Presenting Pythagoras: Classroom Materials

  • “[The number 10 contains] formulas for lines, surfaces and solids;
    for 1 is a point, 2 is a line, 3 a triangle, and 4 a pyramid,
    and all these are primary and the starting points
    for the other figures of each kind.”

    —Speisippus (Fragment 4)
  • Unity is beauty itself:

    “Unity is the principle of all things and the most
    dominant of all that is: all things emanate from it
    and it emanates from nothing.”

    —Theon of Smyrna
  • zeno: Tell me, Protagoras, does a single millet seed make a noise
    when it falls, or one ten-thousandth of a millet seed?
    protagoras: No.
    zeno: Does a bushel of millet seeds make a noise when it falls, or doesn't it?
    protagoras: It does.
    zeno: But isn't there a ratio between the bushel of millet seeds and one millet seed,
    or one ten-thousandth of a millet seed?
    protagoras: Yes there is.
    zeno: So won't there be the same ratios of their sounds to one another?
    For as the things that make the noise [are one to another],
    so are the noises [to one another]But since this is so, if the bushel of
    millet seeds makes a noise, so will a single millet seed
    and one ten-thousandth of a millet seed.

    —Simplicius, Commentary on Aristotle's Physics 1108.18-25