# Definition:Pythagoreans/Quadrivium

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## Definition

The **quadrivium** was the medieval name of the required course of study of the Pythagoreans, which had been adopted by the educational establishments in Europe.

The required bodies of knowledge were divided into **discrete** and **continuous**:

Thus:

**Arithmetic**: study of the**absolute**discrete**Music**: study of the**relative**discrete**Geometry**: study of the**stable**continuous**Astronomy**: study of the**moving**continuous.

## Also see

## Linguistic Note

The word **quadrivium** is a Latin word meaning **the four ways**, or **place where four roads meet** (that is, literally: **crossroads**).

## Sources

- 1980: David M. Burton:
*Elementary Number Theory*(revised ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $1$: Some Preliminary Considerations: $1.3$ Early Number Theory - 1986: David Wells:
*Curious and Interesting Numbers*... (previous) ... (next): $4$ - 1992: George F. Simmons:
*Calculus Gems*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text {A}.2$: Pythagoras (ca. $\text {580}$ – $\text {500}$ B.C.) - 1997: David Wells:
*Curious and Interesting Numbers*(2nd ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): $4$