Greek Math

Topics: Mathematics, Pythagoras, Geometry Pages: 1 (336 words) Published: December 16, 2012
According to ancient Greek historians Thales was the first Greek mathematician around 600 B.C. Pythagoras was a century later. It is said that both men learned mathematics in Egypt and Babylon. While Thales is allegedly the first person to attempt some geometrical theroms, Pythagoras was not an active mathematician in geometry. Pythagoras was later credited with the ideas of the Pythagoreans even though they were not his (William P. Berlinghoff, 2004). Years after Pythagoras’s death his followers split into two groups. The two groups evolved their own ideas over the teachings of Pythagoras with caused friction between the two groups. Each group had their own stance on who was more Pythagorean. One based their claim on Pythagoras’s own words and teachings. The other group developed Pythagoras ideas to an extent that they no longer agreed on Pythagoras original ideas. It was known that Pythagoras choose to revel his teachings to the most advanced disciples. So the other group only received cryptic and mysterious hints towards his mathematical ideas (Fritz, 2008). While the Pythagoreans customs would strike us as odd or strange today. The members only dressed in white clothing, never hunted, and never ate meat or beans. They believed in a sort of reincarnation and developed a number mysticism. A belief that numbers was the secret principle of reality. This belief in a number mysticism could have influence the Pythagoreans to mathematical ideas such as Pythagorean Therom and incommensurable ratios (William P. Berlinghoff, 2004). I think it is very plausible for their number mysticism to have influenced early Greek mathematics. Everyday they had a regiment to strengthen both their mind and body. They would exercise to keep physically fit, also each day they had discussions on studying mathematike,” that which is learned (William P. Berlinghoff, 2004).” So it’s possible that their everyday teaching help them process the world of mathematics and to come up with the...
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