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Rhodes DE-384 - History

Rhodes DE-384 - History


(DE-384: dp. 1,490 (f.); 1. 306', b. 36'7"; dr. 12'7", s. 21 k.
cpl. 186, a. 3 3", 2 40mm., 8 20mm., 12 21" t.t., 2 dct.
8 dcp., 1 dcp (hh.); cl. Edsall)

Rhodes (DE-384) was laid down by the Brown Shipbuilding Co., IIouston, Tex., 19 April 1943- launched 29 June 1943 sponsored by Mrs. C. E. Rhodes, mother of Lieutenant (junior grade) Rhodes, and commissioned 25 October 1943, Lt. Comdr. A. Coffin, USCG, in command.

Following shakedown off Bermuda, Rhodes, manned by a Coast Guard crew and assigned to CortDiv 23, steamed to Norfolk, thence to New York to escort a convoy back to Norfolk. Returning to Norfolk 2 January 1944, she seryed as a training ship for prospective destroyer escort crews until the 13th, then sailed east, escorting convoy UGS-30 to Gibraltar where ships of the Royal Navy relieved CortDiv 23. Returning 23 February, she departed Norfolk 13 March for Bizerte escorting the 98-ship convoy UGS 36. Two days out of Bizerte, 1 April, the convoy was attacked by German bombers and torpedo planes. In the quarter hour engagement, the escorts and naval guncrews spashed five of the Luftwaffe's "'agles" and kept damage to the "prey" to one cargo ship, which was subsequently towed to Oran. On the 3d the convoy reached Lake Bizerte and on the 11th got underway for New York, arriving 2 May.

Availability, and exercises at Caseo Bay, preceded another convoy run to Bizerte where Allied forces were gathering to push further into Axis controlled Europe. Rhodes completed that run at Boston 11 July and, after availability, shifted to the North Atlantic sealanes, escorting six convoys to the United Kingdom and France during the remainder of the war in Europe.

After V-E day, Rhodes was transferred, with her division to the Pacific. Transiting the Panama Canal in mid-June 1945, she sailed north, arriving at Adak 8 July and reporting to Commander, Alaskan Sea Frontier, for duty as an escort and air-sea rescue vessel. Detached a week later and temporarily assigned to TF 92, she escorted that fiePt's service group during antishipping strikes in the Sea of Okhotsk and the bombardment of the Kuriles (15-21 July). Then resuming operations for the Alaskan Sea Frontier, she remained in the Aleutians until mid November, when she sailed for Okinawa. Arriving at Buckner Bay 25 November, she joined the 7th Fleet and in December got underway for Tsingtao, where she supported occupation troops until 11 February 1946. She then sailed for the east coast of the United States.

Rhodes retransited the Panama Canal 19 March and arrived at Charleston to begin inactivation on the 25th. Assigned to the Florida Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet, she moved south in April and decommissioned 13 June 1946.

Rhodes remained berthed at Mayport until 24 July 1954 when she got underway for Norfolk to begin conversion to a radar picket escort ship. Reclassified DER 384, 1 December 1954, she recommissioned 1 August 1955 and on 12 September reported for duty in the Atlantic Fleet.

Assigned to CortRon 18, Rhodes conducted exercises in the Caribbean until late November, then returned to Norfolk where she remained into the new year, 1956. Then sailing north, she arrived at Newport, her homeport, 10 January and commenced 8 years of service on the Atlantic Barrier Patrol, the seaward extension of the DEW Line. During that period she served on various stations from Argentia to the Azores interspersing such duty with exercises and operations in the Caribbean, including, in October-November 1962, participation in the Cuban Quarantine. In 1963 Rhodes was again ordered inactivated and in April she steamed to Philadelphia to begin preparations. Decommissioned 10 July 1963, she remains at Philadelphia into 1974, berthed there as a unit of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

Rhodes earned one battle star during World War II.

USS Rhodes (DE-384)

USS Rhodes (DE-384) was an Edsall-class destroyer escort in service with the United States Navy from 1944 to 1946 and from 1955 to 1963. She was scrapped in 1975.

  • 1,253 tons standard
  • 1,590 tons full load
  • 4 FMdiesel engines,
  • 4 diesel-generators,
  • 6,000 shp (4.5 MW),
  • 2 screws
  • 9,100 nmi. at 12 knots
  • (17,000 km at 22 km/h)
  • 3 × single 3 in (76 mm)/50 guns
  • 1 × twin 40 mm AA guns
  • 8 × single 20 mm AA guns
  • 1 × triple 21 in (533 mm)torpedo tubes
  • 8 × depth charge projectors
  • 1 × depth charge projector (hedgehog)
  • 2 × depth charge tracks


Following shakedown off Bermuda, Rhodes, manned by a Coast Guard crew and assigned to CortDiv 23, steamed to Norfolk, Virginia, thence to New York to escort a convoy back to Norfolk. Returning to Norfolk 2 January 1944, she served as a training ship for prospective destroyer escort crews until the 13th, then sailed east, escorting convoy UGS-30 to Gibraltar, where ships of the Royal Navy relieved CortDiv 23. Returning 23 February, she departed Norfolk 13 March for Bizerte escorting the 98-ship convoy UGS-36.

Rhodes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Rhodes family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Lincolnshire at Rhoades, but more often than not, the name originates in the West Riding of Yorkshire. [1] The name literally means "dweller by the clearing(s)" from the Old English word "rod(u)." [2] As to confirm this meaning of the name, another source notes "a topographic name for someone who lived by a clearing in the woodland." [3] [4] Accordingly, one must dispel the rather obvious assumption that the name was derived from Rhodes, in the Mediterranean Sea. [5]

The Rhodes Scholarship is an international postgraduate award for students to study at the University of Oxford that was established in 1902, by English businessman and politician Cecil John Rhodes (1853-1902.)

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Early Origins of the Rhodes family

The surname Rhodes was first found in Yorkshire. "Roads is a numerous Bucks [(Buckinghamshire)] name. There are hamlets and villages called Rhodes in Lancashire and the West Riding. A family named Rodes or De Rodes flourished for 500 or 600 years in Lincolnshire, Notts [(Nottinghamshire)], Yorkshire, and Derbyshire: they were descended from Gerard de Rodes, a distinguished Baron of the 12th century. " [1]

While we can find places named Rhodes in the United States, Australia and South Africa, we cannot find any in England today, nor can we find Rhoades in Lincolnshire. However, a second source notes the Yorkshire reference as follows: "This was a common Yorkshire entry, and explains the large number of Rhodes in the West Riding Directory." [6]

As if to help us through this confusion, one source confirms that the first listing of the name was indeed found in Yorkshire as in Hugh de Rodes who was listed in the Assize Rolls of Yorkshire in 1219. A few years later, Alexander de la rode was listed in 1277 in Norfolk. John atte Rode was listed in Bedfordshire in 1294 and Robert del Rodes was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire in 1332. [2]

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Early History of the Rhodes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rhodes research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1591, 1550, 1674, 1668, 1663 and 1664 are included under the topic Early Rhodes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Rhodes Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Rhodes, Rhoades, Rhode, Rhoads, Roades, Roads and others.

Early Notables of the Rhodes family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Hugh Rhodes ( fl. 1550), an English author of the 'Book of Nurture,' 'born and bred in' Devonshire, a gentleman of the king's chapel. [7] John Rhoades, was an early American fur trader from New England, who was part of Jurriaen.
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rhodes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rhodes migration +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rhodes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Rhodes, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1643 [8]
  • Africa Rhodes, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [8]
  • Elizabeth Rhodes, who landed in Maryland in 1651-1652 [8]
  • John Rhodes, who landed in Maryland in 1651 [8]
  • Abraham Rhodes, who landed in Maryland in 1673 [8]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Rhodes Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Rhodes, who settled in Maryland in 1774
  • William Rhodes, who arrived in New York in 1789 [8]
Rhodes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Rhodes, aged 27, who landed in New York in 1812 [8]
  • Joshua Rhodes, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [8]
  • Mary Rhodes, who arrived in New York in 1845 [8]
  • Jane Rhodes, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [8]
  • Ellen Rhodes, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [8]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Rhodes migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rhodes Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

Rhodes migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Rhodes Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Rhodes, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia[9]
  • William Rhodes, English convict from Chester, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia[9]
  • Mr. Joseph Rhodes, English convict who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Chapman" on 6th April 1824, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • Adam Rhodes, English convict from Staffordshire, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia[11]
  • Thomas Rhodes, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia[11]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Rhodes migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Rhodes Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Richard Rhodes, aged 29, a farm labourer, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • R. Rhodes, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 17th March 1841 [12]
  • Mr. Israel Rhodes, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "George Fyffe" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 7th November 1842 [12]
  • Mrs. Martha Rhodes, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "George Fyffe" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 7th November 1842 [12]
  • Richard Rhodes, aged 31, a joiner, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "George Fyfe" in 1842
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Rhodes (post 1700) +

  • Austin J. Rhodes (1937-2019), English professional World Cup winning rugby league footballer who played in the 1950s and 1960s
  • William Barnes Rhodes (1772-1826), English dramatic writer, second son of Richard Rhodes of Leeds
  • Richard Rhodes (1765-1838), English engraver who produced chiefly small line-engravings for illustrated books
  • Ebeneezer Rhodes (1762-1839), English topographer, probably born at Sheffield, Yorkshire, known for his book ' Derbyshire Tourist's Guide and Travelling Companion' (1837)
  • Denys Gravenor Rhodes (1919-1981), English writer, best known for his novel The Syndicate which was adapted into a 1968 film, his second wife was The Honourable Margaret Elphinstone (1925-2016), a first cousin of Elizabeth II
  • Gary Rhodes OBE (b. 1960), English restaurateur, cookery writer, and chef
  • Jordan Luke Rhodes (b. 1990), English football striker
  • Wilfred Rhodes (1877-1973), English professional cricketer who played 58 Test matches for England between 1899 and 1930
  • Cecil John Rhodes PC DCL (1853-1902), English-born, South African businessman, mining magnate, and politician, founder of the diamond company De Beers
  • Nick Rhodes (b. 1962), English keyboardist and founding member of the rock band Duran Duran
  • . (Another 120 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Rhodes family +

HMS Hood
  • Mr. John Rhodes (b. 1916), English Steward serving for the Royal Navy from Bulwell, Nottinghamshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [13]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Christopher Caleb Rhodes (b. 1920), English Able Seaman from England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [14]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Mark Alexander Rhodes, American Seaman First Class from North Carolina, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [15]
  • Mr. Birb Richard Rhodes, American Fireman Second Class from Tennessee, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [15]

Related Stories +

The Rhodes Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Robor meum Deus
Motto Translation: Strength through God.

