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Pythagoras of Samos (Ancient Greek: [ in Ionian Greek] Pythagras ho

Smios "Pythagoras theSamian", or simply ; b. about 570 d. about 495 BC


) was

an Ionian Greek philosopher, mathematician, and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. Most of the information about Pythagoras was written down centuries after he lived, so very little reliable information is known about him. He was born on the island of Samos, and might have travelled widely in his youth, visiting Egypt and other places seeking knowledge. Around 530 BC, he moved to Croton, a Greek colony in southern Italy, and there set up a religious sect. His followers pursued the religious rites and practices developed by Pythagoras, and studied his philosophical theories. The society took an active role in the politics of Croton, but this eventually led to their downfall. The Pythagorean meeting-places were burned, and Pythagoras was forced to flee the city. He is said to have ended his days in Metapontum.

Plato (/pleto/; Greek: , Pltn, "broad";


424/423 BC


348/347 BC) was

a Classical Greek philosopher,mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.

In the words of A. N. Whitehead:

Aristoxenus (Greek: ; fl. 335 BC) of Tarentum was a Greek Peripatetic philosopher, and a pupil of Aristotle. Most of his writings, which dealt with philosophy, ethics andmusic, have been lost, but one musical treatise, Elements of Harmony, survives incomplete, as well as some fragments concerning rhythm and meter.

Claudius Ptolemy (

/tlmi/; Greek: , Klaudios Ptolemaios; Latin: Claudius Ptolemaeus; c. AD 90


c. AD 168) was a Greek-Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek.[1] He was

a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the Thebaid. This theory, proposed by Theodore Meliteniotes, could be correct, but it is late (ca. 1360) and unsupported. suppose that he ever lived anywhere else than Alexandria,
[4] [4]

There is no reason to

where he died around AD 168.


Anicius Manlius Severinus Bothius, commonly called Boethius (ca. 480524 or 525 AD), was a philosopher of the early 6th century. He was born in Rome to an ancient and prominent family which included emperors Petronius Maximus and Olybrius and many consuls. His father, Flavius Manlius Boethius, was consul in 487 after Odoacerdeposed the last Western Roman Emperor. Boethius, of the noble Anicia family, entered public life at a young age and was already a senator by the age of 25.
[5] [4] [3]


Boethius himself was consul in 510 in the kingdom of the Ostrogoths. In 522 he saw his two sons

become consuls. Boethius was imprisoned and eventually executed by King Theodoric the Great, who suspected him of conspiring with the Eastern Roman Empire. While jailed, Boethius composed his Consolation of Philosophy, a philosophical treatise on fortune, death, and other issues. The Consolation became one of the most popular and influential works of the Middle Ages. A link between Boethius and a mathematical boardgame Rithmomachia has been made.

Marsilio Ficino (Latin name: Marsilius Ficinus) (Italian

pronunciation: [marsiljo fitino]; 19 October 1433 1 October

1499) was one of the most influential humanist philosophers of the early Italian Renaissance, an astrologer, a reviver of Neoplatonism who was in touch with every major academic thinker and writer of his day, and the first translator of Plato's complete extant works into Latin. HisFlorentine Academy, an attempt to revive Plato's school, had enormous influence on the direction and tenor of the Italian Renaissanceand the development of European philosophy.

Bartolom Ramos de Pareja[1] (ca. 1440 1522) was a Spanish mathematician, music theorist, and composer. His only surviving work is the Latin treatise Musica practica.[2] By his own testimony at the end of his Musica practica, Ramos de Pareja was born in Baeza, possibly around 1440. Most of the biographical details of his life must be culled from this treatise. He says that he was a student of Juan de Monte and that he obtained the chair of music at the University of Salamanca for his commentaries on the works of Bothius(cum Boetium in musica legeremus). At Salamanca he had many debates with Pedro de Osma concerning his musical theories. In 1482, when he published his Musica, he revolutionarily proposed a new, five-limit division of the monochord, breaking from the Pythagorean system that had dominated the medieval ars antiqua through Bothius and Guido of Arezzo. This system of musical tuning yielded consonant perfect fourths and fifths, but the thirds and sixths were rough.[3] Ramos de Pareja's new division was only slowly accepted. Afterwards he worked in Italy, primarily at Bologna, where his theories engendered serious controversy, even polemics, from conservatives such as Franchino Gaffurio. After a long stay there he moved to Rome, where he died shortly after 1521.

Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim (15 September 1486 18 February 1535) was a German magician, occult writer,theologian, astrologer, and alchemist. Gioseffo Zarlino (31 January or 22 March 1517 4 February 1590) was an Italian music theorist and composer of the Renaissance. He was possibly the most famous music theorist between Aristoxenus and Rameau, and made a large contribution to the theory of counterpoint as well as to musical tuning.

Vincenzo Galilei (ca. 1520 2 July 1591) was an Italian lutenist, composer, and music theorist, and the father of the famous astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei and of the lute virtuoso and composer Michelagnolo Galilei. He was a seminal figure in the musical life of the late Renaissance, and contributed significantly to the musical revolution which demarcates the beginning of the Baroque era. Vincenzo, in his study of pitch and string tension, produced perhaps the first non-linear mathematical description of a natural phenomenon known to history. This was an extension of a Pythagorean tradition, but went beyond it. Many scholars credit him with directing the activity of his son away from pure, abstract mathematics and towards experimentation using mathematical quantitative description of the results a direction which was of utmost importance for the history of physics, and natural science in general.

Johannes Kepler (German

pronunciation: [kpl]; December 27, 1571 November 15, 1630) was

a German mathematician, astronomerand astrologer. A key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, he is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, codified by later astronomers, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican Astronomy. These works also provided one of the foundations for Isaac Newton's theory of universal gravitation.

Robert Fludd, also known as Robertus de Fluctibus (17 January 1574 8 September 1637) was a prominent English Paracelsianphysician. He is remembered as an astrologer, mathematician, cosmologist, Qabalist, and Rosicrucian apologist. Fludd is best known for his compilations in occult philosophy. He had a celebrated exchange of views with Johannes Kepler concerning the scientific and hermetic approaches to knowledge.[1]

Athanasius Kircher, S.J., (1601 or 16021680) (sometimes erroneously spelled Kirchner) was a 17thcentury German Jesuit scholarwho published around 40 works, most notably in the fields of oriental studies, geology, and medicine. Kircher has been compared to fellow Jesuit Roger Boscovich and to Leonardo da Vinci for his enormous range of interests, and has been honoured with the title "master of a hundred arts".