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Famous People of Samos

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18/01/2023

Famous People of Samos

Many famous people have their roots on Samos. For example, the astronomer Aristarchos, who was the first to argue that the sun was the centre of the universe. Or the philosopher Epicurus, who became famous with his ethic of individual pleasure. And lost but not least the fable writer Aesop (i.e. The Boy Who Cried Wolf) and of course Pythagoras, the great filosopher – mathematician. He gave his name to the village of Pythagorion and today, you can still visit the cave in the mountains where Pythagoras is said to have hidden from the Tyrant Polycrates.

Pythagoras of Samos

Who doesn’t know Pythagoras! His works, such as the revolutionary Pythagorean theorem, made him an integral part of our intellectual heritage. He was born on Samos and lived from  570 –  495 BCE. Pythagoras left Samos during the reign of Polycrates, at the age of 40.

He was an ancient Greek philosopher, polymath and the founder of Pythagoreanism. He founded a school with a holistic approach in Crotona (southern Italy) called “The Semi-Circle”. His students were taught mathematics alongside character development and self-discipline. He also taught metempsychosis, (the transmigration of souls), which states that every soul is immortal and enters into a new body after death. He may have also devised the doctrine of musica universalis, which holds that the planets move according to mathematical equations and thus resonate to produce an inaudible symphony of music.

On Samos his presence can still be found in the name of the village Pythagorion, his statue in the harbour and in Pythagoras Cave.

Aristarchos of Samos

Aristarchos was an Ancient astronomer and mathematician, who was born on Samos and lived from 310 – c. 230 BCE. He is considered one of the greatest astronomers of antiquity and the first to come up with a heliocentric model. This model placed the Sun at the center of the universe and the Earth revolving around the Sun once a year and rotating about its own axis once a day. He also created two sundials; a flat disk and a hemispherical sundial.

Epicurus of Samos

Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher and sage who lived from 341–270 BCE. He was born on the Greek island of Samos and he was the founder of Epicureanism, a highly influential school of philosophy.  He turned against the ruling Platonism of his time and established his own school in Athens, known as “the Garden”.

Epicurus and his followers were known for their simple way of live, their open-mindedness for their era and the broad range of philosophical subjects they discussed. He openly allowed women and slaves to join the school as a matter of policy.

Aesop the Fable writer

Aesop lived from 620–564 BCE and was a Greek fabulist and storyteller credited with a number of fables now collectively known as Aesop’s Fables. There is not much clear on his life and most of his works have been destroyed. Still there are many tales credited to him in a storytelling tradition that continues to this day. Many of the tales associated with him are characterised by anthropomorphic animal characters.

Aristotle and Herodotus told that Aesop was a slave in Samos. He presumably was eventually freed when he argued as an advocate for a wealthy Samian.

Category: Samos Island
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