Pythagoras in India?

I had an comment on Origen and Buddhism which I had to disallow as too far off-topic.  But it contained an interesting assertion, which I reproduce here:

Pythagoras, for example, who handed down and was influenced by certain concepts, was himself heavily influenced by Egyptians and the Buddhists in India, as he stayed there and was taught at the feet of Buddhists, hence his belief in the soul’s transmigration – karma;…

Now the amount I know about the life of Pythagoras is pretty slim!  But this sounds like the sort of thing we might investigate.  A search in Google for Pythagoras and India brings up a certain amount, all of it dodgy-looking.

What ancient sources do we have?  Well, a bunch of late writers, it seems.

Porphyry wrote a life of Pythagoras, which formed part of his lost History of Philosophy, but is preserved.  I’d forgotten doing so, but it seems that I have it online here.  However the word “India” does not appear in it.  He did go to Egypt, tho, in the days of the 26th Dynasty, the Saite period.

Diogenes Laertius Lives of the philosophers included Pythagoras, and that portion is here.  This too does not mention India, as far as I could see.

Apuleius, in his Apology, mentions here:

Many hold Pythagoras to have been a pupil of Zoroaster, and, like him, to have been skilled in magic.

But that is not really very much!

Iamblichus also wrote a life of Pythagoras, which was translated by Thomas Taylor, the 19th century English Platonist.  Lots of copies for sale; not many online and searchable!  So I’ve not been able to check this.

Is there any ancient source that says Pythagoras went to India?

37 thoughts on “Pythagoras in India?

  1. I doubt it. At the time of Pythagoras my ancestors were not even sure where India was. It was not certain if India was to the east of Persia or to the south of Ethiopia, after all Indian products came through the Egyptian Red Sea ports so India could have been near Egypt like Ethiopia

  2. Philostatus, Life of Apollonius, presupposes a tradition. Yet, like so many stories about the Samian Sage, it is young. Apuleius was the first to claim that Pythagoras visited Babylon. That he found proof for the famous theorem, is a fourth-century innovation.

  3. Thank you for these notes! The Life of Apollonius of Tyana by Philostratus does mention Pythagoras a lot, and suggests that his doctrines were taken from India; but only via Egypt.

    I couldn’t find the statement that Pythagoras had visited Babylon; any idea where this is?

    And the “fourth-century” innovation – what’s the reference to that?

  4. You are missing the point of both Origen & Pythagoras as they relate to Buddhism.
    1. Create sufficient amount of articles referring to non-existent references on media, but semi-tucked away.
    2. Reference articles over a sufficiently long period of time.
    3. Wait.
    4. Do research, referencing the documents as authentic in #1.
    5. Although specialists & researchers (whom are too busy/underfunded to refute), may not believe #4, general public accepts it without question.
    6. Wait.
    7. Do #4 again.
    8. New batch of researchers and specialist now are ridiculed if they disagree with assertion of validity of #1.

    Congratulations! Your idea/ideology/lies have been firmly embedded into society with little chance to correct it.

    😀

  5. There certainly are people that dishonest, either with themselves or others, for I have come across them. But chance and the fact that it is hard work to go and verify things is also a factor.

  6. — Roger, delete this if it appears twice; glitch made me think the 1st one didn’t go thru. —

    I agree; malevolence and lies are far less common than laziness and stupidity.

    On Pythagoras in India, I too am coming up empty, although I wonder whether the Pythagoras mentioned here and there in Plutarch’s Life of Alexander (for example as being at Babylon, ch. 73) may not have something to do with the tradition.

  7. Thanks for the comment – it vanished into my spam filter both times, tho.

    Thank you so much for the reference in Plutarch; I am sure that you are right, and there is “crossover” going on.

  8. Hello…..can this discussion be reopened? I have been searching for references and coming up empty. For years I have believed that it was the creation of nineteenth century theosophists, until I recently ran across a passage in Voltaire which states that “Everyone knows” that Pythagoras studied in India. (cf. Adventures in India). If everyone knew it in the eighteenth century, I would really like to find out who knew it first! Many thanks

  9. I don’t know that Voltaire’s statement is reliable. He repeats medieval legends as fact sometimes. But if there is something real there, I’m sure we’d all like to hear it.

