MoMath + Wolfram

Funding for this project generously provided by Overdeck Family Foundation


Pythagorean Theorem

The Pythagorean theorem is a fundamental result in Euclidean geometry that relates the side lengths of a right triangle through the simple relationship a² + b² = c². The relationship was known to the ancient scholars and builders of Babylon, Egypt, China and India. While Pythagoras lived and wrote from 569–475 BCE, the result that now bears his name appeared as early as 1800 BCE in surviving clay Babylonian tablets. The Pythagorean theorem was also known to early Chinese scholars and appeared in the sacred texts of ancient India related to altar building.

Timeline

Pythagorean Theorem timeline Babylonian Mud Wall Tablet Babylonian Inner Diagonal Tablet Babylonian Square Root of 2 Tablet Berlin Pythagorean Theorem Papyrus Plimpton 322 Vedic Fire Altar Rectangle Diagonal Vedic Fire Altar Square Diagonal Euclid's Elements Ptolemy's Quadrilateral Theorem Zhoubi Suanjing Pythagorean Theorem Proof Ibn Qurra's Pythagorean Theorem Proofs Lilāvatī of Bhāskara II