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Pythagoras: the mathematician in The School of Athens, by Raphael, from 1509. Photograph: Creative Commons/Wikimedia

According to Plato, a core of mathematical knowledge, later known as the quadrivium, was essential for an understanding of the universe. He outlined t(...)

Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

The life of Pythagoras is shrouded in myth and legend. He was born on the island of Samos and travelled to Egypt, Mesopotamia and possibly India befor(...)

The Code of Hammurabi: among the first written legal systems in history. Hammurabi flourished in the 18th century before Christ, but the exact dates of his reign are uncertain. Photograph: Thinkstock

The Greek geometer Pythagoras, whose theorem is familiar to every student of mathematics, lived about 500 BC but the theorem was known to the Babyl(...)