  10. Yes,it is well documented that Pythagoras went to study formally in Taxashila University in Ancient India where many Europeans and Chinese went to study..The Chinese appreciated and took back many sankrit texts on martial arts,feng shui,biology of the human body etc…

    I would love to know how the Indian professors taught the foreign students IE which language was used for communicaiton purposes..

    Chess,our number system and many mathematical concepts ,plastic surgery ,dentistry was pioneered in India..but not sure why this part of history is always hidden ..
    is it beacause of the australoid and mongoloid indigenous people in India..
    I would love to know why India is always shown in the worst possible light in any given media..

  11. I’ve had a number of comments on this post consisting of something like “here is a statement that Pythagoras visited India” referencing some book with no references by a non-specialist.

    Comments are very welcome; but examples of hearsay are not helpful. Please do not post any more.

    We all know that there is any amount of hearsay that Pythagoras visited India. But what we want to see is *ancient* sources.

  12. The Mead book is worthless. The articles that make the claim are worthless. The very elderly JSTOR article is not very useful, except that it tells us that a certain Schroeder wrote a book “Pythagoras und der Inder” in 1884, which is online here, and that Alexander Polyhistor refers (no reference given) to discussions with Brahmins (not, of course, necessarily in India).

    In Susantha Goonatilake, “Toward a Global Science: Mining Civilizational Knowledge”, p.30 I find mention (but not references) to Alexander Polyhistor, Apuleius, and Philostratus, saying that “Pythagoras learned many things from the Brahmins”.

    On p.24-25 of Schroeder I find references to ancient sources mentioning Brahmins and Pythagoras: Clement of Alexandria, Strom. 1, 304 B (supposedly quoting Alexander Polyhistor); Eusebius, PE X, 4, 10; Apuleius, Florida II, 15; Philostratus V, Apoll. VIII, 7, 44. These deserve looking up (but not tonight).

  13. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata book 1 (here):

    “Zoroaster the Magus, Pythagoras showed to be a Persian. Of the secret books of this man, those who follow the heresy of Prodicus boast to be in possession. Alexander, in his book ‘On the Pythagorean Symbols’, relates that Pythagoras was a pupil of Nazaratus the Assyrian (some think that he is Ezekiel; but he is not, as will afterwards be shown), and will have it that, in addition to these, Pythagoras was a hearer of the Galatae and the Brahmins. Clearchus the Peripatetic says that he knew a Jew who associated with Aristotle…. Thus philosophy, a thing of the highest utility, flourished in antiquity among the barbarians, shedding its light over the nations. And afterwards it came to Greece. First in its ranks were the prophets of the Egyptians; and the Chaldeans among the Assyrians; and the Druids among the Gauls; and the Samanaeans among the Bactrians; and the philosophers of the Celts; and the Magi of the Persians, who foretold the Saviour’s birth, and came into the land of Judaea guided by a star. The Indian gymnosophists are also in the number, and the other barbarian philosophers. And of these there are two classes, some of them called Sarmanae, and others Brahmins. And those of the Sarmanae who are called Hylobii neither inhabit cities, nor have roofs over them, but are clothed in the bark of trees, feed on nuts, and drink water in their hands. Like those called Encratites in the present day, they know not marriage nor begetting of children. Some, too, of the Indians obey the precepts of Buddha; whom, on account of his extraordinary sanctity, they have raised to divine honours. … Very clearly the author Megasthenes, the contemporary of Seleucus Nicanor, writes as follows in the third of his books, ‘On Indian Affairs’: ‘All that was said about nature by the ancients is said also by those who philosophise beyond Greece: some things by the Brahmins among the Indians, and others by those called Jews in Syria.'”

    Eusebius, PE X, chapter 4 (here):

    “In fact the said Pythagoras, while busily studying the wisdom of each nation, visited Babylon, and Egypt, and all Persia, being instructed by the Magi and the priests: and in addition to these he is related to have studied under the Brahmans (these are Indian philosophers); and from some he gathered astrology, from others geometry, and arithmetic and music from others, and different things from different nations, and only from the wise men of Greece did he get nothing, wedded as they were to a poverty and dearth of wisdom: so on the contrary he himself became the author of instruction to the Greeks in the learning which he had procured from abroad.”