Construction and commissioning [ edit ]

Rhodes was laid down by the Brown Shipbuilding Company at Houston, Texas on 19 April 1943, and was launched 29 June 1943. Her sponsor was Mrs. C. E. Rhodes, mother of Lieutenant (junior grade) Rhodes, and was commissioned in October 1943, Lieutenant Commander E. A. Coffin Jr. of the United States Coast Guard in command.

World War II [ edit ]

Battle of the Atlantic [ edit ]

Following shakedown off Bermuda, Rhodes, manned by a Coast Guard crew and assigned to CortDiv 23, steamed to Norfolk, Virginia, thence to New York City to escort a convoy back to Norfolk. Returning to Norfolk 2 January 1944, she served as a training ship for prospective destroyer escort crews until the 13th, then sailed east, escorting convoy UGS-30 to Gibraltar, where ships of the Royal Navy relieved CortDiv 23. Returning 23 February, she departed Norfolk 13 March for Bizerte escorting the 98-ship convoy UGS-36.

Two days out of Bizerte, 1 April, the convoy was attacked by German bombers and torpedo planes. In the quarter-hour engagement, the escorts and naval gun crews splashed five of the Luftwaffe's "eagles" and kept damage to the "prey" to one cargo ship, which was subsequently towed to Oran. On the 3d the convoy reached Lake Bizerte and on the 11th got underway for New York, arriving 2 May.

Availability, and exercises at Casco Bay, preceded another convoy run to Bizerte where Allied forces were gathering to push further into Axis-occupied Europe. Rhodes completed that run at Boston, Massachusetts, 11 July and, after availability, shifted to the North Atlantic sealanes, escorting six convoys to the United Kingdom and France during the remainder of the war in Europe.

Pacific War [ edit ]

Following the surrender of Nazi Germany, Rhodes was transferred, with her division, to the Pacific. Transiting the Panama Canal in mid-June 1945, she sailed north, arriving at Adak 8 July and reporting to Commander, Alaskan Sea Frontier, for duty as an escort and air-sea rescue vessel. Detached a week later and temporarily assigned to Task Force TF 92, she escorted that fleet's service group during anti-shipping strikes in the Sea of Okhotsk and the bombardment of the Kuriles (15–21 July). Then resuming operations for the Alaskan Sea Frontier, she remained in the Aleutians until mid-November, when she sailed for Okinawa. Arriving at Buckner Bay 25 November, she joined the U.S. 7th Fleet and in December got underway for Tsingtao, where she supported occupation troops until 11 February 1946. She then sailed for the east coast of the United States.

Rhodes retransited the Panama Canal 19 March and arrived at Charleston, South Carolina, to begin inactivation on the 25th. Assigned to the Florida Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet, she moved south in April and decommissioned 13 June 1946.

Cold War [ edit ]

Rhodes remained berthed at Mayport, Florida, until 24 July 1954, when she got underway for Norfolk to begin conversion to a radar picket escort ship. Reclassified DER-384, 1 December 1954, she recommissioned 1 August 1955 and on 12 September reported for duty in the Atlantic Fleet.

Assigned to ComCortRon 16, Rhodes conducted exercises in the Caribbean until late November, then returned to Norfolk, Virginia, where she remained into the new year, 1956. Then sailing north, she arrived at Newport, Rhode Island, her homeport, 10 January and commenced 8 years of service on the Atlantic Barrier Patrol, the seaward extension of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line. During that period she served on various stations from Argentia to the Azores, interspersing such duty with exercises and operations in the Caribbean, including, in October–November 1962, participation in the Cuban Quarantine. In 1963 Rhodes was again ordered inactivated and in April she steamed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to begin preparations.

Decommissioning and fate [ edit ]

Decommissioned 10 July 1963, the destroyer escort was struck from the Navy list on 1 August 1974 and sold for scrap to Union Minerals and Alloys Corp., New York, New York, on 1 March 1975.


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Rhodes, Modern Greek Ródos, also spelled Ródhos, island (nísos), the largest of the Dodecanese (Modern Greek: Dodekánisa) group, southeastern Greece, and the most easterly in the Aegean Sea, separated by the Strait of Marmara from Turkey. It constitutes a dímos (municipality) within the South Aegean (Nótio Aigaío) periféreia (region). Rhodes (Ródos) city, on the northern tip of the island, is the largest city of the South Aegean periféreia. The island is traversed northwest-southeast by hills that reach 3,986 feet (1,215 metres) in the summit of Atáviros. The peak commands a view of the coast of Asia Minor, the Dodecanese archipelago, and, on clear days, the summit of Mount Ídi (Psíloreítis) on Crete (Kríti). In antiquity the island was infested with snakes, and the name may derive from erod, Phoenician for “snake.” Farmers still wear leather boots for protection from a surviving poisonous species. Winter temperatures average 50° F (10° C), and constant winds account for the many windmills on Rhodes. The valleys provide rich pasture, while the plains produce a variety of grains.

Minoan remains at Ialysus are evidence of early Cretan influence. With the collapse of the Minoan civilization (c. 1500–1400 bce ), Rhodes became a powerful independent kingdom with a late Bronze Age culture. In historic times Rhodes was occupied by Dorians, mainly from Árgos, c. 1100–1000. The Rhodian cities of Lindus, Ialysus, and Camirus, along with Cos, Cnidus, and Halicarnassus, belonged to the Dorian Hexapolis (league of six cities) by which the Greeks protected themselves in Asia Minor. The Dorian cities of Rhodes traded throughout the Mediterranean and founded colonies in Italy, Sicily, Spain, and Asia Minor and dominated several Aegean islands.

During the Classical period, Rhodian affiliations vacillated between Athens, Sparta, and Persia, in attempts to preserve a balance of power. Rhodes supported Rome during its war with Philip V of Macedonia, and its fleet participated in Rome’s war against Antiochus the Great of Syria. Roman competition in Asia Minor eroded Rhodian income, however, and the island steadily declined after Rome made Delos a free port c. 166. During the triumvirate of Antony, Octavian, and Lepidus (43 bce ), the conspirator Gaius Cassius plundered Rhodes for refusal to support him. Though it continued for another century as a free city it never recovered its former prosperity in about 227 bce a severe earthquake devastated the island.

The history of Rhodes under Byzantine rule (after 395 ce ) is uneventful. In 653–658 and 717–718 it was occupied by the Saracens, and the various Crusades used Rhodes as a port of staging and supply. After 1309 the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem ( Knights Hospitallers) converted Rhodes into an almost impregnable fortress and built a powerful fleet for protection of the southern Mediterranean sea routes against the Turks. The Knights evacuated Rhodes in 1523 after an honourable capitulation, ending two centuries of defiance of the Turks. The island gradually declined as the result of pestilence, emigration, and harsh Turkish administration, suffering severely during the War of Greek Independence (1821–29). In 1912 Rhodes was taken from Turkey by Italy. Under the Allied peace treaty with Italy in 1947, the island was awarded to Greece.

In the Classical age, Rhodes was famous as a centre of painting and sculpture and had a noted school of eclectic oratory at which the Romans Cato, Julius Caesar, and Lucretius were students. Rhodian sculptors were prolific. Among extant works is the Laocöon group executed by Polydorus, Athenodorus, and Agisandrus. The island has yielded an array of artifacts from the Mycenaean and later periods, but no Mycenaean palaces have been unearthed as in Crete and the Peloponnese (Pelopónnisos). Outstanding among the ruins of Lindus is the temple, or sanctuary, of Athena Lindia, which dates from the 5th to 3rd century bce .

The Italian occupation (1912–43) brought paved roads, public works construction, and considerable archaeological activity, including the restoration of ancient and medieval monuments. With Crete and Athens (Athína), Rhodes enjoys huge year-round tourism, which has brought great prosperity. The economy is supplemented by the production of red wine, grain, figs, pomegranates, and oranges. Pop. (2001) 115,334 (2011) 115,490.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Richard Pallardy, Research Editor.

What did your Rhodes ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Farmer and Housewife were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Rhodes. 16% of Rhodes men worked as a Farmer and 7% of Rhodes women worked as a Housewife. Some less common occupations for Americans named Rhodes were Truck Driver and Housekeeper .

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations in 1940

Top Female Occupations in 1940

Where To Stay

As we’ve said, Rhodes is quite a large island, so it’s worth doing a bit of research to see which beaches and attractions you would like to visit, and finding a hotel near those. We opted to stay at a small B&B close to Rhodes Old Town, which worked perfectly for us.

With just a few days in Rhodes, we didn’t even come close to discovering all that the island has to offer. While we might have preferred the smaller and quieter islands of Leros and Kalymnos, there’s no denying that Rhodes is a worthwhile stop on any vacation to Greece, overflowing with attractions for just about any type of traveler.

