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Pythagoras

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PYTHAGORAS, pi-thilg'6-ras, Greek losopher: b. Samos, about 582 ac.; d. about 507. His Father, Mnesarchos, was a merchant (prob ably of Tyre or some other Phcenician city) who traded with Samos, where lie received the rights of citizenship, and settled with his family. The biography of Pythagoras is mingled with many fables. He received his first instruction from Creophilus in his native city. He then went to the island of Scyros, and was a scholar of Pherecydes till the death of the latter others make him also a scholar of Thales and Anaximander. lamblichus says that Pythagoras, during his journey to Egypt, spent some time in Phoenicia in intercourse with the successors of Moschus, and other priests of the country, by whom he was initiated into their mysteries, and that he traveled through various parts of Syria in order to become acquainted with the most important religious usages and doctrines. He is said to have been recommended by Poly crates, king of Samos, to the Egyptian king Amasis. In Egypt he became' acquainted with the whole range of Egyptian learning. He re mained in Memphis and Thebes 22 years, and was in Egypt when that country was conquered by Cambyses. Like many others of the sages in that kingdom, he was carried captive to Babylon, where he conversed with the Persian and Chal &Tan Magi; and traveled as far as India, and visited the Gymnosophists. After his return he opened a school at Samos, in which he taught his doctrines in a symbolic form, in imitation of the Egyptians. He also visited Crete, where the priests of Cybele took him to the caverns of Ida, in which Jupiter had been cradled. Here he met Epimenides, whom he initiated into the sacred mysteries of the Greeks. Front Crete he went to Sparta and Elis, and from thence to Phlius, where, being asked by King Leon what was his profession, he replied that he was a philosopher (or lover of wisdom), declaring that the name of sage (sopkos) belonged solely to the Divinity. With augmented knowledge he returned home, where he now founded a philosophical school with great success. He laid claim to supernatural powers, and his ex traordinary qualities gained over great numbers of the noble and wealthy classes. Three hun dred of these were formed into a select fra ternity or order, 'which has been frequently compared with the still more famous order founded by Loyola in modern times. The mem bers were bound by a vow to Pythagoras and each other, for the purpose of cultivating the religious rites and ascetic observances of their master, and of studying his system of philos ophy. They thus formed at once a philosophical

school and a religious order, which in time also assumed the character and exercised the in fluence of a political association. This influence, which became -very considerable, was constantly exerted in the interest of the aristocratic party. The democratic party (perhaps, also, at times, an unfriendly aristocratic faction) reacted against the growing power of the order. At the head of thisUlan party in Crotona was Cylon,k.a rich citizen, whose enmity Pythagoras had excited by refusing to receive him among his scholars. In revenge. Cylon once attacked the house of Milo, where a number of Pythagoreans were assembled, sur rounded it with his partisans and set it on fire. Forty persons perished, and but few escaped. Pythagoras was probably not in the house. Other authorities set down this event long after the death of Pythagoras, who, they say, was M simply banished by Cylon to etapontum. He fled to the Locrians, and when these refused to receive him, to Metapontum, where, accord ing to tradition, he perished from hunger. For his system of philosot see PYTHAGOREANISM.

rn Consult Burnet, J., rly Greek Philosophy) (2d ed., London 1908); id., 'Greek Philosophy) (London 1914); Cantor, M., 'History of Mathe matics' (Leipzig 1900); Fink, K., 'Brief His tory of Mathematics) (Chicago 1900) ; Gom perz T., (Greek Thinkers) (London 1901-.05); Gow, J., 'Short History' of Greek Mathematics) (New York 1884); Milhaud, 'La Science Grecque) id., 'Philosophes geometres); Ueber weg, F., of Philosophy from Thales to ths Present Time) (2 vols., New York 1884); Wmdelband, W. of Ancient Philos ophy) (New York 1899) ; Zeller, E., 'Die Philosophic der Griechen in ihrer geschicht lichen Entwicklungen> (5th ed., Leipzig 1892; English trans. by Alleyne, S. F., of 4th ed., 2 vols., London 1881).

PYTHAGOFtAS OF RHEGIUM, fim, Greek sculptor : b. Samos toward the end of the 5th century before Christ. He was noted for his skill in giving the finest and justest pro. portions to his statues which often represented the human body in attitudes most difficult to represent. Such were his 'Limping Philoctetes) (in bronze) ; his 'Apollo in Combat with the Dragon) ; his 'Duel of Eteocles and ; 'Europa and the Bull.) His favorite subjects were victors in the public games, and it was his .habit as an artist to elaborate the details of his figures; he was learned as an anatomist, and in his statues the hair, sinews, and even veins were 'represented with• life-like' distinct•• ness and individuality: