- This article is about the temple itself. You may be looking for the memory set in the temple.
- Salaì: "[Leonardo] found the entrance to a temple, something he read about in his books. I have not seen him that excited in years. [...] The temple contains the perfect number, something discovered by some scholar from Grecia."
- Ezio: "Pythagoras."
- ―Salaì and Ezio Auditore, regarding Leonardo da Vinci's discovery.[src]
The Temple of Pythagoras was an ancient temple built by the Pythagoreans, the followers of Pythagoras. It could be accessed through a hidden catacomb beneath Rome, and led to one of the Temples built by the First Civilization, the Pythagorean Vault.
The Pythagoreans believed that the forces of nature could be translated into numbers, and that mathematics could allow man to harness nature's power. The temple was said to contain the Pythagorean Unifier, the perfect number that was coupled to everything in nature, and could open the minds of men.
- "The Pythagorean Unifier is in that temple. We both know it. That number is coupled to all nature, all things. It is the source."
- ―Ercole Massimo.[src]
During his time at the Villa Auditore, Leonardo da Vinci researched about the Temple of Pythagoras, and discovered it to be within a hidden catacomb. He drew a map to the catacomb entrance, and used invisible ink to sketch the pieces of the map onto his paintings on the villa walls. However, when the city was attacked, the paintings fell into the hands of the Borgia family.
As Leonardo continued his research in Rome, he eventually came into contact with the Cult of Hermes, a secret Order that had counted Pythagoras among their numbers. Leonardo frequently visited the personal library of the Cult's leader, Ercole Massimo, in order to acquire even more information on the temple.
After years of exploring the hidden catacombs, Leonardo finally discovered the entrance to the temple itself. Because of this, he was kidnapped by the Hermeticists in 1506, who desired the location of the temple and the Pythagorean Unifier, in order to use it to "remake humanity." They brought the artist down into the catacombs, and began attempting to beat the answer out of him.
A friend of Leonardo's, the Assassin Ezio Auditore, managed to gather the villa paintings and follow the map to the catacombs. After Ezio rescued Leonardo from the cultists, Leonardo insisted that they needed to enter the temple, and destroy the perfect number, else they would risk "another madman discovering it."
The two ventured deeper to explore the Temple of Pythagoras, and passed through three chambers, which each represented an element; namely light, wind, and fire. Each chamber required an amount of free-running skill to traverse it, and activate the necessary mechanisms to open the door to the next room.
They eventually came upon the final chamber, a Vault with a strange pedestal at its center. When Ezio placed his hand over it, his DNA communed with the pedestal, and revealed the supposed perfect number, the coordinates 43 39 19N 75 27 42W.
Leonardo was devastated to realize that the number was meaningless, and Ezio coaxed him to simply leave the temple behind, as the message it held was not meant for them.
- "We must go to this place, Maria. I know there is something there. I know it! Trust me!"
- ―Giovanni Borgia to his wife, Maria.[src]
In around the 1530s, the Assassin Giovanni Borgia discovered a map to the temple, and remembered that a member of his Order had visited it several years previously. Though he knew Ezio had not found anything, he was convinced that he needed to travel there.
Giovanni and his wife Maria Amiel thus travelled to Rome, and went through the catacombs. Maria noted that it was the "strangest place [she had] ever visited", and that none had likely entered the temple in decades.
Just as Ezio had done, Giovanni easily activated each of the many mechanisms within the temple, as well as the strange pedestal within its vault. The vault caused Giovanni to fall unconscious, and he seemed to become possessed by an otherworldly being that called itself "Consus".
- Harlan: "I've run the data through the computer, we have a location for the temple."
- William: "Then what are we waiting for? Let's go."
- ―William and Harlan analyzing the coordinates.[src]
After observing Ezio's and Leonardo's visit to the temple through the genetic memories of Desmond Miles, William Miles and Harlan Cunningham discovered the true meaning of the "perfect number." After processing the coordinates, they flew to Turin, New York and opened the Grand Temple.
- Connecting the Grand Temple's coordinates with Rome, New York to the South and Florence, New York to the West, resulted in an almost perfect Pythagorean triangle.