Pythagoras, one of the greatest philosophers of ancient Europe, was the son of Mnesarchus, an engraver. He was born about the year 580 B.C., either at Samos, an island in the Agean Sea, or, as some say, at Sidon in Phoenicia. Very little is known of his early life, beyond the fact that he won prizes for feats of agility at the Olympic Games. Having attained manhood and feeling dissatisfied with the amount of knowledge to be gained at home, he left hisnative land and spent many years in travel, visiting in turn most of the great centres of Learning. History narrates that his pilgrimage in search of wisdom extended to Egypt, Hindostan, Persia, Crete and Palestine, and that he gathered from each country fresh stores of information, and succeeded in becoming well acquainted with the
Esoteric Wisdom as well as with the popular exoteric knowledge of each. It is recorded that his instruction to his followers wasformulated into two great divisions—the science of numbersand the theory of magnitude. The former division includedtwo branches, arithmetic and musical harmony ; the latterwas further subdivided into the consideration of magnitudeat rest—geometry, and magnitude in motion—astronomy.
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