Now, what about you? Have you visited Rhodes, Greece? What did you think?

Ready to start planning your adventure to Rhodes, Greece? Don’t forget about your travel insurance. We always travel with insurance, and it was one of the reasons why we weren’t overly worried about traveling to Greece during the economic crisis. You never know what could happen, so we suggest playing it safe.

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No authentic writings of Pythagoras have survived, [5] [6] [7] and almost nothing is known for certain about his life. [8] [9] [10] The earliest sources on Pythagoras's life are brief, ambiguous, and often satirical. [7] [11] [12] The earliest source on Pythagoras's teachings is a satirical poem probably written after his death by Xenophanes of Colophon, who had been one of his contemporaries. [13] [14] In the poem, Xenophanes describes Pythagoras interceding on behalf of a dog that is being beaten, professing to recognize in its cries the voice of a departed friend. [12] [13] [15] [16] Alcmaeon of Croton, a doctor who lived in Croton at around the same time Pythagoras lived there, [13] incorporates many Pythagorean teachings into his writings [17] and alludes to having possibly known Pythagoras personally. [17] The poet Heraclitus of Ephesus, who was born across a few miles of sea away from Samos and may have lived within Pythagoras's lifetime, [18] mocked Pythagoras as a clever charlatan, [11] [18] remarking that "Pythagoras, son of Mnesarchus, practiced inquiry more than any other man, and selecting from these writings he manufactured a wisdom for himself—much learning, artful knavery." [11] [18]

The Greek poets Ion of Chios (c. 480 – c. 421 BC ) and Empedocles of Acragas (c. 493 – c. 432 BC ) both express admiration for Pythagoras in their poems. [19] The first concise description of Pythagoras comes from the historian Herodotus of Halicarnassus ( c. 484 – c. 420 BC ), [20] who describes him as "not the most insignificant" of Greek sages [21] and states that Pythagoras taught his followers how to attain immortality. [20] The accuracy of the works of Herodotus is controversial. [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] The writings attributed to the Pythagorean philosopher Philolaus of Croton, who lived in the late fifth century BC, are the earliest texts to describe the numerological and musical theories that were later ascribed to Pythagoras. [27] The Athenian rhetorician Isocrates (436–338 BC) was the first to describe Pythagoras as having visited Egypt. [20] Aristotle wrote a treatise On the Pythagoreans, which is no longer extant. [28] Some of it may be preserved in the Protrepticus. Aristotle's disciples Dicaearchus, Aristoxenus, and Heraclides Ponticus also wrote on the same subject. [29]

Most of the major sources on Pythagoras's life are from the Roman period, [30] by which point, according to the German classicist Walter Burkert, "the history of Pythagoreanism was already. the laborious reconstruction of something lost and gone." [29] Three lives of Pythagoras have survived from late antiquity, [10] [30] all of which are filled primarily with myths and legends. [10] [30] [31] The earliest and most respectable of these is the one from Diogenes Laërtius's Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. [30] [31] The two later lives were written by the Neoplatonist philosophers Porphyry and Iamblichus [30] [31] and were partially intended as polemics against the rise of Christianity. [31] The later sources are much lengthier than the earlier ones, [30] and even more fantastic in their descriptions of Pythagoras's achievements. [30] [31] Porphyry and Iamblichus used material from the lost writings of Aristotle's disciples [29] and material taken from these sources is generally considered to be the most reliable. [29]

Early life

There is not a single detail in the life of Pythagoras that stands uncontradicted. But it is possible, from a more or less critical selection of the data, to construct a plausible account.

Herodotus, Isocrates, and other early writers agree that Pythagoras was the son of Mnesarchus [20] [33] and that he was born on the Greek island of Samos in the eastern Aegean. [5] [33] [34] [35] His father is said to have been a gem-engraver or a wealthy merchant, [36] [37] but his ancestry is disputed and unclear. [38] [d] Pythagoras's name led him to be associated with Pythian Apollo (Pūthíā) Aristippus of Cyrene in the 4th century BC explained his name by saying, "He spoke [ ἀγορεύω , agoreúō] the truth no less than did the Pythian [ πυθικός puthikós]". [39] A late source gives Pythagoras's mother's name as Pythaïs. [40] [41] Iamblichus tells the story that the Pythia prophesied to her while she was pregnant with him that she would give birth to a man supremely beautiful, wise, and beneficial to humankind. [39] As to the date of his birth, Aristoxenus stated that Pythagoras left Samos in the reign of Polycrates, at the age of 40, which would give a date of birth around 570 BC. [42]

During Pythagoras's formative years, Samos was a thriving cultural hub known for its feats of advanced architectural engineering, including the building of the Tunnel of Eupalinos, and for its riotous festival culture. [43] It was a major center of trade in the Aegean where traders brought goods from the Near East. [5] According to Christiane L. Joost-Gaugier, these traders almost certainly brought with them Near Eastern ideas and traditions. [5] Pythagoras's early life also coincided with the flowering of early Ionian natural philosophy. [33] [44] He was a contemporary of the philosophers Anaximander, Anaximenes, and the historian Hecataeus, all of whom lived in Miletus, across the sea from Samos. [44]

Reputed travels

Pythagoras is traditionally thought to have received most of his education in Ancient Egypt, the Neo-Babylonian Empire, the Achaemenid Empire, and Crete. [45] Modern scholarship has shown that the culture of Archaic Greece was heavily influenced by those of Levantine and Mesopotamian cultures. [45] Like many other important Greek thinkers, Pythagoras was said to have studied in Egypt. [20] [46] [47] By the time of Isocrates in the fourth century BC, Pythagoras's reputed studies in Egypt were already taken as fact. [20] [39] The writer Antiphon, who may have lived during the Hellenistic Era, claimed in his lost work On Men of Outstanding Merit, used as a source by Porphyry, that Pythagoras learned to speak Egyptian from the Pharaoh Amasis II himself, that he studied with the Egyptian priests at Diospolis (Thebes), and that he was the only foreigner ever to be granted the privilege of taking part in their worship. [45] [48] The Middle Platonist biographer Plutarch (c. 46 – c. 120 AD ) writes in his treatise On Isis and Osiris that, during his visit to Egypt, Pythagoras received instruction from the Egyptian priest Oenuphis of Heliopolis (meanwhile Solon received lectures from a Sonchis of Sais). [49] According to the Christian theologian Clement of Alexandria ( c. 150 – c. 215 AD ), "Pythagoras was a disciple of Soches, an Egyptian archprophet, as well as Plato of Sechnuphis of Heliopolis." [50] Some ancient writers claimed that Pythagoras learned geometry and the doctrine of metempsychosis from the Egyptians. [46] [51]

Other ancient writers, however, claimed that Pythagoras had learned these teachings from the Magi in Persia or even from Zoroaster himself. [52] [53] Diogenes Laërtius asserts that Pythagoras later visited Crete, where he went to the Cave of Ida with Epimenides. [52] The Phoenicians are reputed to have taught Pythagoras arithmetic and the Chaldeans to have taught him astronomy. [53] By the third century BC, Pythagoras was already reported to have studied under the Jews as well. [53] Contradicting all these reports, the novelist Antonius Diogenes, writing in the second century BC, reports that Pythagoras discovered all his doctrines himself by interpreting dreams. [53] The third-century AD Sophist Philostratus claims that, in addition to the Egyptians, Pythagoras also studied under Hindu sages or gymnosophists in India. [53] Iamblichus expands this list even further by claiming that Pythagoras also studied with the Celts and Iberians. [53]

Alleged Greek teachers

Ancient sources also record Pythagoras having studied under a variety of native Greek thinkers. [53] Some identify Hermodamas of Samos as a possible tutor. [53] [55] Hermodamas represented the indigenous Samian rhapsodic tradition and his father Creophylos was said to have been the host of his rival poet Homer. [53] Others credit Bias of Priene, Thales, [56] or Anaximander (a pupil of Thales). [53] [56] [57] Other traditions claim the mythic bard Orpheus as Pythagoras's teacher, thus representing the Orphic Mysteries. [53] The Neoplatonists wrote of a "sacred discourse" Pythagoras had written on the gods in the Doric Greek dialect, which they believed had been dictated to Pythagoras by the Orphic priest Aglaophamus upon his initiation to the orphic Mysteries at Leibethra. [53] Iamblichus credited Orpheus with having been the model for Pythagoras's manner of speech, his spiritual attitude, and his manner of worship. [58] Iamblichus describes Pythagoreanism as a synthesis of everything Pythagoras had learned from Orpheus, from the Egyptian priests, from the Eleusinian Mysteries, and from other religious and philosophical traditions. [58] Riedweg states that, although these stories are fanciful, Pythagoras's teachings were definitely influenced by Orphism to a noteworthy extent. [59]

Of the various Greek sages claimed to have taught Pythagoras, Pherecydes of Syros is mentioned most often. [59] [60] Similar miracle stories were told about both Pythagoras and Pherecydes, including one in which the hero predicts a shipwreck, one in which he predicts the conquest of Messina, and one in which he drinks from a well and predicts an earthquake. [59] Apollonius Paradoxographus, a paradoxographer who may have lived in the second century BC, identified Pythagoras's thaumaturgic ideas as a result of Pherecydes's influence. [59] Another story, which may be traced to the Neopythagorean philosopher Nicomachus, tells that, when Pherecydes was old and dying on the island of Delos, Pythagoras returned to care for him and pay his respects. [59] Duris, the historian and tyrant of Samos, is reported to have patriotically boasted of an epitaph supposedly penned by Pherecydes which declared that Pythagoras's wisdom exceeded his own. [59] On the grounds of all these references connecting Pythagoras with Pherecydes, Riedweg concludes that there may well be some historical foundation to the tradition that Pherecydes was Pythagoras's teacher. [59] Pythagoras and Pherecydes also appear to have shared similar views on the soul and the teaching of metempsychosis. [59]