    Apuleius, Florida (here):

    “There are some who assert that184 Pythagoras was about this time carried to Egypt among the captives of King Cambyses, and studied under the magi of Persia, more especially under Zoroaster the priest of all holy mysteries; later they assert he was ransomed by a certain Gillus, King of Croton. However, the more generally accepted tradition asserts that it was of his own choice he went to study the wisdom of the Egyptians. There he was initiated by their priests into the mighty secrets of their ceremonies, passing all belief; there he learned numbers in all their marvellous combinations, and the ingenious laws of geometry. Not content with these sciences, he next approached the Chaldaeans and the Brahmins, a race of wise men who live in India. Among these Brahmins he sought out the gymnosophists. The Chaldaeans taught him the lore of the stars, the fixed orbits of the wandering lords of heaven, and the influence of each on the births of men. Also they instructed him in the art of healing, and revealed to him remedies in the search for which men have lavished their wealth and wandered far by land and sea. But it was from the Brahmins that he derived the greater part of his philosophy, the arts of teaching the mind and exercising the body, the doctrines as to the parts of the soul and its various transmigrations, the knowledge of the torments and rewards ordained for each man, according to his deserts, in the world of the gods below.”

    Philostratus, “Life of Apollonius of Tyana” (here):

    “This I think: I never sacrificed blood, I do not sacrifice it now, I never touch it, not even if it be shed upon an altar; for this was the rule of Pythagoras and likewise of his disciples, and in Egypt also of the Naked sages, and of the sages of India, from whom these principles of wisdom were derived by Pythagoras and his school.”

    None of these, note, state that Pythagoras went to India; only that he studied under Indian teachers. This, of course, could have taken place in Persia. But … how much faith do we place in these references?

  14. Here is what Kirk and Raven say after quoting a couple early fragments in their famous work, “The Presocratic Philosophers”. I, and I think many scholars, take this as definitive:

    270 Moreover, the Egyptians are the first to have maintained the doctrine that the soul of man is immortal, and that, when the body perishes, it enters into another animal that is being born at the time, and when it has been the complete round of the creatures of the dry land and of the sea and of the air it enters again into the body of a man at birth; and its cycle is completed in 3000 years. There are some Greeks who have adopted this doctrine, some informer times, and some in later, as if it were their own invention; their names I know but refrain from writing down. Herodotus II, 123

    271 None the less the following became universally known: first, that he maintains that the soul is immortal; next, that it changes into other kinds of living things; also that events recur in certain cycles, and that nothing is ever absolutely new; and finally, that all living things should be regarded as akin. Pythagoras seems to have been the first to bring these beliefs into Greece. Porphyrius, Vita Pythagorae i (DK i, 8a)

    Unfortunately, despite the definite suggestion in the last sentence that Pythagoras had learnt these doctrines abroad, the question of their origin is hopelessly shrouded in legend. He is said by different late writers to have visited, and to have learnt from, peoples as various as the Chaldaeans, the Indian Brahmins, the Jews and even the Druids and the Celts; but all that such traditions tell us is that certain similarities were later detected between the teaching of Pythagoras and the beliefs held in countries other than Greece. Even Herodotus’ suggestion in 270 that the doctrine of transmigration came from Egypt is demonstrably false the Egyptians never held such a doctrine; and none of the other guesses about its origin are as well attested as that.

  15. Thank you for this. I have added blockquotes around the portions quoted.

    I see that G.S. Kirk and J.E. Raven, “The Presocratic Philosophers”, Cambridge, 1957, may be found at Archive.org here. Pythagoras is dealt with on p.217 f. The quotations above are on p.223. The work consists of a source book of quotes on the pre-socratics, which is useful.

    It is irritating that they do not reference the “late writers”. But, as ever, any ancient statement that Pythagoras went to India refuses to appear.

    Fragment 272 was also interesting. Extracted from Eudemus, as found in “Simplic.” Phys. 732, 30 (DK 58 B 34) — don’t you hate writers who abbreviate obscure references? — we get this:

    272. If one were to believe the Pythagoreans, that events recur in an arithmetical cycle, and that I shall be talking to you again, sitting as you are now, with this pointer in my hand, and that everything else will be just as it is now, then it is plausible to suppose that the time too will be the same time as now.

    Fortunately searching the PDF I find on p.xi that “Simplic.” is Simplicius, a commentator on Aristotle, whose text may be found in the Berlin Academy Commentaria in Aristotelem, and the reference is to page number and line number. DK = Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, 5-7th editions, ed. H. Diels (6-7 are reprints, with an addendum).

