Pythagoras was a classical Greek mathematician and philosopher. He was considered to be the founder of the movement called Pythagoreanism. A lot of his work was stored in the form of written discourse centuries after he lived. Hence, not much reliable information had been gathered on that front.
He was born in 570 century B.C in the island of Samos. Pythagoras travelled to Greece and Egypt and then moved to Croton where he established his school. He made contribution to the field of science and mathematics. He is recognized for presenting the noteworthy Pythagorean theorem. The account of his mathematical and philosophy career is tentative. Hence, the historians shared doubts about his true contributions to mathematics and philosophy. It is speculated that much of his notable works was actually accomplished by his successors and contemporaries. Pythagoras was the first one to refer himself as a philosopher and his ideas left a profound impact on Plato and helped shape the Western philosophy.
Owing to the fact that there was not much known about Pythagoras, myths were associated with him. It was Neoplatonist writers who came up with details about him. Isocrates and Herodotus believed that Mnesarchus was his father, who was a wealthy merchant and a gem engraver. He migrated to Greek colony of Croton around 530 BC, where he established a school of philosophy which was based on simple way of life as dictated by him. In addition to that, Pythagoras got involved in the Greek political affairs and acquired some influence. Due to political upheaval and unrest with the neighbouring colony of Sybaris most of his disciples flee the colony and he too had to flee prior to the outbreak of civil war. He found shelter in Metapontum where he spend the rest of his life.
Some historians believed that a lady of Croton, Theano, was his wife, who was one of his pupil and a philosopher. The popular opinion on the subject of their children is that they had a son and three daughters. Furthermore, it is speculated that Pythagoras had met another eminent philosopher, engineer and mathematician of that time Thales of Miletus while visiting Greece. He was considered the mastermind behind several scientific discoveries and solution to mathematical problems.
In fact, Pythagoras is accredited for discovering the famous theorem which was named after him, Pythagorean Theorem. It was mostly used by Babylonians and Indians. It was either him or his students who came up with the first proof. The credit for the proof of theorem is still disputed because of the uncanny nature of Pythagoras’ school where all the students attributed their work to their teacher. There is no apparent evidence that Pythagoras was himself behind the deed. There are some skeptics who believe that he was not a mathematical genius and his mathematical endeavours was just a myth constructed by Plato’s followers who had ulterior motives. This conspiracy theory is considered till this day. Cicero and Plutarch’s writings mentioned Pythagoras’ work, posthumously.
While these theories might hold some truth, there are also some who believed that Pythagoras worked out musical notes through mathematics. He once heard a melody and decided that its construction must be scientific and mathematically calculated application to the instrument. There is a possibility that Pythagoras discovered the properties of string length.