One story has it that when the Greek mathematician Hippasus of Metapontum


discovered in the fifth century B.C, that the Golden Ratio is a number that is neither a whole number (like the familiar 1,2,3,….) nor even a ratio of two whole numbers (like fractions ½, 2/3, ¼,…; known collectively as rational numbers), this absolutely shocked the others followers of the famous mathematician Pythagoras.The Pythagorean worldview was bases on an extreme admiration for the arithmos – for the presumed role in the cosmos.

Pitagoras and a child

The realization that there exist numbers, like the Golden Ratio, that go on forever without displaying any repetition or pattern caused as a true philosophical crisis.

Legend even claims that, overwhelmed with this stupendous  discovery, the Pythagoreans sacrificed a hundred oxen in awe, althoug this unlikely, given the fact that the Pythagoreans were vegetarians.




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