    Useful book, tho. Thank you.

  16. “Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans: A Brief History”, By Charles H. Kahn, Page 19, discusses the topic here (http://books.google.com/books?id=5vi10r5k5eEC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false). He admits we have no actual fragments to support direct influence from the Far East.

    “One important modern school (Meuli, Dodds, Burkert) connects the new Greek view of the soul with the influence of shamanistic practice and belief from the Black Sea area. Now it may in fact be useful to think of spirit-travelers like Aristeas of Proconessus and Abaris the Hyperborean in terms of the shamanistic traditions of central Asia. But there is no link, either logical or historical, between the shamanistic practice of religious trance and the systematic belief in a cycle of human and animal rebirth. The only religious tradition in which the doctrine of transmigration is at home from a very early period is that of India in pre-Buddhist times. The concept of karma (according to which one’s destiny in the next reincarnation is a consequence of one’s performance in this life) appears as a secret teaching in the earliest Upanishads.35 After the conquests of Cyrus (who died c. 530 B.C.), the Persian empire stretched from lonia to the Indus. From that time on, if not before, it was clearly possible for oriental doctrines to travel to the West. How exactly they reached Pythagoras we cannot even guess. But we can at least see that the later legend of Pythagoras’ journey to India in search of the wisdom of the East may very well contain a grain of allegorical truth.’36

    35 See S. Radhakrishnan, The Principal Upanisads (London, 1953), P. 217 (from the Brhad-aranyaka Upanishad): “What they said was karman, and what they praised was karman.”

    36 Burkert now agrees that transmigration must have come from India:

    “After all Greeks and Indians had to meet regularly at the New Year festival at Persepolis” (private correspondence). “

  17. There is, needless to say, no passage in this thesis in which “the author talks about evidences of Pythagorus visit to India”: he merely speculates about possible links between Pythagoreanism and Jainism.

    On p.144 I find the following statement: “Pythagoras could have familiarized himself with Indian concepts that were available in Babylon (Ferguson 75) or visited India and leamed under Indian sages as Clement of Alexandria reported.[37]” Note 37 says, “Ibid, 1.70” (i.e. Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis). But as we have seen above, Clement does not say this.

    On p.149 I find “Whether he went to India or not during his long stay in Babylon is a different question, but it could have been impossible for the curious philosopher, one who “traveled to the end of the earth from the desire for learning” not to have heard anything about Mahavira’s teaching in Babylon and Persia.” It sounds as if the author knows very well that there is no evidence that he went to India.

    Which leaves us with the question … Mr RBDad JanSun, why didn’t you look at the thesis yourself?

  18. You are right that there is no direct evidence that Pythagorus came to India. It is good that you have examined this in detail. Probably Voltaire is the source of this idea in modern times.

    But there is no doubt that he was heavily indebted to Indian thought for many of his known teachings. There is no shortage of references to this is many books, both ancient and modern. These teachings are declared to have come to him through the Egyptians. Some sources trace it through the Babylonians.

    For instance,

    The Life of Apollonius of Tyana by Philostratus:

    ..but when I explained my views to my own teacher (Pythagoras), he interrupted me, and said as follows.. If then you were enamored of the wisdom which the Indians discovered, would you call it not by the name which its natural parents bore..It was this which turned my steps to the Indians rather than to yourselves; for I reflected that they were more subtle in their understanding, because such men as they live in contact with a purer daylight, and entertain truer opinions of nature and of the gods, because they are near unto the latter, and live on the edge and confines of that thermal essence which quickens all unto life. And when I came among them, their message made the same impression..
    Chapter XI
    [p. 46] [p. 47]

    The main ideas which clearly came to him from India are:

    1. Composition by Fire, Air, Water, Earth – this is an ancient Nyayika philosophy of India, which is said to be older than the Vedas even.
    2. Three classes of humans, those that swear by wisdom, those that swear by honor, those that swear by profits – the parallel with the Hindu caste system of Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas hardly needs to be pointed out.
    3. Reincarnation – this again is a uniquely Indian idea.
    4. Pythagoreans spoke of the world inhaling ‘air’ from the universe, and this air was considered as unlimited energy. This is the same idea as ‘Prana’ of Indian philosophy.

