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Pythagoras: His Life and Teachings

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The timeless brilliance of this exhaustive survey of the best classical writers of antiquity on Pythagoras was first published in 1687 in Thomas Stanley's massive tome,The History of Philosophy. It remains as contemporary today as it was over three hundred years ago. The text of the 1687 book has been reset and modernized to make it more accessible to the modern reader. Spelling has been regularized, obsolete words not found in a modern dictionary have been replaced, and contemporary conventions of punctuation have been used. Biographical sketches of Thomas Stanley and Pythagoras by Manly Palmer Hall, founder of the Philosophical Research Society, have been included, along with a profound overview of Pythagorean philosophy by Platonic scholar Dr. Henry L. Drake. The extensive Greek language references throughout the text have been corrected and contextualized, and reset in a modern Greek font. Each quotation has been verified with the source document in Greek. An extensive annotated appendix of these classical sources is included. A complete bibliography details all the reference works utilized, and a small Glossary defines a number of terms, especially those from musical theory, which may be unfamiliar to the non-technical reader.
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Ten, according to the Pythagoreans, is the greatest number—as well for that it is the Tetractys, as that it comprehends all arithmetical and harmonical proportions.561 Pythagoras said that ten is the nature of number: because all nations, Greeks and Barbarians, reckon to it; and when they arrive at it, return to the Monad.562

Names of the Decad:

World, because according to the Decad all things are ordered in general and particular.563 The Decad comprehends all numbers, the world all form;564 for the same reason it is termed also Sphere.565

Heaven,566 because it is the most perfect term of number, as heaven is the receptacle of all things.567 The Decad being a perfect number, the Pythagoreans desired to apply to it those things which are contained in Heaven—where finding but nine (the orbs, the seven planets, and the heaven of Fixed Stars, with the earth), they added an Antichthon (another earth opposite to this) and made Ten; by this means they accommodated them to the Decad.568

Fate, 569 because there is no property neither in numbers nor beings, according to the composition of number, which is not seminally contained in the Decad.570


Power,572 from the command it has over all other numbers.573

Faith, Necessity.574

Atlas, for as Atlas is fabled to sustain heaven with his shoulders, so the Decad holds all the spheres as the diameter of them all.575

Unwearied, God, Phanes, Sun, Urania, Memory, Mnemosyne.576

First Square, because it is made of the first four numbers: one plus two plus three plus four.577

[image: images] [“key-bearer”], as the magazine and confinement of all proportions,578 or [image: images] [“branch-bearer”], because other numbers branch out of it.579

[image: images] [“the absolute”], because it perfects all number, comprehends within itself all the nature of even and odd, moved and unmoved, good and ill.580



The soul has a twofold life: separate from, and within the body. Her facul; ties are otherwise in anima, otherwise in animali.866

The soul is incorruptible; for when it goes out of the body, it goes to the soul of the world which is of the same kind.867

When she goes out upon the earth, she walks in the air like a body.868 Mercury is the keeper of souls and for that reason is called called [image: images] [“the Escorter”], and [image: images] [“the keeper of the gate”], and [image: images] [“of the underworld”], because he brings souls out of bodies in the earth and the sea—of which those that are pure he leads into a high place. The impure come not to them, nor to one another, but are bound by the Furies in indissoluble chains.

The Pythagoreans affirmed that the souls of the dead neither cast a shadow, nor wink; for that it is the Sun which causes the shadow.869 But he who enters there is by the law of the place deprived of the Sun's light, which they signify in that speech.

Pythagoras held that earthquakes proceed from no other cause but the meeting of the dead.870



Many were the persons, who from several parts, resorted to Pythagoras, to be his disciples and live with him in that condition. Of these there were, as Aristoxenus relates, Leucanians, Messapians (or, as Laertius, Peucepetians), and Romans.256

Simichus, tyrant of the Centoropians (a people of Sicily, the town itself being called Centorpa), having heard him, laid down his command and distributed his riches, part to his sister, part to his citizens. 257

Abaris, also of Scythia, a Hyperborean came hither. He being unacquainted with the Greek language, and not initiated, and withal advanced into years, Pythagoras would not introduce him by various theorems; but instead of the silence, and the long attention, and other trials, he made him presently fit to receive his doctrines, and taught him in a short time to understand those two books concerning nature, and concerning the gods.258 For Abaris now in years, came from the Hyperboreans, a priest of Apollo there; and converting the wisest things concerning religion from Greece to his own country, that he might lay up the collected gold to his god's use in his temple among the Hyperboreans.

