Everyone’s heard of the Pythagorean theorem from math class, right? Well, there’s some fresh info on the block that might surprise you. New findings suggest that Pythagoras, the Greek guy we all thought discovered this theory around 570 BCE, might not have been the first.
Dig this: there’s a really old tablet named IM 67118, which is from way back in 1770 BCE. This tablet shows folks using the theorem to figure out the diagonal of a rectangle – and that’s way before Pythagoras’ time.
But that’s not all. Another ancient tablet from between 1800 and 1600 BCE shows more proof. The people back then, the Babylonians, were using a different kind of math system, base 60, and they seemed to get the idea of our theorem. They also seemed to know about a tricky math concept that dealt with squares.
So, why do we think Pythagoras came up with it? Here’s the thing: nothing that Pythagoras wrote is still around today. But he had a lot of fans, known as the Pythagoreans, and they had a school named the Semicircle of Pythagoras. A lot of what they learned was just spoken, not written down. And because they really looked up to Pythagoras, they probably said he discovered things, even if they or someone else did. So, the name “Pythagoras’ Theorem” just stuck.
Even if Pythagoras wasn’t the first guy to talk about this theorem, his school helped make it famous. And here we are, still talking about it after all these years.