Pythagoras was an alchemist whose alchemical advice was referenced in a block of text featured on the back cover of the book The Decline of Pagan Magic.[1]

Behind the scenes

  • This character is referenced in a block of text on the back cover of a prop book featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. The text in question was taken from an 1889 English translation of the French book Le livre des figures hiéroglyphiques (The Book of Hieroglyphic Figures), which was first published in 1612, and has been attributed to Nicolas Flamel (c. 13301418).[2][3]
  • The historical figure referenced in the block of text is most likely the Ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras of Samos.[4] His teachings developed into a philosophical movement known as Pythagoreanism, which has been regarded as influencing later esoteric disciplines and philosophies, including alchemy.[5]
  • Since his works are mentioned in a wizarding book, it is possible Pythagoras also was a wizard, unbeknownst to our modern Muggle community.


Notes and references