Before 520 BC, on one of his visits to Egypt or Greece, Pythagoras might have met Thales of Miletus, who would have been around fifty-four years older than him. Thales was a philosopher, scientist, mathematician, and engineer, [61] also known for a special case of the inscribed angle theorem. Pythagoras's birthplace, the island of Samos, is situated in the Northeast Aegean Sea not far from Miletus. [62] Diogenes Laërtius cites a statement from Aristoxenus (fourth century BC) stating that Pythagoras learned most of his moral doctrines from the Delphic priestess Themistoclea. [63] [64] [65] Porphyry agrees with this assertion, [66] but calls the priestess Aristoclea (Aristokleia). [67] Ancient authorities furthermore note the similarities between the religious and ascetic peculiarities of Pythagoras with the Orphic or Cretan mysteries, [68] or the Delphic oracle. [69]

In Croton

Porphyry repeats an account from Antiphon, who reported that, while he was still on Samos, Pythagoras founded a school known as the "semicircle". [70] [71] Here, Samians debated matters of public concern. [70] [71] Supposedly, the school became so renowned that the brightest minds in all of Greece came to Samos to hear Pythagoras teach. [70] Pythagoras himself dwelled in a secret cave, where he studied in private and occasionally held discourses with a few of his close friends. [70] [71] Christoph Riedweg, a German scholar of early Pythagoreanism, states that it is entirely possible Pythagoras may have taught on Samos, [70] but cautions that Antiphon's account, which makes reference to a specific building that was still in use during his own time, appears to be motivated by Samian patriotic interest. [70]

Around 530 BC, when Pythagoras was around forty years old, he left Samos. [5] [33] [72] [73] [74] His later admirers claimed that he left because he disagreed with the tyranny of Polycrates in Samos, [61] [72] Riedweg notes that this explanation closely aligns with Nicomachus's emphasis on Pythagoras's purported love of freedom, but that Pythagoras's enemies portrayed him as having a proclivity towards tyranny. [72] Other accounts claim that Pythagoras left Samos because he was so overburdened with public duties in Samos, because of the high estimation in which he was held by his fellow-citizens. [75] He arrived in the Greek colony of Croton (today's Crotone, in Calabria) in what was then Magna Graecia. [33] [74] [76] [77] All sources agree that Pythagoras was charismatic and quickly acquired great political influence in his new environment. [33] [78] [79] He served as an advisor to the elites in Croton and gave them frequent advice. [80] Later biographers tell fantastical stories of the effects of his eloquent speeches in leading the people of Croton to abandon their luxurious and corrupt way of life and devote themselves to the purer system which he came to introduce. [81] [82]

Family and friends

Diogenes Laërtius states that Pythagoras "did not indulge in the pleasures of love" [86] and that he cautioned others to only have sex "whenever you are willing to be weaker than yourself". [87] According to Porphyry, Pythagoras married Theano, a lady of Crete and the daughter of Pythenax [87] and had several children with her. [87] Porphyry writes that Pythagoras had two sons named Telauges and Arignote, [87] and a daughter named Myia, [87] who "took precedence among the maidens in Croton and, when a wife, among married women." [87] Iamblichus mentions none of these children [87] and instead only mentions a son named Mnesarchus after his grandfather. [87] This son was raised by Pythagoras's appointed successor Aristaeus and eventually took over the school when Aristaeus was too old to continue running it. [87] Suda writes that Pythagoras had 4 children (Telauges, Mnesarchus, Myia and Arignote). [88]

The wrestler Milo of Croton was said to have been a close associate of Pythagoras [89] and was credited with having saved the philosopher's life when a roof was about to collapse. [89] This association may been the result of confusion with a different man named Pythagoras, who was an athletics trainer. [70] Diogenes Laërtius records Milo's wife's name as Myia. [87] Iamblichus mentions Theano as the wife of Brontinus of Croton. [87] Diogenes Laërtius states that the same Theano was Pythagoras's pupil [87] and that Pythagoras's wife Theano was her daughter. [87] Diogenes Laërtius also records that works supposedly written by Theano were still extant during his own lifetime [87] and quotes several opinions attributed to her. [87] These writings are now known to be pseudepigraphical. [87]


Pythagoras's emphasis on dedication and asceticism are credited with aiding in Croton's decisive victory over the neighboring colony of Sybaris in 510 BC. [90] After the victory, some prominent citizens of Croton proposed a democratic constitution, which the Pythagoreans rejected. [90] The supporters of democracy, headed by Cylon and Ninon, the former of whom is said to have been irritated by his exclusion from Pythagoras's brotherhood, roused the populace against them. [91] Followers of Cylon and Ninon attacked the Pythagoreans during one of their meetings, either in the house of Milo or in some other meeting-place. [92] [93] Accounts of the attack are often contradictory and many probably confused it with later anti-Pythagorean rebellions. [91] The building was apparently set on fire, [92] and many of the assembled members perished [92] only the younger and more active members managed to escape. [94]

Sources disagree regarding whether Pythagoras was present when the attack occurred and, if he was, whether or not he managed to escape. [32] [93] In some accounts, Pythagoras was not at the meeting when the Pythagoreans were attacked because he was on Delos tending to the dying Pherecydes. [93] According to another account from Dicaearchus, Pythagoras was at the meeting and managed to escape, [95] leading a small group of followers to the nearby city of Locris, where they pleaded for sanctuary, but were denied. [95] They reached the city of Metapontum, where they took shelter in the temple of the Muses and died there of starvation after forty days without food. [32] [92] [95] [96] Another tale recorded by Porphyry claims that, as Pythagoras's enemies were burning the house, his devoted students laid down on the ground to make a path for him to escape by walking over their bodies across the flames like a bridge. [95] Pythagoras managed to escape, but was so despondent at the deaths of his beloved students that he committed suicide. [95] A different legend reported by both Diogenes Laërtius and Iamblichus states that Pythagoras almost managed to escape, but that he came to a fava bean field and refused to run through it, since doing so would violate his teachings, so he stopped instead and was killed. [95] [97] This story seems to have originated from the writer Neanthes, who told it about later Pythagoreans, not about Pythagoras himself. [95]


Although the exact details of Pythagoras's teachings are uncertain, [99] [100] it is possible to reconstruct a general outline of his main ideas. [99] [101] Aristotle writes at length about the teachings of the Pythagoreans, [16] [102] but without mentioning Pythagoras directly. [16] [102] One of Pythagoras's main doctrines appears to have been metempsychosis, [73] [103] [104] [105] [106] [107] the belief that all souls are immortal and that, after death, a soul is transferred into a new body. [103] [106] This teaching is referenced by Xenophanes, Ion of Chios, and Herodotus. [103] [108] Nothing whatsoever, however, is known about the nature or mechanism by which Pythagoras believed metempsychosis to occur. [109]

Empedocles alludes in one of his poems that Pythagoras may have claimed to possess the ability to recall his former incarnations. [110] Diogenes Laërtius reports an account from Heraclides Ponticus that Pythagoras told people that he had lived four previous lives that he could remember in detail. [111] [112] [113] The first of these lives was as Aethalides the son of Hermes, who granted him the ability to remember all his past incarnations. [114] Next, he was incarnated as Euphorbus, a minor hero from the Trojan War briefly mentioned in the Iliad. [115] He then became the philosopher Hermotimus, [116] who recognized the shield of Euphorbus in the temple of Apollo. [116] His final incarnation was as Pyrrhus, a fisherman from Delos. [116] One of his past lives, as reported by Dicaearchus, was as a beautiful courtesan. [104] [117]


Another belief attributed to Pythagoras was that of the "harmony of the spheres", [118] [119] which maintained that the planets and stars move according to mathematical equations, which correspond to musical notes and thus produce an inaudible symphony. [118] [119] According to Porphyry, Pythagoras taught that the seven Muses were actually the seven planets singing together. [120] In his philosophical dialogue Protrepticus, Aristotle has his literary double say:

When Pythagoras was asked [why humans exist], he said, "to observe the heavens," and he used to claim that he himself was an observer of nature, and it was for the sake of this that he had passed over into life. [121]

Pythagoras was said to have practiced divination and prophecy. [122] In the visits to various places in Greece—Delos, Sparta, Phlius, Crete, etc.—which are ascribed to him, he usually appears either in his religious or priestly guise, or else as a lawgiver. [123]


The so-called Pythagoreans, who were the first to take up mathematics, not only advanced this subject, but saturated with it, they fancied that the principles of mathematics were the principles of all things.