He came by the way into Italy, and saw Pythagoras, and likened him to the god whose priest he was, and believed he was no other, not a man like him but very Apollo himself, both by his gravity, and by some marks and tokens which he knew. He gave Pythagoras an arrow which he had brought from the temple as necessary for his journey, through so many different contingencies, and such a long travel. For riding upon that, and so passing over places that were otherwise impassible—such as rivers, lakes, marshes, mountains, and the like—and coming to any place, as they say, he made purifications, and expelled pestilences and storms from those cities that desired his assistance. We are informed, that Lacedaemon being purged by him, never had the pestilence afterwards, whereas it was formerly very subject to that sickness, by reason of want of free  passage of the air. (The Taygetan Mountains, amongst which it is built, penning it up. For those hills lie above it, as Gnossus to Crete.) And other such signs of the power of Abaris are reported.259

But Pythagoras, accepting the arrow and not looking strangely upon it, or asking the cause why he gave it him; but, as if he were himself the true god, taking Abaris aside he showed him his golden thigh, as an assured mark that he was not mistaken. And then, reckoning every particular of all those that were in the temple, proved that he did not guess amiss. He added that he came for the benefit of men, and for this reason was in man's shape, that they might not be astonished at one so far above them, and so fly his doctrine. And he commanded Abaris to stay there, and to join with him in instructing them who came to him. As for the gold which Abaris had gathered for his god, Pythagoras commanded him to give it to those whom he had assembled; insomuch that he actually confirmed the sentence, “All things are common amongst friends.”

Abaris thus staying with him (as we said), he gave him the epitome of physiology and theology. And instead of the art of guessing by sacrifices, he taught him that kind of Prognostic which is by numbers, as thinking that more sacred and divine, and more agreeable to the celestial numbers of the gods. And other doctrines he taught Abaris, such as were proper for him.

Milo of Crotona, the most eminent wrestler of those times, was another disciple to Pythagoras.260 He, when in the hall of the college a pillar begun to yield, went under it; and by that means saved all the scholars, and at last got away himself. It is probable that this confidence in his great strength was the occasion of his death. For they report that as he was going through a thick wood far from any way, finding a great tree with wedges in it, he set his hand and feet to it, trying to split it asunder; whereupon the wedges fell out, and he being caught, became a prey to the wild beasts. In his house it was that the Pythagoreans were surprised and burned by the Cylonians.

Calliphon of Crotona, is mentioned by Hermippus as an intimate friend of Pythagoras, who reported when Calliphon was dead, that his soul was continually present with him. He also said that the soul commanded him that he should not pass the place where his  ass fell; and that he should abstain from impure water, and avoid ill-speaking.261

We only mention these here as being most particularly interested in the relation of Pythagoras and his life: a more perfect account of the rest, we will add in the following catalogue.

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Sport competitions of many kinds were popular with the ancient Greeks, and wrestling was among the most important. Pythagoras' disciple Milo of Crotona, famed as a wrestler, would have engaged in contests like the one shown on the obverse of this silver stater of c.420–370 B.C., isued by the city of Aspendus in Asia Minor.

Photo courtesy of Numismatica Ars Classica



We now come down to the sensible World.986 Its exemplar is the world of the Deity; its example the intelligible world of Ideas, the [image: images], subsistence of exemplars in itself. As One is the beginning of the intelligible world, so is Two of the corporeal. It would not be corporeal if it did not consist of these four: point, line, superfices, solidity—after the pattern of the Cube, made by one, two, three, four.

