Genius of Pythagoras

Genius of Pythagoras

Ratings: 7.17/10 from 36 users.

Genius of PythagorasThis Documentary describes Pythagoras. It was produced by Cromwell Productions in 1996.

Pythagoras (fl. 530 BCE) must have been one of the world’s greatest men, but he wrote nothing, and it is hard to say how much of the doctrine we know as Pythagorean is due to the founder of the society and how much is later development.

The word Genius perfectly describes Pythagoras; at times his ideas and theories were so radical, they were considered dangerous or subversive by the rulers of their day.

Set against the backdrop of Ancient Greece, this film tells the story of a true genius. Immortalized in the popular imagination by a single mathematical theorem, Pythagoras' place in history was assured.

The story of Pythagoras is one of innovation, change, determination and sheer genius. As an accurate picture of his life emerges, it is clear that there was more to this great man than one single, simple truth - here was a great mathematician, philosopher and political leader.

It is also hard to say how much of what we are told about the life of Pythagoras is trustworthy; for a mass of legend gathered around his name at an early date.

Sometimes he is represented as a man of science, and sometimes as a preacher of mystic doctrines, and we might be tempted to regard one or other of those characters as alone historical.

More great documentaries

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 months ago

There is a nice film about Pythagoreanism and rationalist philosophy ‘Balthazar and I’, you can watch it on youtube

11 years ago

Pythagoras is alive! :)

Matt Shelby
11 years ago

in addition to aforementioned complaints you would think the people making this would be studied enough in history not to have the actors in a wide range of brightly colored robes...

11 years ago

Good documentary, but disappointing that almost nothing was said of his spiritual teachings and mystic experiences, which are not only legendary but were to influence the cult worship of Dionysis and pagan religions which in turn influenced Christianity.

In fact, in his own day, Pythagoras was most known not as a scientist or mathematician, but as a great spiritual leader and miracle worker which is how Aristotle remembers him.

Moreover, its widely unrecognised by most, but Plato who is the most influential philosopher ever (influenced Christianity through Saint Augustine and the Hellenic world which laid the foundations for Western civilisation through Aristotle and later Alexander the Great) a lot to the work of Pythagoras whom he freely borrowed from and was influenced by, but without giving credit to the source of his ideas.

Plato's own nephew (Speusippus) who later led the Academy, Aristotle and Cicero were later to explain Plato's reliance to Pythagoras which led Bertrand Russell to claim that Pythagoras must be considered the most influential philosopher of all time.

Still, as I said, a good documentary and thanks for posting.

12 years ago

When I studied Pythagoras in school I learnt that he was for keeping the knowledge from common people (the non-initiated) and not spreading it. This documentary seems to suggest the opposite, or am I wrong?

12 years ago

I liked it.
It was only a few hundred years ago we thouht that the world was flat, and this guy was talking about that stuff 500 years before Christ was born?
This man was a genius

12 years ago

Genius if he is the one who brought the knowledge and known wisdom to the western world.
Please have someone explain to this producer (a) what Indians and Arabs contributed to humanity for maths and geometry and how he usurped this knowledge and )b) how the basic tenets of his philosophy was derived directly from religions existed hundreds of years prior to his birth.

12 years ago

Very annoying documentary. Where is the genius?!?

You would think that the ancient Egyptians thousands of years before would know something about right angle triangles (see Rhind Papyrus)!