According to Aristotle, the Pythagoreans used mathematics for solely mystical reasons, devoid of practical application. [128] They believed that all things were made of numbers. [129] [130] The number one (the monad) represented the origin of all things [131] and the number two (the dyad) represented matter. [131] The number three was an "ideal number" because it had a beginning, middle, and end [132] and was the smallest number of points that could be used to define a plane triangle, which they revered as a symbol of the god Apollo. [132] The number four signified the four seasons and the four elements. [133] The number seven was also sacred because it was the number of planets and the number of strings on a lyre, [133] and because Apollo's birthday was celebrated on the seventh day of each month. [133] They believed that odd numbers were masculine, [134] that even numbers were feminine, [134] and that the number five represented marriage, because it was the sum of two and three. [135] [136]

Ten was regarded as the "perfect number" [128] and the Pythagoreans honored it by never gathering in groups larger than ten. [137] Pythagoras was credited with devising the tetractys, the triangular figure of four rows which add up to the perfect number, ten. [124] [125] The Pythagoreans regarded the tetractys as a symbol of utmost mystical importance. [124] [125] [126] Iamblichus, in his Life of Pythagoras, states that the tetractys was "so admirable, and so divinised by those who understood [it]," that Pythagoras's students would swear oaths by it. [98] [125] [126] [138] Andrew Gregory concludes that the tradition linking Pythagoras to the tetractys is probably genuine. [139]

Modern scholars debate whether these numerological teachings were developed by Pythagoras himself or by the later Pythagorean philosopher Philolaus of Croton. [140] In his landmark study Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism, Walter Burkert argues that Pythagoras was a charismatic political and religious teacher, [141] but that the number philosophy attributed to him was really an innovation by Philolaus. [142] According to Burkert, Pythagoras never dealt with numbers at all, let alone made any noteworthy contribution to mathematics. [141] Burkert argues that the only mathematics the Pythagoreans ever actually engaged in was simple, proofless arithmetic, [143] but that these arithmetic discoveries did contribute significantly to the beginnings of mathematics. [144]

Communal lifestyle

Both Plato and Isocrates state that, above all else, Pythagoras was known as the founder of a new way of life. [145] [146] [147] The organization Pythagoras founded at Croton was called a "school", [148] [149] [61] but, in many ways, resembled a monastery. [150] The adherents were bound by a vow to Pythagoras and each other, for the purpose of pursuing the religious and ascetic observances, and of studying his religious and philosophical theories. [151] The members of the sect shared all their possessions in common [152] and were devoted to each other to the exclusion of outsiders. [153] [154] Ancient sources record that the Pythagoreans ate meals in common after the manner of the Spartans. [155] [156] One Pythagorean maxim was "koinà tà phílōn" ("All things in common among friends"). [152] Both Iamblichus and Porphyry provide detailed accounts of the organization of the school, although the primary interest of both writers is not historical accuracy, but rather to present Pythagoras as a divine figure, sent by the gods to benefit humankind. [157] Iamblichus, in particular, presents the "Pythagorean Way of Life" as a pagan alternative to the Christian monastic communities of his own time. [150]

Two groups existed within early Pythagoreanism: the mathematikoi ("learners") and the akousmatikoi ("listeners"). [62] [158] The akousmatikoi are traditionally identified by scholars as "old believers" in mysticism, numerology, and religious teachings [158] whereas the mathematikoi are traditionally identified as a more intellectual, modernist faction who were more rationalist and scientific. [158] Gregory cautions that there was probably not a sharp distinction between them and that many Pythagoreans probably believed the two approaches were compatible. [158] The study of mathematics and music may have been connected to the worship of Apollo. [159] The Pythagoreans believed that music was a purification for the soul, just as medicine was a purification for the body. [120] One anecdote of Pythagoras reports that when he encountered some drunken youths trying to break into the home of a virtuous woman, he sang a solemn tune with long spondees and the boys' "raging willfulness" was quelled. [120] The Pythagoreans also placed particular emphasis on the importance of physical exercise [150] therapeutic dancing, daily morning walks along scenic routes, and athletics were major components of the Pythagorean lifestyle. [150] Moments of contemplation at the beginning and end of each day were also advised. [160]

Prohibitions and regulations

Pythagorean teachings were known as "symbols" (symbola) [83] and members took a vow of silence that they would not reveal these symbols to non-members. [83] [146] [161] Those who did not obey the laws of the community were expelled [162] and the remaining members would erect tombstones for them as though they had died. [162] A number of "oral sayings" (akoúsmata) attributed to Pythagoras have survived, [16] [163] dealing with how members of the Pythagorean community should perform sacrifices, how they should honor the gods, how they should "move from here", and how they should be buried. [164] Many of these sayings emphasize the importance of ritual purity and avoiding defilement. [165] [107] For instance, a saying which Leonid Zhmud concludes can probably be genuinely traced back to Pythagoras himself forbids his followers from wearing woolen garments. [166] Other extant oral sayings forbid Pythagoreans from breaking bread, poking fires with swords, or picking up crumbs [156] and teach that a person should always put the right sandal on before the left. [156] The exact meanings of these sayings, however, are frequently obscure. [167] Iamblichus preserves Aristotle's descriptions of the original, ritualistic intentions behind a few of these sayings, [168] but these apparently later fell out of fashion, because Porphyry provides markedly different ethical-philosophical interpretations of them: [169]

Pythagorean saying Original ritual purpose according to Aristotle/Iamblichus Porphyry's philosophical interpretation
"Do not take roads traveled by the public." [170] [16] "Fear of being defiled by the impure" [170] "with this he forbade following the opinions of the masses, yet to follow the ones of the few and the educated." [170]
"and [do] not wear images of the gods on rings" [170] "Fear of defiling them by wearing them." [170] "One should not have the teaching and knowledge of the gods quickly at hand and visible [for everyone], nor communicate them to the masses." [170]
"and pour libations for the gods from a drinking cup's handle [the 'ear']" [170] "Efforts to keep the divine and the human strictly separate" [170] "thereby he enigmatically hints that the gods should be honored and praised with music for it goes through the ears." [170]

New initiates were allegedly not permitted to meet Pythagoras until after they had completed a five-year initiation period, [71] during which they were required to remain silent. [71] Sources indicate that Pythagoras himself was unusually progressive in his attitudes towards women [85] and female members of Pythagoras's school appear to have played an active role in its operations. [83] [85] Iamblichus provides a list of 235 famous Pythagoreans, [84] seventeen of whom are women. [84] In later times, many prominent female philosophers contributed to the development of Neopythagoreanism. [171]

Pythagoreanism also entailed a number of dietary prohibitions. [107] [156] [172] It is more or less agreed that Pythagoras issued a prohibition against the consumption of fava beans [173] [156] and the meat of non-sacrificial animals such as fish and poultry. [166] [156] Both of these assumptions, however, have been contradicted. [174] [175] Pythagorean dietary restrictions may have been motivated by belief in the doctrine of metempsychosis. [146] [176] [177] [178] Some ancient writers present Pythagoras as enforcing a strictly vegetarian diet. [e] [146] [177] Eudoxus of Cnidus, a student of Archytas, writes, "Pythagoras was distinguished by such purity and so avoided killing and killers that he not only abstained from animal foods, but even kept his distance from cooks and hunters." [179] [180] Other authorities contradict this statement. [181] According to Aristoxenus, [182] Pythagoras allowed the use of all kinds of animal food except the flesh of oxen used for ploughing, and rams. [180] [183] According to Heraclides Ponticus, Pythagoras ate the meat from sacrifices [180] and established a diet for athletes dependent on meat. [180]

Within his own lifetime, Pythagoras was already the subject of elaborate hagiographic legends. [30] [184] Aristotle described Pythagoras as a wonder-worker and somewhat of a supernatural figure. [185] [186] In a fragment, Aristotle writes that Pythagoras had a golden thigh, [185] [187] [188] which he publicly exhibited at the Olympic Games [185] [189] and showed to Abaris the Hyperborean as proof of his identity as the "Hyperborean Apollo". [185] [190] Supposedly, the priest of Apollo gave Pythagoras a magic arrow, which he used to fly over long distances and perform ritual purifications. [191] He was supposedly once seen at both Metapontum and Croton at the same time. [192] [30] [189] [187] [188] When Pythagoras crossed the river Kosas (the modern-day Basento), "several witnesses" reported that they heard it greet him by name. [193] [189] [187] In Roman times, a legend claimed that Pythagoras was the son of Apollo. [194] [188] According to Muslim tradition, Pythagoras was said to have been initiated by Hermes (Egyptian Thoth). [195]

Pythagoras was said to have dressed all in white. [185] [196] He is also said to have borne a golden wreath atop his head [185] and to have worn trousers after the fashion of the Thracians. [185] Diogenes Laërtius presents Pythagoras as having exercised remarkable self-control [197] he was always cheerful, [197] but "abstained wholly from laughter, and from all such indulgences as jests and idle stories". [87] Pythagoras was said to have had extraordinary success in dealing with animals. [30] [198] [189] A fragment from Aristotle records that, when a deadly snake bit Pythagoras, he bit it back and killed it. [191] [189] [187] Both Porphyry and Iamblichus report that Pythagoras once persuaded a bull not to eat fava beans [30] [198] and that he once convinced a notoriously destructive bear to swear that it would never harm a living thing again, and that the bear kept its word. [30] [198]

Riedweg suggests that Pythagoras may have personally encouraged these legends, [184] but Gregory states that there is no direct evidence of this. [158] Anti-Pythagorean legends were also circulated. [199] Diogenes Laërtes retells a story told by Hermippus of Samos, which states that Pythagoras had once gone into an underground room, telling everyone that he was descending to the underworld. [200] He stayed in this room for months, while his mother secretly recorded everything that happened during his absence. [200] After he returned from this room, Pythagoras recounted everything that had happened while he was gone, [200] convincing everyone that he had really been in the underworld [200] and leading them to trust him with their wives. [200]

In mathematics

Although Pythagoras is most famous today for his alleged mathematical discoveries, [127] [201] classical historians dispute whether he himself ever actually made any significant contributions to the field. [143] [141] Many mathematical and scientific discoveries were attributed to Pythagoras, including his famous theorem, [202] as well as discoveries in the fields of music, [203] astronomy, [204] and medicine. [205] Since at least the first century BC, Pythagoras has commonly been given credit for discovering the Pythagorean theorem, [206] [207] a theorem in geometry that states that "in a right-angled triangle the square of the hypotenuse is equal [to the sum of] the squares of the two other sides" [208] —that is, a 2 + b 2 = c 2 +b^<2>=c^<2>> . According to a popular legend, after he discovered this theorem, Pythagoras sacrificed an ox, or possibly even a whole hecatomb, to the gods. [208] [209] Cicero rejected this story as spurious [208] because of the much more widely held belief that Pythagoras forbade blood sacrifices. [208] Porphyry attempted to explain the story by asserting that the ox was actually made of dough. [208]

