Pythagoras is perhaps the most famous figure in the group of ancient Greek philosophers known as the Pre-Socratics. This is largely due to the Pythagorean Theorem, a mathematical theorem that is still widely used today. Apart from being a mathematician, Pythagoras was also an influential thinker in other areas. For example, he made important contributions to religion during his life as well. These aspects of Pythagoras, however, are much less well-known, and have been overshadowed by his mathematical teachings.
Mixed Stories on Pythagoras’ Personal Life
Pythagoras is believed to have been born around 570 BC, and spent his early life on Samos, a Greek island in the eastern Aegean Sea. His father was Mnesarchus, a gem merchant, and his mother was a woman by the name of Pythais. Pythagoras had two or three brothers as well.
The nature of Pythagoras’ family life is debated. Some historians claim that he was married to a woman named Theano, had a daughter named Damo, and a son named Telauges. Others claimed that Theano was Pythagoras’ student, not his wife. There is also a belief that the ancient Greek philosopher was never married and had no children.
Bust of Pythagoras – Roman copy of the Greek original. Musei Capitolini, Rome, Italy. (CC BY SA 3.0)