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Samos: Pythagorio and around

The city of Polykrates and the Heraion

Temple of Hera, Samos

I have dwelt rather long on the history of the Samians because theirs are the three greatest works of all the Greeks. Herodotus

Pythagório on the southeast coast (and close to the airport) has become the island’s most popular resort. When it was the capital of Polykrates, its population reached 300,000; by the 20th century, not only was the ‘Samian Hotbed’ long gone, it was reduced to a little fishing village called Tigáni, or frying pan, because of the shape of Polykrates’ s ancient harbour mole, or breakwater that sheltered the habour from the south.

In 1955 the town was renamed to honour Sámos’ famous son, synonymous with the theorem that put his name on the lips of every schoolchild in the world. It was not only a brilliant theorem, but the first theorem: Pythagoras was the first to apply the same philosophical ‘proofs’ used by the earliest philosophers of Miletos to the subject of mathematics.

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Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Anita Gould, Dionysios Tsokos , Franck devedjian, Grigoris Koulouriotis, Creative Commons License, PD Art, Tomisti