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  • Writer's pictureEfthimios Sifounios

The Magic of the Pythagorean Greedy Cup

The Pythagorean theorem is one of the most well-known mathematical equations in the world. It states that in a right-angled triangle, the square of the length of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. But, did you know that this equation has a unique representation in the form of a cup? Yes, you heard it right! The Pythagorean cup, also known as the Pythagorean Greed cup, is a drinking vessel that showcases the theorem in an interesting way.

History of the Pythagorean Cup:

The Pythagorean cup was invented by the famous Greek mathematician, Pythagoras, who lived between 570 and 495 BCE. It is said that the cup was invented as a solution to the problem of excessive drinking during dinner parties. Pythagoras wanted to encourage moderation and limit the amount of wine consumed by his followers, and thus, he came up with the idea of a cup that would spill the excess wine and prevent overdrinking.

How the greedy cup does it work?

The Pythagorean cup has a small hole at the bottom, which leads to a chamber beneath the cup. The hole is positioned in such a way that the cup will overflow when it is filled to a certain level, determined by the theorem. This means that if you fill the cup to the brim, the excess wine will overflow into the chamber beneath the cup, preventing overdrinking.

Pythagoreans cups to buy
Pythagoreans cups to buy

Design of the Pythagorean Cup:

The Pythagorean cup is designed in such a way that it showcases the theorem in its very structure. The cup has a circular base and a cylindrical body, with a triangular top that represents the right angle in the theorem. The height and diameter of the cup, as well as the size of the hole at the bottom, are all in proportion to each other, following the theorem's equation.

Mythical Significance of the Pythagorean Cup:

The Pythagorean cup holds a significant place in Greek mythology. It is said that the cup had mystical powers and was used to predict the future. It was believed that if the wine in the cup overflowed, it was a sign of impending disaster. On the other hand, if the cup remained full, it was considered a sign of good fortune.

Discoveries of the Pythagorean Cup:

The Pythagorean cup is a rare and precious artifact, and only a few examples have been discovered over the centuries. One of the most famous discoveries was made in Italy in the 16th century, where a cup was found in a buried Roman ship. Another famous discovery was made in Turkey in the 19th century, where a cup was found in an archaeological dig.

Replicas of the Pythagorean Cup:

In recent times, several replicas of the Pythagorean cup have been created, and they can be found in museums and private collections around the world. These replicas are made using materials like bronze, silver, and gold, and they serve as a testament to the brilliance of the ancient Greeks and the timeless appeal of the Pythagorean theorem.

The Pythagorean cup is a unique and fascinating representation of one of the most well-known mathematical equations in the world. Its design, history, and mythical significance make it a true work of art, and its discovery and replication continue to capture the imagination of people around the world. Whether you are a math enthusiast or just appreciate the beauty of ancient artifacts, the Pythagorean cup is definitely worth a look.

If you want to buy a Pythagorean cup you can buy one at


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