The Pythagorean Theorem
A 4,000-Year History
Eli Maor


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. Maor shows that the theorem, although attributed to Pythagoras, 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 the development of the Pythagorean theorem, providing a fascinating backdrop to perhaps our oldest enduring mathematical legacy.

Eli Maor is the author of Venus in Transit, Trigonometric Delights, To Infinity and Beyond, and e: The Story of a Number (all Princeton). He teaches the history of mathematics at Loyola University in Chicago and at the Graham School of General Education at the University of Chicago.