Life: Age 49-94 (death)

Pythagoras' Life: His School and His Death 

Back in Samos, he began a school called the Semicircle. In 518 B.C, when Pythagoras was about 51, he left for Italy, starting a school in Croton (modern-day Crotone) which had many followers. They were called mathematikoi, and they held strict beliefs. They could be either men or women. They were vegetarians and used the beliefs that Pythagoras brought from Egypt (see chapter two). They also had their own set of rules. These were...
"(1) that at its deepest level, reality is mathematical in nature,
(2) that philosophy can be used for spiritual purification,
(3) that the soul can rise to union with the divine,
(4) that certain symbols have a mystical significance, and
(5) that all brothers of the order should observe strict loyalty and secrecy" ("Pythagoras of Samos." MacTutor. School of Mathematics and Statistics, Jan. 1999. Web. <>).

The mathematikoi were taught by Pythagoras himself. They were both men and women and lived full time at the school. There was a less intense circle of the Society, called the akousmatics. They only came to the school during the day, were not required to be vegetarian, and could own property.  In 513, Pythagoras left Italy to see his teacher, Pherekydes, who was dying. He left after a few months. When he returned to Croton, there was peace for a while, but in 510, when Pythagoras was 59, Croton defeated an enemy. In 508, when Pythagoras was 61, his society was attacked by a nobleman called Cylon, who was from Croton. Pythagoras escaped to Metapontuim, where he stayed for 33 years until his death in 475 B.C. Some believe that Pythagoras committed suicide, but nobody knows for sure.