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.
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
Encyclopedia.com 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 Encyclopedia.com, 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.
Encyclopedia.com on Pythagoras
Encyclopedia's Development of Mathematics
The Garden of Archimedes: A Museum for Mathematics, Pythagoras and his theorem
Pythagoras Phoenicians Mathematics
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,