One, fixed by position, creates a point. A line, being protracted from one point to another, is made of the number two. A superfices arises from three lines. A solid contains four positions: before, behind, upwards, downwards. Two multiplied in itself produces four; retorted into itself (by saying twice two twice) makes the first Cube. Next five (the Tetragonical Pyramid, principle of the Intelligible World) is the cube of eight with six sides, architect of the Sensible World. Amongst principles, the Heptad has no place, being virgin, producing nothing, and therefore named Pallas.

This first cube is a fertile number, the ground of multitude and variety, constituted of two and of four. Zaratas termed two “the Mother”; we call the cube that proceedes from it “Matter,” the bottom and foundation of all natural beings, the seat of substantial forms. Timaeus says: from the Tetragon is generated the Cube, the most settled body, steadfast every way, having six sides, eight angles.987 The form immersed in this solid receptacle is not received loosely, but fixedly and singly. It becomes individual and incommunicable, confined to time and place, losing its liberty in the servitude of Matter. Thus the two principles of temporal things: the Pyramid and Cube, Form and Matter, flow from one fountain, the Tetragon, whose Idea is the Tetractys, the divine exemplar.

Now there is requisite some third thing to unite these two, Matter and Form. For they flow not into one another spontaneously or casually; the matter of one thing does not contingently receive the form of another. When the soul departs out of man, the body becomes not brass or iron, neither is wool made of a stone. There must then be a third thing to unite them. (Not privation: privation and power act nothing substantively. Nor motion: an accident cannot be the principle of a substance.) God is the uniter, as Socrates and Plato acknowledge.988 They say there are three principles of things: God, Idea, and Matter—symbolized before by Pythagoras in these three secret marks: Infinite, One and Two. By Infinite, designing God; by Unity, Form; by Diversity, Matter. Infinite, in the Supreme world; One, or Identity, in the Intellectual; Two, or Diversity, in the Sensible, for Matter is the mother of Alteration.

The Tetragonal bases of these figures, joined together, make a Dodecahedron, the symbol of the Universe. Alcinous says God used the Dodecahedron in making the Universe this world. 989 If upon an octangle Cube we erect a Pyramid, by four equal-sided triangles, it makes a Dodecahedron, wherein the Cube is, as it were, mother, and the Pyramid, father. Thus Timaeus: Form has the nature of male and father; Matter of female and mother; the compositions are their offspring.990

Of these are produced all things in this world by their seminal faculties; which things appear in a wonderful variety by reason of the various commensuration of forms to their matter, and the admixture of innumerable accidents—by excess and defect, discord and amity, motion and rest, impetuosity and tranquility, rarity and density. Hence arise the Spheres, the Stars, the four Elements: out of which come forth hot, moist, cold, dry, and all the objects of sense, the transmutation of forms, and variety of colors in several things.

The gods are natural, the gods of gods supernatural. Those inhabit the inferior world, these the superior. The gods of gods are most simple and pure, as being nowhere. They are supercelestial as being everywhere. They are with us here strangers, there natives; never in our world, but when sent: Angels, messengers from heaven, appearing in what form they please, kind and beneficial to us. The inferior spirits never ascend to the super celestial, but are sent sometimes on embassy to us, whence termed Angels as the others.

God himself inhabits the lowest, the highest, and the middlemost intimately; so that there is no being without God. Moreover, the gods of this world are more excellent than the souls of men—though those assist, these inform bodies. Between them are placed Daemons and Heroes—Daemons next the gods, Heroes next souls—mentioned by Pythagoras in his Golden Verses, who assigns to each a peculiar worship.

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Croesus (561-546 B.C.), the Lydian king so rich that his name became proverbial for wealth, issued this gold stater which shows the confronted foreparts of a lion and a bull. The reverse bears the impressions of two square punches of unequal size.

