The famous people that used to live in Samos have greatly contributed to the popularity of the island. In fact, most of the popular Samians belong to the ancient Greek era.
Pythagoras – Pythagoras, who was a great mathematician and a philosopher, was one of the local celebrities. In fact, Pythagoras founded a school of thought and all the students who attend it were, and still are, known as Pythagoreans. These students are taught about the mathematical philosophical principles that were introduced by Pythagoras himself. We all have encountered Pythagoras’ theories at least at school but rather few knew that he also firmly believed in and spoke for reincarnation. He also stressed the need for both mental and physical purity. Pythagoras found himself in the black list of the Samian ruler Polycrates, and had to flee the tyrant’s persecution to the famous cave that still today attracts thousands of visitors.
Aesop – Aesop is without a doubt another world famous Samian. Many Greek islands have claimed the origin of Aesop but Samos holds a prominent place out of them. Very strong evidence is available to prove that Aesop actually did live on this island. He had worked as a slave for Xanthus, who was a wealthy Samian merchant. The public defense that Aesop conducted for a Samian demagogue made Xanthus set him free. Later Aesop moved to Athens and there he started narrating all his popular fables, which all carried a moral teaching. The Fables of Aesop are among the most loved fairytales and probably most children in the world have heard at least a story or two.
Epicurus – Epicurus is another popular philosopher who lived in Samos. He played a major role in establishing the secular humanism and modern science. This world famous philosopher was born in 341BC and he moved to Samos when he was a child. However, he had to move back to Athens when he turned 18 in order to take part in a military training. Few years later, the settles of Athens expelled him and he had to go back to Samos and meet his family. He became extremely popular for his philosophical theories, which were revolutionary for that day and, for example, defended the role of women, and called for fraternity, equality and freedom for all people. Many of his doctrines are popular in the modern world.
Aristarchus–Aristarchus is another example of a famous Samian. He lived between 310 BC-230 BC and was, in fact, the very first Greek astronomer. It was Aristarchus who introduced a heliocentric idea and declared that the Sun is located in the center of the known universe. This concept did not become very popular those days because people believed that it was Earth that is located at the center of the universe. Therefore, he is also known as the Greek Copernicus. However, Copernicus found Aristarchus’s heliocentric theory completely plausible 2,000 years later and further developed it.
Herodotus – Even though Herodotus was not born in Samos, he lived there most of his life. In fact, he was exiled from his hometown because he took part in a coup against the King who was ruling at that time. Herodotus, as we know, was a person who traveled a lot. In fact, he had the passion to go to new countries and discover them and their traditions. Then he returned to his island and amazed the people by telling his stories and adventures. The stories collected by Herodotus made history as well and they became popular in every corner of the world.
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