The Pythagorean theorem was known and used by the Babylonians and Indians centuries before Pythagoras, [210] [208] [211] [212] but he may have been the first to introduce it to the Greeks. [213] [211] Some historians of mathematics have even suggested that he—or his students—may have constructed the first proof. [214] Burkert rejects this suggestion as implausible, [213] noting that Pythagoras was never credited with having proved any theorem in antiquity. [213] Furthermore, the manner in which the Babylonians employed Pythagorean numbers implies that they knew that the principle was generally applicable, and knew some kind of proof, which has not yet been found in the (still largely unpublished) cuneiform sources. [f] Pythagoras's biographers state that he also was the first to identify the five regular solids [127] and that he was the first to discover the Theory of Proportions. [127]

In music

According to legend, Pythagoras discovered that musical notes could be translated into mathematical equations when he passed blacksmiths at work one day and heard the sound of their hammers clanging against the anvils. [215] [216] Thinking that the sounds of the hammers were beautiful and harmonious, except for one, [217] he rushed into the blacksmith shop and began testing the hammers. [217] He then realized that the tune played when the hammer struck was directly proportional to the size of the hammer and therefore concluded that music was mathematical. [216] [217] However, this legend is demonstrably false, [126] [216] [218] as these ratios are only relevant to string length (such as the string of a monochord), and not to hammer weight. [218] [216]

In astronomy

In ancient times, Pythagoras and his contemporary Parmenides of Elea were both credited with having been the first to teach that the Earth was spherical, [219] the first to divide the globe into five climatic zones, [219] and the first to identify the morning star and the evening star as the same celestial object (now known as Venus). [220] Of the two philosophers, Parmenides has a much stronger claim to having been the first [221] and the attribution of these discoveries to Pythagoras seems to have possibly originated from a pseudepigraphal poem. [220] Empedocles, who lived in Magna Graecia shortly after Pythagoras and Parmenides, knew that the earth was spherical. [222] By the end of the fifth century BC, this fact was universally accepted among Greek intellectuals. [223] The identity of the morning star and evening star was known to the Babylonians over a thousand years earlier. [224]

On Greek philosophy

Sizeable Pythagorean communities existed in Magna Graecia, Phlius, and Thebes during the early fourth century BC. [226] Around the same time, the Pythagorean philosopher Archytas was highly influential on the politics of the city of Tarentum in Magna Graecia. [227] According to later tradition, Archytas was elected as strategos ("general") seven times, even though others were prohibited from serving more than a year. [227] Archytas was also a renowned mathematician and musician. [228] He was a close friend of Plato [229] and he is quoted in Plato's Republic. [230] [231] Aristotle states that the philosophy of Plato was heavily dependent on the teachings of the Pythagoreans. [232] [233] Cicero repeats this statement, remarking that Platonem ferunt didicisse Pythagorea omnia ("They say Plato learned all things Pythagorean"). [234] According to Charles H. Kahn, Plato's middle dialogues, including Meno, Phaedo, and The Republic, have a strong "Pythagorean coloring", [235] and his last few dialogues (particularly Philebus and Timaeus) [225] are extremely Pythagorean in character. [225]

According to R. M. Hare, Plato's Republic may be partially based on the "tightly organised community of like-minded thinkers" established by Pythagoras at Croton. [236] Additionally, Plato may have borrowed from Pythagoras the idea that mathematics and abstract thought are a secure basis for philosophy, science, and morality. [236] Plato and Pythagoras shared a "mystical approach to the soul and its place in the material world" [236] and it is probable that both were influenced by Orphism. [236] The historian of philosophy Frederick Copleston states that Plato probably borrowed his tripartite theory of the soul from the Pythagoreans. [237] Bertrand Russell, in his A History of Western Philosophy, contends that the influence of Pythagoras on Plato and others was so great that he should be considered the most influential philosopher of all time. [238] He concludes that "I do not know of any other man who has been as influential as he was in the school of thought." [239]

A revival of Pythagorean teachings occurred in the first century BC [240] when Middle Platonist philosophers such as Eudorus and Philo of Alexandria hailed the rise of a "new" Pythagoreanism in Alexandria. [241] At around the same time, Neopythagoreanism became prominent. [242] The first-century AD philosopher Apollonius of Tyana sought to emulate Pythagoras and live by Pythagorean teachings. [243] The later first-century Neopythagorean philosopher Moderatus of Gades expanded on Pythagorean number philosophy [243] and probably understood the soul as a "kind of mathematical harmony." [243] The Neopythagorean mathematician and musicologist Nicomachus likewise expanded on Pythagorean numerology and music theory. [242] Numenius of Apamea interpreted Plato's teachings in light of Pythagorean doctrines. [244]

On art and architecture

Greek sculpture sought to represent the permanent reality behind superficial appearances. [246] Early Archaic sculpture represents life in simple forms, and may have been influenced by the earliest Greek natural philosophies. [g] The Greeks generally believed that nature expressed itself in ideal forms and was represented by a type ( εἶδος ), which was mathematically calculated. [247] [248] When dimensions changed, architects sought to relay permanence through mathematics. [249] [250] Maurice Bowra believes that these ideas influenced the theory of Pythagoras and his students, who believed that "all things are numbers". [250]

During the sixth century BC, the number philosophy of the Pythagoreans triggered a revolution in Greek sculpture. [251] Greek sculptors and architects attempted to find the mathematical relation (canon) behind aesthetic perfection. [248] Possibly drawing on the ideas of Pythagoras, [248] the sculptor Polykleitos wrote in his Canon that beauty consists in the proportion, not of the elements (materials), but of the interrelation of parts with one another and with the whole. [248] [h] In the Greek architectural orders, every element was calculated and constructed by mathematical relations. Rhys Carpenter states that the ratio 2:1 was "the generative ratio of the Doric order, and in Hellenistic times an ordinary Doric colonnade, beats out a rhythm of notes." [248]

The oldest known building designed according to Pythagorean teachings is the Porta Maggiore Basilica, [252] a subterranean basilica which was built during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero as a secret place of worship for Pythagoreans. [253] The basilica was built underground because of the Pythagorean emphasis on secrecy [254] and also because of the legend that Pythagoras had sequestered himself in a cave on Samos. [255] The basilica's apse is in the east and its atrium in the west out of respect for the rising sun. [256] It has a narrow entrance leading to a small pool where the initiates could purify themselves. [257] The building is also designed according to Pythagorean numerology, [258] with each table in the sanctuary providing seats for seven people. [137] Three aisles lead to a single altar, symbolizing the three parts of the soul approaching the unity of Apollo. [137] The apse depicts a scene of the poet Sappho leaping off the Leucadian cliffs, clutching her lyre to her breast, while Apollo stands beneath her, extending his right hand in a gesture of protection, [259] symbolizing Pythagorean teachings about the immortality of the soul. [259] The interior of the sanctuary is almost entirely white because the color white was regarded by Pythagoreans as sacred. [260]

The emperor Hadrian's Pantheon in Rome was also built based on Pythagorean numerology. [245] The temple's circular plan, central axis, hemispherical dome, and alignment with the four cardinal directions symbolize Pythagorean views on the order of the universe. [261] The single oculus at the top of the dome symbolizes the monad and the sun-god Apollo. [262] The twenty-eight ribs extending from the oculus symbolize the moon, because twenty-eight was the same number of months on the Pythagorean lunar calendar. [263] The five coffered rings beneath the ribs represent the marriage of the sun and moon. [132]

In early Christianity

Many early Christians had a deep respect for Pythagoras. [264] Eusebius (c. 260 – c. 340 AD), bishop of Caesarea, praises Pythagoras in his Against Hierokles for his rule of silence, his frugality, his "extraordinary" morality, and his wise teachings. [265] In another work, Eusebius compares Pythagoras to Moses. [265] In one of his letter, the Church Father Jerome (c. 347 – 420 AD) praises Pythagoras for his wisdom [265] and, in another letter, he credits Pythagoras for his belief in the immortality of the soul, which he suggests Christians inherited from him. [266] Augustine of Hippo (354 – 430 AD) rejected Pythagoras's teaching of metempsychosis without explicitly naming him, but otherwise expressed admiration for him. [267] In On the Trinity, Augustine lauds the fact that Pythagoras was humble enough to call himself a philosophos or "lover of wisdom" rather than a "sage". [268] In another passage, Augustine defends Pythagoras's reputation, arguing that Pythagoras certainly never taught the doctrine of metempsychosis. [268]

In the Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, Pythagoras was revered as the founder of mathematics and music, two of the Seven Liberal Arts. [269] He appears in numerous medieval depictions, in illuminated manuscripts and in the relief sculptures on the portal of the Cathedral of Chartres. [269] The Timaeus was the only dialogue of Plato to survive in Latin translation in western Europe, [269] which led William of Conches (c. 1080–1160) to declare that Plato was Pythagorean. [269] In the 1430s, the Camaldolese friar Ambrose Traversari translated Diogenes Laërtius's Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers from Greek into Latin [269] and, in the 1460s, the philosopher Marsilio Ficino translated Porphyry and Iamblichus's Lives of Pythagoras into Latin as well, [269] thereby allowing them to be read and studied by western scholars. [269] In 1494, the Greek Neopythagorean scholar Constantine Lascaris published The Golden Verses of Pythagoras, translated into Latin, with a printed edition of his Grammatica, [270] thereby bringing them to a widespread audience. [270] In 1499, he published the first Renaissance biography of Pythagoras in his work Vitae illustrium philosophorum siculorum et calabrorum, issued in Messina. [270]