Photo courtesy of Numismatica Ars Classica



By this discourse, Pythagoras gained no small honor and esteem in Crotona, and by means of that city, throughout all Italy.154

At the first oration that he made in Crotona,155 he attracted many followers. Insomuch that it is said he gained 600 persons, who were by him not only won to the philosophy which he professed, but following his rules, became as we call it Caenobii; and these were they who studied philosophy.156 They did put their estates into one common stock, and kept silence five years, only hearing his discourses, but not seeing him until they were fully proved; and then they became of his family and were admitted to him. There were the same 600 persons, who Laertius says, came to his nocturnal discourse, perhaps meaning the lectures through a screen during their probation. For he adds that if any of them were thought worthy to see him, they wrote of it to their friends as having obtained a great matter. This society Laertius calls his “system,” which Cassiodorus interprets as “college,” and Aulius Gellius his “family.”

Besides these, there were many auditors called Acousmatics,157 whereof he gained, as Nicomachus relates,158 two thousand by one oration which he made at his first coming into Italy. That they need not live at home, they erected a large Homacoceion,159 which Clement of Alexandria interprets to be the same as Ecclesia, “Church,” with us. Here were admitted also boys and women. They built cities, and inhabited all that part of Italy which is called Magna Graecia, and received laws and statutes from Pythagoras as divine precepts, without which they did not anything. They lived together unanimously, praised by all, and applauded as happy for such as lived round about them.

Thus Pythagoras distinguished those whom he admitted according to their several merits. For it was not fit that all should partake alike, being not of a like nature. Nor was it fit that some should receive all the learning, others none; for that would have been contrary to his community of all and to his equality. He therefore, of the discourses which he made, communicated to everyone that part  which was proper for him; and distributed his learning so that it might benefit everyone according to his capacity. He observed the rules of Justice in giving to everyone that share of the discourse which they deserved; calling upon this account, some Pythogoreans (those of the system), and some Pythagorites (those of the Homacoceion), as we call some Attics, some Atticists.

Dividing them thus aptly into two names, he appointed one part to be [image: images] (“Genuine”), the other he ordered to be Imitators of them. As to the Pythagoreans he decreed, that all their estates should be in common, and that they should lead their whole lives together in community; but the others he ordered to keep their estates to themselves, yet to meet together. Thus was this succession of both parties constituted by Pythagoras. The discipline which was observed by the more genuine—the Pythagoreans—we shall remit, together with his doctrine to the end of his life.



The power of number, being greatest in nature,826 Pythagoras defined the soul as a self-moving number.827

Of the Pythagoreans, some affirm that the soul is the motes in the air; others, that it is that which moves those motes.828

The soul is most generally divided into two parts, rational, and irrational, but more especially into three.829 For the irrational they divide into irascible and desiderative. These are termed [image: images] [“intelligence”], [image: images] [“reason”], and [image: images] [“passion”]. [image: images] [“intelligence”] and [image: images] [“passion”] are in other living creatures, [image: images] [“reason”] only in man.830

Yet, the souls of all animate creatures are rational, even of those which we term irrational. But they act not according to reason because of the ill temperament of the body and want of speech: as in apes and dogs, [image: images] who talk but cannot speak.831

The beginning of the soul comes from the heat of the brain. That part which is the heart is [image: images] [“passion”], but [image: images] [“reason”] and [image: images] [“intelligence”] are in the brain. The senses are distillations from these: the rational part is immortal, the rest mortal. The soul is nourished by blood, and the faculties of the soul are spirits. Both the soul and her faculties are invisible, for Aether is invisible. The fetters of the soul are veins, arteries, and nerves. But when she is strong, and composed within herself, her fetters are reasons and actions.

Every sense is derived from its proper element. Sight is from Aether, hearing from air, smelling from fire, taste from water, touch from earth.832

Sense in general, and particulary sight, is a vapor very hot. For this reason we are said to see through air and through water, for the heat pierces the cold. For if that which is in the eyes were a cold vapor, it would fight with the air—which is like it hot. In some places, he calls the eyes the gates of the Sun; the same he determined concerning hearing and the rest of the senses.

Sight is the judge of colors.833 Color they call the superficies of a body. The kinds of color are black, white, red, pale.834 Or, as the anonymous writer delivers the opinion of Pythagoras, ten: black, white, and the rest between them, yellow, tawney, pale, red, blue, green, bright, grey.835 The differences of colors are derived from the mixture of the elements, and, in living creatures, from variety of place and of air.

