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A market in Samos

Samos is an island of Greece situated in the Aegean Sea with a capital of the same name. It is part of the Southern Sporades alongside Kos.

Famous for having been the birthplace and home of the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, it is here in the 6th century BCE that the Tetractys was first conceived.


In c. 570 BCE, the future Greek mathematician, Pythagoras, was born on Samos.[1] By the time he was an elderly man, he had become an influential philosopher in his hometown, founding an ascetic movement and mentoring an athlete by the name of Kyros of Zarax.[2]

Development of the Tetractys

One morning after Kyros had returned from his victories in that year's Olympic Games, the two took a stroll through the streets of Samos when Pythagoras suddenly rushed inside the shop of some local blacksmiths. He took to experimenting with different sized hammers striking on anvils, noting the distinct sounds each made, much to the bemusement of his protégé and the blacksmiths. When he was done, he and his apprentice carried ten hammers back to his villa where Kyros was commanded to continue the experiment while Pythagoras replicated with his own voice the sounds the sounds of the hammers striking on the anvil.[2]

The final stage involved the mathematician working alone for hours in the courtyard, drawing diagrams and notes in the sand until in the evening he had devised a shape known as the Tetractys and concluded that 72 was the perfect number. Not long after, Pythagoras hosted a gathering of local scholars and elders in his villa courtyard to present his new theories. Most of them could not understand the significance of the Tetractys nor his cryptic words and left in skepticism and disdain, but many others still remained, having grasped his hypothesis enough to praise him.[2]

Classical period

In c. 484 BCE,[3] Samos became the birthplace of another famous Greek scholar: Herodotus, who would come to be known in Western society as the "Father of History".[4][5] As a result of its proximity to Anatolia which was controlled by the Achaemenid Empire during this time, the culture of Samos in this era was a fusion of Greek and Persian.[4]




  1. Porphyry. Vita Pythagorae (c. 270). Translated by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie, 1920.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Assassin's Creed: Project LegacyDivine Science: Chapter 2 – Kyros of Zarax
  3. 3.0 3.1 Burn, A. R. Herodotus: The Histories. Penguin Classics, 1972.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – Worlds: Paradise Islands. Ubisoft. Accessed 29 June 2018.
  5. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey – Characters. Ubisoft. Accessed 29 June 2018.