Author, Philospher, Teacher
About Prof. Berry
Books by Prof. Berry:
Excerpt from Famous Vegetarians: Pythagoras
Although Pythagoras is chiefly remembered for his discovery of the eponymous "Pythagorean theorem" (the square of the hypotenuse of a triangle equals the sum of the squares of the other two sides), he is also the father of vegetarianism. Indeed until the late 19th century, when the neologism "vegetarian" was coined, people who lived on a fleshless diet were usually referred to as "Pythagoreans."
Pythagoras was born on the Greek island of Samos in 580 B.C. or thereabouts. His father Mnesarchus was a Phonecian from the Levantine city of Tyre; his mother was a Samian Greek. The events of his early life are lost to us, but tradition has it that after studying with such great Ionian thinkers as Thales and Anaximander, he traveled to Egypt and Persia for a fifteen year postgraduate course in astronomy, number symbolism, comparative religion, and other arcane subjects. However much wisdom he may have imbibed from the Egyptians and the Persians, his philosophy and personal conduct seem to owe more to the Jains and the brahmins of ancient India than to anyone else. Of course much of India was under Persian rule at this time, and Indians traveled to Greek lands as recruits in the Persian king's army. Read more...
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