The image in a mirror is made by reflection of the sight.836 This, being extended to the brass, and meeting with a thick smooth body, is pushed back and returns into itself, as when the hand is stretched forth and again brought back to the shoulder.837

Hearing is the judge of voice, sharp and flat.838 Voice is incorporeal; for not air, but the figure and superficies of air, by a stroke becomes voice. But no superficies is a body.839 And though it follows the motion of the body, voice itself has no body; as when a rod is bent, the superficies suffers nothing, the matter only is bent.

Smelling judges of odors, good and ill and the four between them: putrid, humid, liquid, vaporous.840

Taste judges of flavors, sweet, bitter, and the five between them. For they are in all seven: sweet, bitter, sharp, acid, fresh, salt, hot.

Touching judges many things: heavy, light, and those that are between them; hot, cold, and those that are between them; hard, soft, and those that are between them; dry, moist, and those that are between them. The other four senses are seated in the head only and confined to their proper organs. But touching is diffused through the head, and the whole body. It is common to every sense, but exhibits its judgment most manifestly by the hands.

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The Heptad was so called, quasi [image: images] worthy of veneration;522 for Pythagoras held this number to be most proper to religion.523 He also held that it is perfect.524 And thence it was, as the Pythagoreans conceived, that creatures born in the seventh month live.525

The names of the Heptad, are these.

Fortune, Occasion,526 because it occurs casually and opportunely to everything.527 Whatsoever is best amongst sensible things, by which the seasons of the year and their periods are orderly complete. Participates of the Hebdomad,528 the Moon having seven days, measures all time.529

[image: images], Motherless, Virgin,530 Minerva, as being a virgin, unmarried, not born of a mother (odd number), nor of a father (even number); but out of the crown of the father of all, Monad.531

Mars,532 [image: images] [“citadel”].533

Ageleia,534 an epither of Minerva.535

[image: images] [“The Unwearied”]†.536

[image: images] Custody,537 because the stars which guard the universe are seven.538

[image: images], Tritogenia, [image: images] [“Blue-eyed”],† [image: images][image: images] [“Protectress”],† [image: images] [“in full armor”], [image: images] [“worker”],† [image: images] [“much desired”], [image: images] [“sound of limbs“],† Stock of Amalphea, Aegis, Osiris, Dream, Voice, Sound, Clio the Muse, Judgment, Adrastia.539

[image: images] leading to the end†;540 because by it all are led to the end.541


N either did the Pythagoreans superficially consider the speculation of celestial things, in which Pythagoras was also exquisite, as appears by these few remains.656

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Although only a demi-god, Hercules (Heracles to the Greeks) was as familiar as any of the Olympian deities. He is shown holding a drinking vessel (a rhyton) and his club on this electrum stater struck in about 380 B.C. at the city of Cyzicus on the southern shore of the Propontis.

Photo courtesy of Numismatica Ars Classica



The chief goal that Pythagoras proposed was to deliver and free the mind from the engagements and fetters in which it is confined from her first infancy. Without which freedom, none can learn anything sound or true, nor can perceive by what that which is unsound in sense operates.284 For the mind (according to him) sees all, and hears all; the rest are deaf and blind.

This he performed by many exercises which he appointed for purification of the mind, and for the probation of such as came to him, which endured five years before they were admitted.

If upon this examination (which we declared) he judged any person capable, he then remitted him for three years to be despised, making a test of his constancy and true love to learning, and whether he were sufficiently instructed as to despise glory, to condemn honor, and the like.285

He conceived it, in general, requisite that they should take much labor and pains for the acquisition of arts and sciences. To that end he appointed for them some torments of cauterizing and incision, to be performed by fire and steel, which none that were of an ill inclination would undergo.286



(marked with †)

p. 79 [image: images], “Genuine.”

From Iamblicus', Life of Pythagoras, Cap. 18 (Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 1, p.172)

p. 88 [image: images] a Magician.

