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Q: Pythagoras - Phoenesians - Pythagorian Theorem ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Pythagoras - Phoenesians - Pythagorian Theorem
Category: Science > Math
Asked by: dimitrism-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 23 Apr 2002 00:06 PDT
Expires: 23 May 2002 00:06 PDT
Question ID: 3051
What is the relationship between Pythagoras and Phoenesians in terms of 
Mathematics and the origin of Pythagorian Theorem . Answer have to include 
relevant documentation .
Subject: Re: Pythagoras - Phoenesians - Pythagorian Theorem
Answered By: zrica-ga on 23 Apr 2002 16:41 PDT
Hello, dimitrism.

I did not find any direct links between the Phoenicians and the development of 
the Pythagorian theorem. However, Pythagorian was born in Samos, Greece, to a 
Phoenician father and also studied in Tyre, a major Phoenician city. We might, 
then, surmise that the school he founded was culturally and philosophically 
influenced by the Phoenicians.

About Pythagoras
Pythagoras, the Greek mathematician best known for a^2 + b^2 = c^2, the theorem 
that bears his name, was born in about 569 BC in Samos, Ionia to a Phoenician 
father and a Samosian mother. 

Around 548 B.C. during a trip to Tyre, a major Phoenician city, Pythagoras was 
initiated for the first time into the "Ancient Mysteries" of the Phoenicians. 
He studied for about 3 years in Tyre and also in the temples of Sidon and 
Byblos, two other chief Phoenician cities.

"Pythagoras and Mystic Science," Dr. Daniel Farhey

About the Phoenicians
From about 1200 B.C. onwards, the people known as the Phoenicians inhabited the 
city-states of the narrow coastal strip that corresponds roughly to modern day 
northern Lebanon. They were mariners known "for their contributions in the 
establishment to trade with the many peoples living along the Mediterranean 
Sea."  They were also scholars, creating an alphabet later adopted by the 
Greeks that eventually evolved into our modern-day Roman alphabet.

The Ancient Phoenicians

A Bequest Unearthed Phoenicia – Phoenician Alphabet

Phoenician History and Religion Phoenicia search results

About the Pythagorian School
About 518 BC, following studies in Egypt and Babylon, Pythagoras traveled to 
southern Italy and set up a philosophical and religious school in Croton. The 
school integrated much of what he'd learned during his years of study. He 
accepted both men and women applicants and required that his students obey a 
strict set of rules, known as the Golden Verses.

Pythagoras and His School

Pythagoras' Golden Verses:

Biography of Pythagoras

In the early days of science, math and philosophy were closely related. 
According to, The Pythagoreans are best known for "two 
teachings: the transmigration of souls and the theory that numbers constitute 
the true nature of things. The believers performed purification rites and 
followed moral, ascetic, and dietary rules to enable their souls to achieve a 
higher rank in their subsequent lives and thus eventually be liberated from the 
wheel of birth. This belief also led them to regard the sexes as equal, to 
treat slaves humanely, and to respect animal."

It is from this environment that the Pythagorean theory was developed. on Pythagoras

Encyclopedia's Development of Mathematics

The Garden of Archimedes: A Museum for Mathematics, Pythagoras and his theorem

Search terms

Pythagoras Phoenicians Mathematics
Ancient mathematics


Additional Resources:

Divine Wisdom: The Life and Teachings of Pythagoras, by John Strohmeier and 
Peter Westbrook. Berkeley Hills Books Publishers (November 1999).

Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans : A Brief History, by Charles H. Kahn. Hackett 
Publishing Co. (September 2001).

Pythagoras, a life by Peter Gorman. Routledge Kegan & Paul (June 1978).

The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library: An Anthology of Ancient Writings Which 
Relate to Pythagoras and Pythagorean Philosophy by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie 
(Editor), Diogenes Laertius, Joscelyn Godwin. Phanes Press (November 1987).

The Phoenicians by Sabatino Moscati (Editor), Palazzo Grassi. Rizzoli (February 

Good luck with additional research,

Subject: Re: Pythagoras - Phoenesians - Pythagorian Theorem
From: researcher-ga on 23 Apr 2002 15:49 PDT
I could not find any direct relationship between the Phoenicians and Pythagoras 
in reference to the Pythagorean Theorem. What I did find about this theorem is 
that while Pythagoras was the first to prove it, it was understood to be true 
long before. In fact, 1000 years before experimentally in Egypt.

In The Brief History of the Pythagorean Theorem, it is stated that:
"This relationship has been known since the days of the ancient Babylonians and 
Egyptians, although it may not have been stated as explicitly as above. A 
portion of a 4000 year old Babylonian tablet (c. 1900 B.C.E.), now known as 
Plimpton 322, (in the collection of Columbia University, New York), lists 
columns of numbers showing what we now call Pythagorean Triples--sets of 
numbers that satisfy the equation a^2 + b^2 = c^2"

Archeological evidence is found in the Plimpton Tablet.
"Approximately half of a million clay Babylonian tablets engraved in their 
written cuneiform script have been excavated since the first half of the 
nineteenth century. Of these, some four hundred contain lists of mathematical 
problems and mathematical tables."
Specifically the Plimpton 322 (known because it is in the G A Plimpton 
collection and is number 322), iterates over integral-sided right-angled 
triangles. View the actual tablet and more at the following web site.

Additional information:

Encarta: Pythagoras

Encarta: Phoenicia

History of Numerology

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