Pythagoras mentioned in Vedas?

Toke Lindegaard Knudsen tlk at MATH.KU.DK
Sun Jun 13 09:49:14 UTC 1999

On 12 Jun 99, at 23:52, Lars Martin Fosse wrote:

> Pythagoras is definitely not mentioned in the Vedas, not do I think that
> he turns up in the Puranas. What you are referring to is a modern cultural
> myth to the effect that P. (and the Greeks) got their mathematics from
> India. This is a kind of counter-myth to the traditional European view
> that the Indians got their mathematics from the Greeks. It would in fact
> seem that Indians and Greeks got at least some of their mathematics from
> Babylon, but there are no certain conclusions here.

B.L. van der Waerden relates in his "Science Awakening" some
stories from the ancient world of how Pythagoras is believed to
have visited many places in the Orient.  For example that he
travelled to Egypt where he was made a prisoner by the Persian
king Cambyses and taken to Babylon.  Here he was supposedly
learned the theory of numbers and other sciences from the Magi (I
assume that van der Waerden must be referring to the priests of
ancient Iran).  I do not know much about these stories but I thought
there may be similar stories originating in the ancient world (i.e. not
modern cultural myths) that Pythagoras went to India.

Toke Lindegaard Knudsen

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