son of Mnesarchos, was called son of Apollo or Pythios, from the first two syllables of his name; but he was called Pythagoras because the Pythian oracle predicted his birth.
Pythagoras, generally called The Long-haired Samian. A native of Samos, noted for his manly beauty and long hair. The Greeks applied the phrase to any venerable man or philosopher.
Pythagoras maintained that he distinctly recollected having occupied other human forms before his birth at Samos: (1) He was AEthalides, son of Mercury; (2) Euphorbos the Phrygian, son of Panthoos, in which form he ran Patroclos through with a lance, leaving Hector to dispatch the hateful friend of Achilles; (3) Hermotimos, the prophet of Clazomenae; and'(4) a fisherman. To prove his Phrygian existence he was taken to the temple of Hera, in Argos, and asked to point out the shield of the son of Panthoos, which he did without hesitation. (See Rat.)
The golden thigh of Pythagoras. This thigh he showed to Abaris, the Hyperborean priest, and exhibited it in the Olympic games.
Abaris, priest of the Hyperboreans, gave him a dart, by which he was carried through the air, over inaccessible rivers, lakes and mountains; expelled pestilence; lulled storms; and performed other wonderful exploits.
Pythagoras maintained that the soul has three vehicles: (1) the ethereal, which is luminous and celestial, in which the soul resides in a state of bliss in the stars; (2) the luminous, which suffers the punishment of sin after death; and (3) the terrestrial, which is the vehicle it occupies on this earth.
Pythagoras asserted he could write on the moon. His plan of operation was to write on a looking-glass in blood, and place it opposite the moon, when the inscription would appear photographed or reflected on the moon's disc.
Pythagoras. Mesmerism was practised by Pythagoras, if we may credit Iamblichus, who tells us that he tamed a savage Daunian bear by ?stroking it gently with his hand;? subdued an eagle by the same means; and held absolute dominion over beasts and birds by ?the power of his voice,? or ?influence of his touch.?
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894