Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ, Eureka Street
Pythagoras, the fifth century Greek philosopher and the name behind the theorem, was a mythical figure. All the significant developments in ancient philosophy, mathematics, music, geometry and astronomy, as well as the founding of a community of mystics and scholars, were attributed to him.
At the heart of his contribution was the almost religious wonder at a world in which the human intelligence could understand and handle such different phenomena as music, architecture and the stars through mathematics. The building blocks of the world were seen to be numbers. The ascetic pursuit of the harmony of the universe replaced more primitive religions based on sacrifice to the gods.