PYTHAGORASSamos, 6th centur B.C.
A great Sage of the ancient world and the founder of the Italian Pythagorean Academy. Born in Samos, the son of Mnesarchus and beautiful Pythais. On recommendations of the Samian tyrant Polykrates, he was sent to Egypt near Amasin river. He stayed there studying the Egyptian secrets, learning all their language and religion. From there he travelled to Crete, and with Epimenides they descented to the Idean Lair, mythical birthplace of Zeus. He studied next to Ferekides in Lesvos and Anaximandrus in Miletus. On returning to his home island, he began to teach everything he had learned, failing however to convince his fellow citizens, and as a result he left for Sicily where he was well received by several Italian cities. He founded the first academy in Crotone, where he was wed and initiated his first followers.
The purpose of the Pythagorean movement was creating wise and virtuous men, who would later lead and govern in cities. The enemies of Pythagoras, led by the noble and wealthy Cylon were concerned of this, and managed to bring down the academy, kill and scatter its members. Pythagoras found refuge to Metapontium, where later on he died.
In general, his life is surrounded by legend. He applied several levels of initiations, with basic principles silence and discipline. The academy did not allow the impious, and knowledge was an exclusive possession of the mysts, who were obliged to keep the secrets (mainly of mathematic nature) taught only to their knowledge, without writing about or speaking of them, at all costs.
Pythagoras attributed metaphysical nature to numbers, claiming that it is numbers that rule the movement of stars, and that there is a defined place for them inside space and time. Pythagoreans worked efficiently with geometry too.