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Pythagoras was born in ancient Greece around 570 BCE. Later, he moved to southern Italy, drawn by the pleasant weather and scenic views, and to establish a community.

In his “school,” Pythagoras taught his students that numbers were incredibly important, even at the core of the universe itself.

An odd quirk of Pythagoras was his belief about fava beans. He thought they caused gas, which he believed took away the “breath of life.” Yet, he also believed that fava beans held the souls of the departed. So, maybe he thought eating beans would make you pass gas ghosts?

Legend has it that Pythagoras once paused his busy schedule to advise an ox against eating beans. While some nearby herdsmen laughed at his peculiar behavior, they were astonished when the ox actually heeded his advice and stopped eating beans! Remarkably, the ox, now on a bean-free diet, lived much longer than any other ox, eventually attaining a sacred status due to its longevity.

As for his death, it’s shrouded in mystery. Many stories suggest he sacrificed himself to protect a field of fava beans, possibly because he believed they held the souls of the dead. What exactly threatened the beans remains unknown, but it must have been significant.

Pythagoras’s aversion to fava beans, despite their common availability in his time and region, has sparked speculation among scholars. Some propose theories of reincarnation or sexual symbolism to explain his disdain for the bean, attributing to it a supernatural symbol of death.

However, modern scholars entertain the possibility that Pythagoras may have had valid reasons for his beliefs. It’s now known that fresh fava beans can be poisonous to certain individuals due to a genetic condition called favism, a discovery that only entered medical knowledge in the 1960s.

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