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Philosopher and mathematician, born in Samos, Greece. He settled at Crotona, S Italy (c.530BC) where he founded a moral and religious school. He eventually fled from there because of persecution, settling at Megapontum in Lucania. Pythagoreanism was first a way of life, of moral abstinence and purification, not solely a philosophy; its teaching included the doctrine of the transmigration of souls between successive bodies. The famous geometrical theorem attributed to him was probably developed later by members of the Pythagorean school, which is best known for its studies of the relations between numbers. Pythagorean thought exerted considerable influence on Plato's doctrines.

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