Pythagoras on Beans and Hepatia on Oyster Shells

Image: “Hypatia” by Charles Mitchell

Philosophers are a funny sort.

Whether you’ve cracked open a hundred philosophy books, or you’ve yet to discover the dry wit among the very dry, here are snapshots of Pythagoras and Hypatia.

Pythagoras vs. beans

Reason is immortal, all else mortal.– Pythagoras

Name: Pythagoras of Samos
Profession: Mathematician
Nationality: Greek
Born: 582 BC
Died: 497 BC

Led a cult of people that worshipped sacred numbers and prayed to the number 10.

The name of his soundtrack would be “I am a God.” His followers believed he was divine and Pythagoras told people that he was a son of a Greek god.

Always had to put his left shoe on before putting on his right shoe. He had lots of rules.

Gave speeches behind a curtain back before it was cool.

Bludgeoned to death by an angry mob that pursed him to the edge of a bean field. According to legend, he said he would rather die than step on a sacred fava bean. So they cut his throat or burned him at the stake, or or there are many stories about his death.

Image Details: Pythagoras of Samos, circa 1650-1660. Found in the Collection of Skokloster Castle. Artist Sandrart, Joachim, von (1606-1688). (Photo by Heritage Images/Getty Images)

Hypatia vs. oyster shells

“Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.” – Hypatia

Name: Hypatia
Profession:  Philosopher
Nationality: Egyptian, then part of the Eastern Roman Empire
Born: 350 AD
Died: 415 AD

Described as “… a person so renowned, her reputation seemed literally incredible. We have seen and heard for ourselves she who honorably presides over the mysteries of philosophy.”[46]

Shook her bloody menstrual rags at one of the admirers that showed up at one of the lectures she was giving.

Arguably the first famous “witch” punished under Christian authority.

Murdered by a mob that stripped her naked, tore her body into pieces with either roof tiles or oyster shells, then burned her body. Gruesome.

A lunar crater is named after her.

Image Details: “Portrait of Hypatia” by Jules Maurice Gaspard, 1908.