Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsMathematics · 1 decade ago

How could Pythagoras be the father of Mathamatics if he could not build a Pyramid?

Also - Has anyone ever heard of the Ra table of 9's


You had to know what a right triangle to makd a pyramid. The Pythagorean Therom - I sure their math was very good - he went to Egypt to study - is the connection that hard to make - question was why is he regaurded as the father of math instead of giving the credit to the Eqyptians or who ever knew the knowledge before them?

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In fact it is hard to say if a person called Pythagoras really existed. There was a pythagorean school, in Sicilia (Magna Greece), that was deeply religious (mystical) and mathematical. During the VII, VI and Vth century BC, this school was one of the most influencing in mathematics in the Ancient Greece, and so for philosophers like Plato and Aristotelis (that both lived by Vth century BC) there was a clear sensation that this legendary founder of the school (the so called Pythagoras) was some kind of a "father" of mathematics.

    But of course, Greece was a civilisation that came 2000+ years after Egypt, so it is an indisputable fact (we even don't need the existence of pyramids to conclude this) that mathematics was deeply developed in Egypt centuries before Pythagoras (if he existed) was born; even centuries before the greek language and culture was installed in Greece (something that happened around 1500 years after the building of the great pyramids).

    We have to say that greeks were very honnest in this point. Plato clearly pointed that Egypt was a very developed civilisation centuries and even milleniums before Greece, and he was very respectful about it. The fact that greek tradition mentions that Pythagoras studied in Egypt is a clear proof that in their mind Egypt was the place to learn for any smart person, and so when they say that Pythagoras is "father" of mathematics they just want to say that he was the "greek father", e.g. the first greek that really deepened in this field. No one was thinking that Pythagoras was the universal father of mathematics, because it was clear that many ancient civilisations came first to it.

    Finally, who are the fathers of mathematics? In fact it was not in Egypt, but in southern Irak, where the first true mathematicians were born in this world. This happened around 5500 years ago (many centuries before the building of the pyramids in Egypt). Is from this time and place (the Sumerian civilisation) that we have the first documents involving the solution to sophisticated problems in arithmetics and geometry. So Irak, and no Egypt, is the final place where mathematics (and civilisation in general) was born, but of course, this was totally ignored by the greeks, that were closer to Egypt and were also more directly dazzled by the great Pyramids and the general sensation of antiquity and wisdom that Egypt always transmitted to them.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Quite right. I definitely fail to grasp the relation you make between Pythagoras and the pyramids any more than I would expect a mathematician at large to bow in front of a car.

    No I have no idea what Ra table of 9's is

  • 1 decade ago

    As you say, the Egyptians had to figure out Pythagoras's theorem to build the things they did.

    The thing is, some Hellenophile named Pythagoras as the father of mathematics (and that patriarchal stuff always gets up my nose), and everyone else went along with it.

  • 1 decade ago

    Very often, this happens in mathematics but also in other sciences, another examples are a lot of things named Bernoulli's. One can think that this person was brilliant without to know that actually they were a whole family. Also the names given for the same things by russians and americans, frequently each one name them as a person of their respective country, but they are both refering to the same thing.

    The point is that the important thing is not always to give the propper name for something but the knowledge as itself.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Pythagoras studied the pythagoras theorom but did not use it to make pramids. It was after other mathematicians studied it they used it to make pyramids.

  • 1 decade ago

    He may have studied in Egypt. His subsequent work earned him reputation. Knowing maths is quite apart from building a Pyramid. It needs much more than maths to build something of the order of Pyramids so unique.

  • Puggy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You mean to tell me it is a typical thing for mathematicians to be involved in masonry? I do not see the "logic" here (no pun intended).

  • 1 decade ago

    hey, nobody's perfect. did u know einstein flunked maths in school?

  • 1 decade ago

    others could not justify it properly.

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