Greek mathematician and philosopher (approx. 570 B.C. to approx. 480 B.C.). Born in Samos, Greece, traveled widely, and studied under philosophers Pherekydes, Thales, and Anaximander. After moving to Egypt, he was accepted into the Egyptian priesthood and studied Egyptian mathematics, philosophy, and astronomy. He was taken as a prisoner to Babylon, where he mastered the advanced Babylonian mathematics.

After obtaining his freedom, he established a school in southern Italy. He insisted on strict rules for his students, including vegetarianism (he believed in reincarnation and didn't want to take the chance that he might accidentally eat a former friend), vows of silence for the first five years of their membership, and vows of loyalty and secrecy. The Pythagoreans regarded numbers with almost religious devotion, assigning deep symbolism to each numeral. The Pythagorean school was the first to accept women as students and instructors.

Pythagoras coined the words "mathematics" and "philosophy". He was the first to declare the Earth to be a sphere, and he discovered the mathematics behind the musical scale. Of course, the Pythagorean Theorem, relating to the side lengths of a right triangle, still bears his name.

Research from GURPS Who's Who 2, compiled by Phil Masters, "Pythagoras", by Sam Lindsay-Levine, pp. 12-13.