Where does the Pythagorean theorem come from?

The sentence is named after Pythagoras of Samos, who is said to have been the first to find mathematical proof of this, but this is controversial in research.The statement of the sentence was known long before the time of the Pythagorean in Babylon and India, but there is no evidence that there was proof there.

Already on a Babylonian cuneiformtablet, which is dated to the time of the Hammurabi dynasty (ca.From 1829 to c. 1530 BC), there is a geometric problem with a solution in which the set was used to calculate lengths (in the sexagesimalsystem).

The phrase was known in ancient China as the proposition of the Gougu.In the book Zhoubi suanjing (“Arithmetic Classic of zhou-Gnomons”), which dates back to the 1st century BC.until the 6th century AD. with the so-called “Hypotenusen figure” (Xian-tu) a proof of the sentence given there by the example of the right-angled triangle (gougu) with pages 3, 4 and 5.It is also used in Jiu Zhang Suanshu (“Nine Books of Arithmetic Technique”, 1st Century A.D.), the classical mathematical work of China with a collection of 263 problems, their solutions and the solutions.Liu Hui (3rd century A.D.) in his commentary on the “Nine Books” in the ninth chapter, he gave a decomposition proof.

The naming of the proposition after the Greek philosopher Pythagoras (6th century BC) is only attested in late sources.Therefore, the question of the role of Pythagorean is highly controversial in research. Several hypotheses can be considered:

  • Pythagoras took over the sentence from the Babylonians, his role was only that of a mediator of oriental knowledge to the Greeks.

According to ancient sources, he made a trip to Egypt, even to Babylonia, but the credibility of the reports about his travels is disputed.

  • Pythagoras discovered the sentence independently of oriental mathematics and proved it for the first time.
  • This view was widespread in antiquity.

  • Pythagoras owed knowledge of the facts to oriental sources, but was the first to find proof of it.
  • In fact, Babylonians and Egyptians seemed to be interested only in the application of the proposition for practical purposes, not in a universalproof evidence. For example, the oldest known arithmetic book in the world, the Egyptian arithmetic book of Ahmes (also Known papyrus Rhind)from the 17th century BC, already contains complicated tasks, but there is no generalization, it is not defined and proven.

  • Pythagoras played no role in the history of the movement; only later Pythagoreans may have found the first evidence.
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