    These four I consider to be most uniquely Indian ideas which were transmitted to Greece from India through Pythagorus. There is no adequate representation of these four ideas anywhere outside India, though they were very prominent in India itself. Among these, although the latter two ideas died out, the first thought continued to influence Greek philosophy heavily. Concept of Prana also continued in Western philosophy.

    Though you are probably right that Pythagorus never actually visited India, yet this influence of Indian ideas on greek philosophy is something that needs further exploration.

  19. Well Friends to all your dismay please read the Latin translation of Florida- speeches by Apuleius, section 15 where it is explicitly mentioned that Pythagoras obtained the bulk of his spiritual knowledge from the gymnosophists and Brahmins of India …..not sure why this was missed by other works.. Clearly Eurocentrism has been a strong force in those days and still is to admit this fact…..,

  20. Finally! We have what is probably a winner. The Florida of Apuleius is here in English and reads:

    However, the more generally accepted tradition asserts that it was of his own choice he went to study the wisdom of the Egyptians. There he was initiated by their priests into the mighty secrets of their ceremonies, passing all belief; there he learned numbers in all their marvellous combinations, and the ingenious laws of geometry. Not content with these sciences, he next approached the Chaldaeans and the Brahmins, a race of wise men who live in India. Among these Brahmins he sought out the gymnosophists. The Chaldaeans taught him the lore of the stars, the fixed orbits of the wandering lords of heaven, and the influence of each on the births of men. Also they instructed him in the art of healing, and revealed to him remedies in the search for which men have lavished their wealth and wandered far by land and sea. But it was from the Brahmins that he derived the greater part of his philosophy, the arts of teaching the mind and exercising the body, the doctrines as to the parts of the soul and its various transmigrations, the knowledge of the torments and rewards ordained for each man, according to his deserts, in the world of the gods below. Further he had for his master Pherecydes, a native of the island of Syros …

    Apuleius does not actually say that Pythagoras went to India in order to learn from the Brahmins. We must remember that he did go to the Persian empire, and so he might have met them there, at the court of the Persian King of Kings.

    But I think most people reading the statement of Apuleius would understand from this that he travelled to India. It is the simplest and most natural reading of the text.

    I wonder if there are more ancient statements? The history of the idea of Pythagoras in India would itself be interesting to know.

  21. We should be sceptical. Apuleius is writing almost 700 years later than Pythagoras. Further:
    ” There are a number of reports that he traveled widely in the Near East while living on Samos, e.g., to Babylonia, Phoenicia and Egypt. To some extent reports of these trips are an attempt to claim the ancient wisdom of the east for Pythagoras and some scholars totally reject them (Zhmud 2012, 83-91), but relatively early sources such as Herodotus (II. 81) and Isocrates (Busiris 28) associate Pythagoras with Egypt, so that a trip there seems quite plausible.”
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pythagoras/#LifWor

  22. I am reproducing here the full English translation of the references you qoute.
    Herodotus II.81”They wear linen tunics with fringes hanging about the legs, called “calasiris,” and loose white woolen mantles over these. But nothing woolen is brought into temples, or buried with them: that is impious. [2] They agree in this with practices called Orphic and Bacchic, but in fact Egyptian and Pythagorean: for it is impious, too, for one partaking of these rites to be buried in woolen wrappings. There is a sacred legend about this.”
    URL http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.01.0126:book=2:chapter=81
    Isocrates, Busiris. 28
    “If one were not determined to make haste, one might cite many admirable instances of the piety of the Egyptians, that piety which I am neither the first nor the only one to have observed; on the contrary, many contemporaries and predecessors have remarked it, of whom Pythagoras of Samos is one1 On a visit to Egypt he became a student of the religion of the people, and was first to bring to the Greeks all philosophy, and more conspicuously than others he seriously interested himself in sacrifices and in ceremonial purity, since he believed that even if he should gain thereby no greater reward from the gods, among men, at any rate, his reputation would be greatly enhanced.”
    URL http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0144%3Aspeech%3D11%3Asection%3D28
    Please note none of the refernces attempt to describe the breadth and range of countries which Pythagoras travelled unlike Apuleius’ Florida …..
    It is good to be skeptical for instance all these references to being influenced by the Buddhist has ZERO textual evidence. However it is more important to inquire into what may be real….
    SO by your own logic we sitting 2600 years after Pythagoras cannot doubt the veracity of a person who writes only 700 years after the death of a great and well known man in Ancient Greece… If we did doubt we will negative what may well be a reasonable truth(something which may well be”skeptical” to one’s own preconceived notions).
    Oriental contact has even been traced to a philosophical duel between Socrates and the Brahmin which again receives the same flavour of skepticism as what we are discussing…. but that is another issue altogether so I leave it to the enlightened reason of you all…

  23. Thank you for these quotations – useful.

    The question we started with is whether any ancient text says that Pythagoras went to India. The “Florida” does not say so, but would most naturally imply it. That is progress. Apuleius is repeating earlier information, of course.