On modern science

In his preface to his book On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres (1543), Nicolaus Copernicus cites various Pythagoreans as the most important influences on the development of his heliocentric model of the universe, [269] [271] deliberately omitting mention of Aristarchus of Samos, a non-Pythagorean astronomer who had developed a fully heliocentric model in the fourth century BC, in effort to portray his model as fundamentally Pythagorean. [271] Johannes Kepler considered himself to be a Pythagorean. [269] [272] [273] He believed in the Pythagorean doctrine of musica universalis [274] and it was his search for the mathematical equations behind this doctrine that led to his discovery of the laws of planetary motion. [274] Kepler titled his book on the subject Harmonices Mundi (Harmonics of the World), after the Pythagorean teaching that had inspired him. [269] [275] Near the conclusion of the book, Kepler describes himself falling asleep to the sound of the heavenly music, "warmed by having drunk a generous draught. from the cup of Pythagoras." [276] He also called Pythagoras the "grandfather" of all Copernicans. [277]

Isaac Newton firmly believed in the Pythagorean teaching of the mathematical harmony and order of the universe. [278] Though Newton was notorious for rarely giving others credit for their discoveries, [279] he attributed the discovery of the Law of Universal Gravitation to Pythagoras. [279] Albert Einstein believed that a scientist may also be "a Platonist or a Pythagorean insofar as he considers the viewpoint of logical simplicity as an indispensable and effective tool of his research." [280] The English philosopher Alfred North Whitehead argued that "In a sense, Plato and Pythagoras stand nearer to modern physical science than does Aristotle. The two former were mathematicians, whereas Aristotle was the son of a doctor". [281] By this measure, Whitehead declared that Einstein and other modern scientists like him are "following the pure Pythagorean tradition." [280] [282]

On vegetarianism

A fictionalized portrayal of Pythagoras appears in Book XV of Ovid's Metamorphoses, [284] in which he delivers a speech imploring his followers to adhere to a strictly vegetarian diet. [285] It was through Arthur Golding's 1567 English translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses that Pythagoras was best known to English-speakers throughout the early modern period. [285] John Donne's Progress of the Soul discusses the implications of the doctrines expounded in the speech, [286] and Michel de Montaigne quoted the speech no less than three times in his treatise "Of Cruelty" to voice his moral objections against the mistreatment of animals. [286] William Shakespeare references the speech in his play The Merchant of Venice. [287] John Dryden included a translation of the scene with Pythagoras in his 1700 work Fables, Ancient and Modern, [286] and John Gay's 1726 fable "Pythagoras and the Countryman" reiterates its major themes, linking carnivorism with tyranny. [286] Lord Chesterfield records that his conversion to vegetarianism had been motivated by reading Pythagoras's speech in Ovid's Metamorphoses. [286] Until the word vegetarianism was coined in the 1840s, vegetarians were referred to in English as "Pythagoreans". [286] Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote an ode entitled "To the Pythagorean Diet", [288] and Leo Tolstoy adopted the Pythagorean diet himself. [288]

On Western esotericism

Early modern European esotericism drew heavily on the teachings of Pythagoras. [269] The German humanist scholar Johannes Reuchlin (1455–1522) synthesized Pythagoreanism with Christian theology and Jewish Kabbalah, [289] arguing that Kabbalah and Pythagoreanism were both inspired by Mosaic tradition [290] and that Pythagoras was therefore a kabbalist. [290] In his dialogue De verbo mirifico (1494), Reuchlin compared the Pythagorean tetractys to the ineffable divine name YHWH, [289] ascribing each of the four letters of the tetragrammaton a symbolic meaning according to Pythagorean mystical teachings. [290]

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa's popular and influential three-volume treatise De Occulta Philosophia cites Pythagoras as a "religious magi" [291] and indicates that Pythagoras's mystical numerology operates on a supercelestial level. [291] The freemasons deliberately modeled their society on the community founded by Pythagoras at Croton. [292] Rosicrucianism used Pythagorean symbolism, [269] as did Robert Fludd (1574–1637), [269] who believed his own musical writings to have been inspired by Pythagoras. [269] John Dee was heavily influenced by Pythagorean ideology, [293] [291] particularly the teaching that all things are made of numbers. [293] [291] Adam Weishaupt, the founder of the Illuminati, was a strong admirer of Pythagoras [294] and, in his book Pythagoras (1787), he advocated that society should be reformed to be more like Pythagoras's commune at Croton. [295] Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart incorporated Masonic and Pythagorean symbolism into his opera The Magic Flute. [296] Sylvain Maréchal, in his six-volume 1799 biography The Voyages of Pythagoras, declared that all revolutionaries in all time periods are the "heirs of Pythagoras". [297]

On literature

Dante Alighieri was fascinated by Pythagorean numerology [298] and based his descriptions of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven on Pythagorean numbers. [298] Dante wrote that Pythagoras saw Unity as Good and Plurality as Evil [299] and, in Paradiso XV, 56–57, he declares: "five and six, if understood, ray forth from unity." [300] The number eleven and its multiples are found throughout the Divine Comedy, each book of which has thirty-three cantos, except for the Inferno, which has thirty-four, the first of which serves as a general introduction. [301] Dante describes the ninth and tenth bolgias in the Eighth Circle of Hell as being twenty-two miles and eleven miles respectively, [301] which correspond to the fraction 22 / 7 , which was the Pythagorean approximation of pi. [301] Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven are all described as circular [301] and Dante compares the wonder of God's majesty to the mathematical puzzle of squaring the circle. [301] The number three also features prominently: [301] the Divine Comedy has three parts [302] and Beatrice is associated with the number nine, which is equal to three times three. [303]

The Transcendentalists read the ancient Lives of Pythagoras as guides on how to live a model life. [304] Henry David Thoreau was impacted by Thomas Taylor's translations of Iamblichus's Life of Pythagoras and Stobaeus's Pythagoric Sayings [304] and his views on nature may have been influenced by the Pythagorean idea of images corresponding to archetypes. [304] The Pythagorean teaching of musica universalis is a recurring theme throughout Thoreau's magnum opus, Walden. [304]


  1. ^US:/ p ɪ ˈ θ æ ɡ ər ə s / , [2]UK:/ p aɪ -/ [3]Ancient Greek: Πυθαγόρας ὁ Σάμιος , romanized:Pythagóras ho Sámios, lit.'Pythagoras the Samian', or simply Πυθαγόρας Πυθαγόρης in Ionian Greek
  2. ^ "The dates of his life cannot be fixed exactly, but assuming the approximate correctness of the statement of Aristoxenus (ap. Porph. V.P. 9) that he left Samos to escape the tyranny of Polycrates at the age of forty, we may put his birth round about 570 BC, or a few years earlier. The length of his life was variously estimated in antiquity, but it is agreed that he lived to a fairly ripe old age, and most probably he died at about seventy-five or eighty." [4]
  3. ^Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, 5.3.8–9 (citing Heraclides Ponticus fr. 88 Wehrli), Diogenes Laërtius 1.12, 8.8, IamblichusVP 58. Burkert attempted to discredit this ancient tradition, but it has been defended by C.J. De Vogel, Pythagoras and Early Pythagoreanism (1966), pp. 97–102, and C. Riedweg, Pythagoras: His Life, Teaching, And Influence (2005), p. 92.
  4. ^ Some writers call him a Tyrrhenian or Phliasian, and give Marmacus, or Demaratus, as the name of his father: Diogenes Laërtius, viii. 1 Porphyry, Vit. Pyth. 1, 2 Justin, xx. 4 Pausanias, ii. 13.
  5. ^ as Empedocles did afterwards, Aristotle, Rhet. i. 14. § 2 Sextus Empiricus, ix. 127. This was also one of the Orphic precepts, Aristoph. Ran. 1032
  6. ^ There are about 100,000 unpublished cuneiform sources in the British Museum alone. Babylonian knowledge of proof of the Pythagorean Theorem is discussed by J. Høyrup, 'The Pythagorean "Rule" and "Theorem" – Mirror of the Relation between Babylonian and Greek Mathematics,' in: J. Renger (red.): Babylon. Focus mesopotamischer Geschichte, Wiege früher Gelehrsamkeit, Mythos in der Moderne (1999).
  7. ^ "For Thales, the origin was water, and for Anaximander the infinite (apeiron), which must be considered a material form" [246]
  8. ^ "Each part (finger, palm, arm, etc) transmitted its individual existence to the next, and then to the whole": Canon of Polykleitos, also Plotinus, Ennead I.vi.i: Nigel Spivey, pp. 290–294.


