The Pythagorean Theorem

The Pythagorean Theorem

A 4,000-Year History

Eli Maor


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An exploration of one of the most celebrated and well-known theorems in mathematics

By any measure, the Pythagorean theorem is the most famous statement in all of mathematics. In this book, Eli Maor reveals the full story of this ubiquitous geometric theorem. Although attributed to Pythagoras, the theorem was known to the Babylonians more than a thousand years earlier. Pythagoras may have been the first to prove it, but his proof—if indeed he had one—is lost to us. The theorem itself, however, is central to almost every branch of science, pure or applied. Maor brings to life many of the characters that played a role in its history, providing a fascinating backdrop to perhaps our oldest enduring mathematical legacy.


Eli Maor:
Eli Maor is the author of seven books, including Music by the Numbers, Trigonometric Delights, To Infinity and Beyond, and e: The Story of a Number (all Princeton). He is a former professor of the history of mathematics at Loyola University Chicago.