# Tracing Pythagoras triangle

**Tracing Pythagoras triangle from Samos via Crotone in Calabria to Metaponto in Basilicata makes quite a journey.**

Walking around in Crotone in Calabria and Metaponto in Basilicata it is hard to imagine, that 2500 years ago these places were the centre of flourishing cities, where a secret brotherhood of mathematicians defined everything as numbers in accordance with the teachings of their master, the one and only mr. a²+b²=c² Pythagoras.

## Mathematician with Rock Star Quality

In about 518 BC the Greek Pythagoras, who had emigrated from Samos to Crotone in the south Italian Magna Grecia was the first person to demonstrate the famous theorem by means of deductive reasoning, and this earned him eternal fame. Even his contemporaries saw Pythagoras as a godlike personality and his ideas about the equality of the sexes, communal ownership, the transmigration of souls from man the beast, music therapy and the sin of eating beans gained a strong following.

After about 10 years in Crotone the Pythagorean Society was attacked and escaped to Metapontum, which had become wealthy thanks to the export of wheat. In this town which must have been quite big at the time, Pythagoras lived until his death in 497 BC. According to some of the locals, his house was placed beneath the 15 surviving columns of the Doric temple that is just about the only remainder of antique glory.

## From Antiquity to Modern Seaside Village

There’s no trace left of Pythagoras’ grave which was seen and described by Cicero and other Roman tourists in 43 BC. Apparently Hannibal, who had his headquarters in Metapontum, had managed to evacuate the entire population of hundreds of thousands of people, before it was conquered by Rome.

Since then Metaponto has been a malaria-ridden ghost town with dried out river beds and long straight roads leading down to a lido with a hotel and a fringe of pine trees. The beaches are nice and over the last couple of years a number of brightly coloured holiday villages have cropped up. Seems like Pythagoras has acquired a whole new group of followers trying to figure out the right-angled triangle between their beach towel, the sea and the sun.

### Other sights in Basilicata and Calabria like tracing Pythagoras

National parks Italy: 10 good reasons to visit Pollino in Basilicata

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Geez, I hadn’t thought of Pythagoras since I left school! I was not in love with Maths at all.

It’s great when towns, especially ones with such rich history, see a revival.

Yes, though I wish they would do a bit more to preserve and highlight the history.

I feel like I’ve been transported back to Grade 8 learning about the Pythagoras equation. I like your take on the whole affair – beach towel, sea and sun sounds like a lot more fun than solving equations.

Point is you solve equations all the time, with or without any knowledge of maths whatsoever.

Very interesting read my friend! Never knew that much about Mr. Pythagoras other than memories of Algebra and Geometry. Thank God those days are over! ; ) It is sad that nothing remains of his grave though…this pioneer who has left his indelible mark for all time!

Yes, it could be fun if he had at least carved his initials into those columns that are still standing.

Great resource you developed with this post and a fun history lesson too. Great place to visit but even better with the blanks filled in like this. Thanks!

My pleasure:)

I remembered the Pythagoras equation and it’s interesting to know the history behind the man and the town. It’s nice to know the town of Metaponto has found a new calling and purpose. Who wouldn’t want to be spending some fun in the sun in Italy? Glad to have you back, Mette.

Thanks – I appreciate the support:)

The Pythagorean theorem is the only thing I ever succeeded in teaching my maths-hating daughter. Somehow, hyp²=kat²+kat² is the only thing that made sense to her.

Loved this, Mette. Such an interesting person, Pythagoras; especially how he saw a connection between maths and music. Not so sure about the religious bit, though. Don’t know much about that, really. I suppose that’s why he and his gang had to flee… although it’s more fun to think that someone might have disagreed violently with his theorem…

I’m not sure I fully understand Cat’s take on maths, but I take it it has something to do with her love of horses? Maybe Pythagoras’ worldview was guided by his idiosyncrasies which had become rather eccentric over time.

Interesting article :)

Thanks:)

Super interesting, Mette, as the previous comments have said. Would be nice to check out one of the new holiday spots and the towel/sea/sun triangle.

Yes, exploring the world from a beach will always hold some attraction.

It is fascinating to delve into the history of the places we travel and explore the extraordinary events that have occurred there and the people who have made them happen. I find the idea of “a secret brotherhood of mathematicians” quite entirely magical – though am even more inspired by Pythagorus’ theories of gender equality and music therapy. Thank you for sharing the lesson and reminding me about this extraordinary thinker!

My pleasure – He really was a true eccentric in many ways.

Agree with Leah, like being transported back to 8th grade, but informative and fun.

I’m sorry to evoke such traumatic memories:)

Pythagoras is enjoying a radical revisiting.

https://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/sta/sta15.htm

In The Jesus Mysteries by Freke/Gandy, , the book/research that Dan Brown based much of his writing of the DiVinci Code on……Pythagoras is addressed here as well.

Energy healers/acupuncturists/naturapaths are increasing the use the of Pythagorean tuning forks/instruments and achieving great results in healing chronic disease…

Pythagoras had quantum physics figured way back then.

Have fun going deeper that the math…..

Weird – but interesting. Thanks for the input.