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  170. ^Riedweg 2005, p. 64.
  171. ^Riedweg 2005, p. 65.
  172. ^ abZhmud 2012, p. 200.
  173. ^Riedweg 2005, pp. 65–67.
  174. ^Riedweg 2005, pp. 65–66.
  175. ^Riedweg 2005, pp. 66–67.
  176. ^ abcdefghiRiedweg 2005, p. 66.
  177. ^Pomeroy 2013, pp. xvi–xvii.
  178. ^ comp. Porphyry, Vit. Pyth. 32 Iamblichus, Vit. Pyth. 96, etc.
  179. ^Zhmud 2012, pp. 137, 200.
  180. ^Copleston 2003, p. 30.
  181. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, viii. 19, 34 Aulus Gellius, iv. 11 Porphyry, Vit. Pyth. 34, de Abst. i. 26 Iamblichus, Vit. Pyth. 98
  182. ^ Plutarch, de Esu Carn. pp. 993, 996, 997
  183. ^ abKahn 2001, p. 9.
  184. ^Kenny 2004, pp. 10–11.
  185. ^ Eudoxus, frg. 325
  186. ^ abcdZhmud 2012, p. 235.
  187. ^ Aristo ap. Diogenes Laërtius, viii. 20 comp. Porphyry, Vit. Pyth. 7 Iamblichus, Vit. Pyth. 85, 108
  188. ^ Aristoxenus ap. Diogenes Laërtius, viii. 20
  189. ^ comp. Porphyry, Vit. Pyth. 7 Iamblichus, Vit. Pyth. 85, 108
  190. ^ abRiedweg 2005, p. 1.
  191. ^ abcdefgRiedweg 2005, p. 2.
  192. ^Gregory 2015, pp. 30–31.
  193. ^ abcdGregory 2015, p. 30.
  194. ^ abcKenny 2004, p. 11.
  195. ^ abcdeFerguson 2008, p. 60.
  196. ^ Porphyry, Vit. Pyth. 20 Iamblichus, Vit. Pyth. 31, 140 Aelian, Varia Historia, ii. 26 Diogenes Laërtius, viii. 36.
  197. ^ abMcKeown 2013, p. 155.
  198. ^ Comp. Herodian, iv. 94, etc.
  199. ^Burkert 1972, p. 144.
  200. ^Ferguson 2008, p. 10.
  201. ^ See Antoine Faivre, in The Eternal Hermes (1995)
  202. ^Joost-Gaugier 2006, p. 47.
  203. ^ abFerguson 2008, pp. 58–59.
  204. ^ abcCornelli & McKirahan 2013, p. 160.
  205. ^Ferguson 2008, pp. 60–61.
  206. ^ abcdeFerguson 2008, p. 61.
  207. ^Gregory 2015, pp. 21–22.
  208. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, viii. 12 Plutarch, Non posse suav. vivi sec. Ep. p. 1094
  209. ^ Porphyry, in Ptol. Harm. p. 213 Diogenes Laërtius, viii. 12.
  210. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, viii. 14 Pliny, Hist. Nat. ii. 8.
  211. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, viii. 12, 14, 32.
  212. ^Kahn 2001, pp. 32–33.
  213. ^Riedweg 2005, pp. 26–27.
  214. ^ abcdefRiedweg 2005, p. 27.
  215. ^Burkert 1972, p. 428.
  216. ^Burkert 1972, pp. 429, 462.
  217. ^ abKahn 2001, p. 32.
  218. ^Ferguson 2008, pp. 6–7.
  219. ^ abcBurkert 1972, p. 429.
  220. ^Kahn 2001, p. 33.
  221. ^Riedweg 2005, pp. 27–28.
  222. ^ abcdGregory 2015, p. 27.
  223. ^ abcRiedweg 2005, p. 28.
  224. ^ abChristensen 2002, p. 143.
  225. ^ abBurkert 1972, p. 306.
  226. ^ abBurkert 1972, pp. 307–308.
  227. ^Burkert 1972, pp. 306–308.
  228. ^Kahn 2001, p. 53.
  229. ^Dicks 1970, p. 68.
  230. ^Langdon & Fotheringham 1928.
  231. ^ abcKahn 2001, pp. 55–62.
  232. ^Kahn 2001, pp. 48–49.
  233. ^ abKahn 2001, p. 39.
  234. ^Kahn 2001, pp. 39–43.
  235. ^Kahn 2001, pp. 39–40.
  236. ^Kahn 2001, pp. 40, 44–45.
  237. ^ Plato, Republic VII, 530d
  238. ^ Metaphysics, 1.6.1 (987a)
  239. ^Kahn 2001, p. 1.
  240. ^ Tusc. Disput. 1.17.39.
  241. ^Kahn 2001, p. 55.
  242. ^ abcdHare 1999, pp. 117–119.
  243. ^Copleston 2003, p. 37.
  244. ^Russell 2008, pp. 33–37.
  245. ^Russell 2008, p. 37.
  246. ^Riedweg 2005, pp. 123–124.
  247. ^Riedweg 2005, p. 124.
  248. ^ abRiedweg 2005, pp. 125–126.
  249. ^ abcRiedweg 2005, p. 125.
  250. ^Riedweg 2005, pp. 126–127.
  251. ^ abJoost-Gaugier 2006, pp. 166–181.
  252. ^ abHomann-Wedeking 1968, p. 63.
  253. ^Homann-Wedeking 1968, p. 62.
  254. ^ abcdeCarpenter 1921, pp. 107, 122, 128.
  255. ^Homann-Wedeking 1968, pp. 62–63.
  256. ^ abBowra 1994, p. 166.
  257. ^Homann-Wedeking 1968, pp. 62–65.
  258. ^Joost-Gaugier 2006, p. 154.
  259. ^Joost-Gaugier 2006, pp. 154–156.
  260. ^Joost-Gaugier 2006, pp. 157–158.
  261. ^Joost-Gaugier 2006, p. 158.
  262. ^Joost-Gaugier 2006, pp. 158–159.
  263. ^Joost-Gaugier 2006, p. 159.
  264. ^Joost-Gaugier 2006, pp. 159–161.
  265. ^ abJoost-Gaugier 2006, p. 162.
  266. ^Joost-Gaugier 2006, pp. 162–164.
  267. ^Joost-Gaugier 2006, pp. 167–168.
  268. ^Joost-Gaugier 2006, p. 168.
  269. ^Joost-Gaugier 2006, pp. 169–170.
  270. ^Joost-Gaugier 2006, pp. 57–65.
  271. ^ abcJoost-Gaugier 2006, p. 57.
  272. ^Joost-Gaugier 2006, pp. 57–58.
  273. ^Joost-Gaugier 2006, pp. 58–59.
  274. ^ abJoost-Gaugier 2006, p. 59.
  275. ^ abcdefghijklmnoCelenza 2010, p. 798.
  276. ^ abcRusso 2004, pp. 5–87, especially 51–53.
  277. ^ abKahn 2001, p. 160.
  278. ^Kahn 2001, pp. 161–171.
  279. ^Ferguson 2008, p. 265.
  280. ^ abFerguson 2008, pp. 264–274.
  281. ^Kahn 2001, p. 162.
  282. ^Ferguson 2008, p. 274.
  283. ^ Jamie James, The Music of the Spheres: Music, Science, and the Natural Order of the Universe, p 142.
  284. ^Ferguson 2008, p. 279.
  285. ^ abFerguson 2008, pp. 279–280.
  286. ^ abKahn 2001, p. 172.
  287. ^Whitehead 1953, pp. 36–37.
  288. ^Whitehead 1953, p. 36.
  289. ^ abBorlik 2011, p. 192.
  290. ^Borlik 2011, p. 189.
  291. ^ abBorlik 2011, pp. 189–190.
  292. ^ abcdefBorlik 2011, p. 190.
  293. ^Ferguson 2008, p. 282.
  294. ^ abFerguson 2008, p. 294.
  295. ^ abRiedweg 2005, pp. 127–128.
  296. ^ abcRiedweg 2005, p. 128.
  297. ^ abcdFrench 2002, p. 30.
  298. ^Riedweg 2005, p. 133.
  299. ^ abSherman 1995, p. 15.
  300. ^Ferguson 2008, pp. 284–288.
  301. ^Ferguson 2008, pp. 287–288.
  302. ^Ferguson 2008, pp. 286–287.
  303. ^Ferguson 2008, p. 288.
  304. ^ abcHaag 2013, p. 89.
  305. ^Haag 2013, p. 90.
  306. ^Haag 2013, pp. 90–91.
  307. ^ abcdefHaag 2013, p. 91.
  308. ^Haag 2013, pp. 91–92.
  309. ^Haag 2013, p. 92.
  310. ^ abcdBregman 2002, p. 186.

Works cited

Only a few relevant source texts deal with Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans most are available in different translations. Later texts usually build solely upon information in these works.

Byzantine and modern history

After the division of the Roman State, at the beginning of the 4th century AD (314 AD), Rhodes came to the Eastern Empire. In 515 AD the city of Rhodes was destroyed by an earthquake and was rebuilt by the emperor Anastasios. During the Persian Wars against emperor Herakleios it was captured by the Persians (620 AD), in 653 Arab invaders sacked the town and destroyed its monuments. The incursions of the Saracens followed until 718 AD when the Byzantine navy burned the piratical Saracen fleet with “Liquid Fire”. In the 9th century it suffered greatly in the hands of Seljuks of Haroun al Raschid who plundered the island barbarously (807 AD). In the 11th century there was something like a renaissance of its previous commercial activity and Rhodes forged trading relations with the west and, more specifically, with the Crusaders, which Rhodes furnished with ships and mercenaries. When the Crusaders took over Constantinople in 1204, the leader Leon Gavalas, who originated from Constantinople, declared himself hereditary despot of Rhodes and ruled it until 1246 when the island was captured by the Benoese who where in power until 1261. Then the Byzantine emperors took back Constantinople from the crusaders. Thenceforth Rhodes belonged, officially, to the Byzantine State but was, in reality, in the hands of the Benoese admirals who in 1309 AD sold the island to the Knights of the Ioannites. The Knights left imposing evidence of their presence in Rhodes, and gave to island the particular character it retains to this day, with its impregnable walls, gates, churches, hospitals, Inns and palaces. Their stay in Rhodes lasted 213 years, until 1522, when, on December 29, the last of the Grand Masters, Villiers de l`Isle Adam, was compelled to surrender the island to Suleiman the Magnificent. Needless to say, it took a siege of six months in the face of strong resistance from the knights, with the aid of the local inhabitants, before the city could be forced to give itself up. After the fall of Rhodes, Charles V. and the Pope were instrumental in finding the knights a new home in Malta. After that time they where known as the Knights of Malta. The Turks remained on the island until 1912, when it was taken over by the Italians. After the end of the Second World War (1945) Rhodes, together with the other islands of the Dodecanese, was incorporated within Greece.

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