The story of the Pythagoreans, About five centuries B.C. the school founded by the Greek philosopher, mathematician and astronomer Pythagoras flourished in Samos, Greece. The Pythagoreans believed (but failed to prove) that the universe could be understood in terms of whole numbers. This belief stemmed from observations in music, mathematics and astronomy. For example, they noticed that vibrating strings produce harmonious tones when the ratios of the their lengths are whole numbers. From this first attempt to express the universe in terms of numbers the idea was born that the world could be understood through mathematics, a central concept in the development of mathematics and science.
The importance of pure numbers is central to the Pythagorean view of the world. A point was associated with 1, a line with 2 a surface with 3 and a solid with 4. Their sum, 10, was sacred and omnipotent.