frequently satirical, resulting in a tangle of myth and mystery. Some stories, such as Xenophanes of Colophon’s satirical lyric, present a portrait of a man who surpasses the commonplace. Pythagoras is depicted in this poetry interceding on behalf of a battered dog, claiming to recognize the voice of a deceased comrade in its screams. While fictional, this narrative suggests a kind and sensitive temperament.

Pythagoras went on a quest for knowledge as he developed. The fog lifts significantly when we read that he made sail for Croton in southern Italy in 530 BC. This journey is significant because it marks the founding of a school that will serve as a crucible for philosophical and mathematical thought.

Pythagoras established a school in Croton that was known for its secrecy and ascetic lifestyle. Initiates made silent vows and committed to communal living, creating an environment conducive to intellectual development. The institution became a testing ground for Pythagoreanism, a movement that would reverberate through the halls of ancient thought.

Pythagoras’s Vegetarian Lifestyle

Pythagoras and his disciples’ ascetic lifestyle extended to dietary practices, with vegetarianism being attributed to them. While historical reports disagree on the details, this part of Pythagorean life demonstrates a dedication to discipline as well as a conviction in the interdependence of spiritual and physical well-being.

Despite the obscurity of his early life, Pythagoras emerges as a character who pushed the boundaries of traditional thought. His voyage from the beaches of Samos to the thriving intellectual center of Croton laid the groundwork for a philosophical and mathematical legacy that would last throughout the ages.

Pythagoras sowed the seeds of his teachings in the crucible of Croton, creating a community that would investigate the fundamental essence of life, the immortality of the soul, and the harmonies hidden in the mathematical structure of the world. We get glimpses of a thinker whose intellectual adventure would affect the trajectory of ancient Greek philosophy and resonate through the corridors of time as we gaze into the enigma of Pythagoras’ early life.

Pythagorean Teachings: Pythagoras Biography

The philosophical legacy of Pythagoras rests around metempsychosis or the belief in soul transmigration. This idea, along with the philosophy of musica universalis, which holds that celestial bodies form a harmonious symphony using mathematical calculations, has left an indelible effect on Western thought. However, it is still debated whether Pythagoras developed these beliefs or if they evolved through his followers.

Mathematical and Scientific Contributions:

Pythagoras, who is credited with groundbreaking mathematical discoveries such as the Pythagorean theorem, Pythagorean tuning, and the determination of the Earth’s sphericity, is still a source of historical debate. Were these concepts genuinely pioneered by him, or were they the combined efforts of his contemporaries and successors? The historical strands of Pythagoras’ contributions to mathematics and science are unraveled.

Pythagoras’s Influence on Philosophy and Art:

Pythagoras’ impact infiltrated Plato’s and Aristotle’s philosophies, changing the intellectual landscape of ancient Greece. His beliefs in mathematical perfection were also reflected in Greek art. This section investigates Pythagorean thought’s long-lasting influence on future philosophical advances and creative representations.

pythagoras picture

Life in Peril: Pythagoras’s Demise:

The last half of Pythagoras’ life was characterized by political upheaval. As a result of Croton’s triumph over Sybaris in 510 BC, Pythagoreans and proponents of democracy clashed, and Pythagoras’ adherents suffered persecution. His death is surrounded by conflicting legends, ranging from an escape to Metapontum to sorrowful tales of self-sacrifice. We solve the puzzles surrounding Pythagoras’ death and its historical ramifications.

Pythagoras Through the Ages:

Despite the lack of original Pythagorean writings, his legacy lives on through the works of other philosophers and historians. Pythagoras’ influence lasted from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, influencing the minds of scientific geniuses such as Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton. We track the evolution of Pythagorean symbolism and teachings across intellectual history.

Pythagoras in Literature:

Pythagorean numerology found a muse in the works of Dante Alighieri, whose Paradiso incorporated Pythagorean concepts. This section explores how Pythagorean ideas resonated through literature, influencing transcendentalist thinkers like Henry David Thoreau and leaving an indelible mark on literary landscapes.


We unravel the historical maze that surrounds this ancient philosopher in this investigation of Pythagoras‘ life and influence. Pythagoras’ voyage transcends time, leaving an indelible impression on the philosophical, mathematical, and artistic spheres, from his mysterious teachings to the disputes surrounding his achievements. As we uncover the puzzles, Pythagoras emerges as a timeless icon of intellectual curiosity and adventure, not only as a historical figure.

FAQs about Pythagoras Biography

Did Pythagoras really invent the Pythagorean theorem?

Pythagoras did not invent the theorem, but he and his followers formalized and proved it. Similar concepts existed in various cultures before him.

What is metempsychosis, and why is it associated with Pythagoras?

Metempsychosis is the transmigration of souls, a belief that every soul is immortal and enters a new body after death. Pythagoras embraced this idea as a core aspect of his philosophical teachings.

Did Pythagoras have a school with secret teachings?

Yes, Pythagoras founded a school in Croton with secretive practices. Initiates took vows of secrecy, and the school focused on mathematics, philosophy, and ethical teachings.

What is Musica Universalis, and how did Pythagoras contribute to it?

The theory of Musica Universalis, or “music of the spheres,” holds that heavenly bodies generate harmonic sounds through mathematical movements. This concept is related to Pythagoras, who proposed a mathematical symphony in the cosmos.

How did Pythagoras die, and what happened to his followers?

The circumstances surrounding Pythagoras’ death are unknown. Some reports claim that during persecution, people fled, committed suicide, or died. Following Croton’s victory, Pythagoreans faced conflict, which resulted in the burning of meeting sites and the persecution of followers.


This website is created by Hammad Raza, one of the keen Researcher, Blogger & Content Writer. He aims to create this website to educate people by creating useful content. And tell people about the stories of People who Shaped our World and the Stories that Shaped their Lives. Thanks

You May Also Like

+ There are no comments

Add yours