Born: 582? - 500? BC in Samos, Ionia {y-ohn'-ee-uh} Died: about 500 BC in Metapontum, Lucania Short Biography Pythagoras was a Greek religious leader and a philosopher who made developments in astronomy, mathematics, and music theories. He moved to Croton (a city in southern Italy) and started a religious and philosophical school there. He had many followers called the Pythagoreans. The works of Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans can not be separated because the school in which they worked in was restricted to secrecy. The most important idea of the Pythagoreans was that most things could be understood through math, which was important to math and science development. Pythagoras or his students proved the converse theorem, though it was used much earlier in Egypt. The school’s most important discovery was that the side of a square was shorter than the diagonal. This showed that irrational numbers exist. Irrational numbers are numbers that never end.  For example, p = 3.1415... and Ö2 = 1.4142... are irrational numbers because the number after the decimal goes on and never ends.  The theorems and ideas of Pythagoras and his followers are studied today in geometry. Click here to go to see his contributions to music.