    Whether Pythagoras actually did go to India is another question. I doubt that he did – contacts with India belong to the age of Alexander ca. 330 BC, not ca. 550 BC. But this might be discussed separately.

    The point is that we do have an ancient statement, which is difficult to read without concluding that Apuleius thought that Pythagoras went to India.

  24. I guess here we are doing too much of hair splitting to disprove a point. When in the passage of Apuleius that you brought up talks about Pythagoras “of his own choice WENT to study the wisdom of the Egyptians” and then says that he “approached the Chaldeans and the Brahmins” it is all too clear what is meant. If your contention that the word “visit” or “he travelled” to so and so place is not there then probably we will miss the point and this may not be scepticism but a certain “bias”. Also my purpose of submitting those lines from Herodotus and Isocrates was to show that the references you quoted were descriptions of his visit to Egypt and not a narration of his travel to different lands so we should not equate that as an inference of his not going to any other country other than Egypt…..
    Finally the Indians were well aware of the Greeks as is attested to by the use of the Sanskrit term”yavana” to denote the Ionian Greeks in the works of Panini on his book of Sanskrit Grammar generally accepted to be prior to Alexander’s conquest. Additionally Ctesius’ Indica also predates Alexander’s conquest although its content is very imaginative since it did not represent first hand observation of India as was SEEN and WRITTEN later by Megasthenes or Pliny…..
    So if one looks at the textual evidence there seem to be some information to suggest Indo-Greek cross-talk before Alexander’s conquest and that later this increased manifold…..

  25. Suppose an author writing in 700AD claims that Jesus traveled to India or learned from the Brahmins.
    Suppose also that we have no document before 700AD that says this.
    We should rightly be sceptical of this claim.
    Likewise, then, about Pythagoras.

  26. As to that there is already a controversy and the lost years of Christ and the untold documents of his travel in India are an untold story of battle between religious beliefs and cold agnosticism…. I do not want to touch that aspect but as you will realize there is a lot of difference between the figure of Christ and Pythagoras. One cant compare the roaring popularity of Christ 700 years after his death with that of Pythagoras and time and context will certainly generate the necessary logic to accept/ reject the veracity of a document . In the case of Christ after the Council of Nicaea, its definite time point(325AD) and its definite cap on all accounts of Jesus will certainly make us raise an eye brow on a document on him originating in 700 AD. In the case of Pythagoras I do not believe that a thorough scrutiny of his life , travels or philosophy lead to a council being called to standardize his biography. If we knew there was one then your logic is absolutely true… And certainly the “references” from Herodotus and Isocrates that you quote are inadequate to prove/disapprove the point that Pythagoras did converse or even travel to India to converse on metaphysics with the Brahmins when an affirmative statement to a dialogue of some sort between the two(either in India or even in Greece)can be found in a genuine historical document in the right context of the discussion that we are carrying on. Expressing skepticism on that point is an illogical denial not an impartial scrutiny…….

  27. Vivekananda in his Sankhya and Vedanta lecture, (The India Philosophies), included in the Volume II of the Complete Works of Swami Vivekanada, states that Pythogoras visited India and learned Sankhya Philosophy. He had mentioned that he learned about the algebra there. However, he has not mentioned any document. It seems that there was a trend of traveling between India and Greece since the times of Chandragupta Maurya. There is a historic proof in form of the lost writing of Megasthenese. Further, one of the thesis on Vara Mahir’s Brihat Samihta, it mentioned that he corrected his calculation on the Solar path with the help of Romana Siddhanta (Rome’s Principles). According to one view, Mahir existed in 440 AD. Another view is that he existed in c. 100 BC. The reference of Rome’s Principle suggests that there was some communication between India and Rome. It can also be guessed that these scholars met somewhere in between and probably in Egypt.

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