The word [image: images] is not the normal word for “magician.” It refers to one who examines animal entrails for the purpose of divination. Cf. Schmidt, Hesychii Alexandrini Lexicon, Editionem Minorem p.342, Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon p. 344b, [image: images] and p.1628b, [image: images] The accusation of Timon that Pythagoras was a [image: images] is contradicted by the account in Chapter 15, ‘Divination by Numbers' (see page 169) where we find an account of divination where Pythagoras rejects the use of animal entrails: “The student of Pythagoras, Abaris, performed those kinds of sacrifices to which he was accustomed, and diligently practiced divination after the ways of the Barbarians by victims (principally of cocks, whose entrals they conceived to be most exact for inspection). Pythagoras, not willing to take him away from his study of truth; yet, in order to direct him by a safer way, without blood and slaughter (moreover esteeming the cock sacred to the Sun), taught Abaris to find out all truth by the science of arithmetic.”

p. 96 And that he chiefly praised Homer, for saving, [image: images], the shepherd of the people.

The phrase is used by Homer multiple times as an epithet of a ruler.

For one example, see The Odyssey, III, line 156 and IV, line 541 where the phrase is applied to Agamemnon. (Palmer, The Odyssey of Homer, Books I-XII. The Text, And An English Version In Rhythmic Prose, pp. 74 & 132.)

p. 99 [image: images] [“One that practices bodily exercises”.] [image: images] (“Exercitator”…)

For [image: images] , “One that practices bodily exercises,” Cf. Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon p. 1749B, and Dindorf, Clementis Alexandrini Opera, p. 421 par. 266, 10. For [image: images], read literally “one who annoints,” i.e. one who applied ointments in a gymnasium. Cf. Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon p. 62a. The reference is to the Natural History of Pliny Secundi, Liber XXIII, Chap. 7 which extols the virtues of the fig: Pythagoras exercitator primus ad carnes eos transtulit. “Pythagoras, the gymnist (exercitator), being the first who introduced them to a flesh diet.” (Perhaps meaning that he used figs to assist in putting on weight. Cf. Mayhoff, C. Plini Secundi Naturalis Historiae, Vol. 4 p. 38, and Bostock & Riley, The Natural History of Pliny, Vol. 4 , p. 503)

p. 99 [image: images], [“He said it”]

The phrase [image: images] implies “The Master said it”; Latin Ipse dixit. It was associated with Pythagoras whose students in a debate would argue ipse dixit, (“He said it himself”), meaning Pythagoras, and considered it sufficent proof of an argument even without evidence. Cf. Cicero, De Natura Deorum (Liber I, Cap.V,10. Latin text is given in Mayor, M. Tulli Ciceronis De Natura Deorum Libri Tres, Vol. 1, p. 4) Cicero was in turn quoted to this effect by Valerius Maximus, Memorable Doings And Sayings, Book VIII. 15. Ext. 1. According to Joseph Mayor, Socrates was also called [image: images] by his disciples. Both the Latin and Greek pronouns were used colloquially by slaves of their masters. (M. Tulli Ciceronis De Natura Deorum Libri Tres, Vol. 1, p. 77) It is interesting to note that Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) would eventually utilize the Latin phrase to form the word ipse-dixitism, which is used to signify an unsupported or dogmatic argument.

p. 99 [image: images] “squill” or “sea-onion,” Urginea maritima.

The plant was used in the Mediterranean area medicinally and as rat poison. Pliny, in Liber XIX, Chapter 30 of his Natural History, wrote that, “the philosopher Pythagoras has written a whole volume on the merits of this plant, setting forth its various medicinal properties.,” and further, in Liber XX, Chapter 39, “Pythagoras says that a squill suspended at the threshold of a door, effectively shuts all access to evil spells and incantations..” (See Bostock & Riley, The Natural History of Pliny, Vol. IV, pp. 168-169 and 243. The Latin text is in Mayhoff, C. Plini Secundi Naturalis Historiae, Vol. 3, pp. 273-274 and 372.)

p. 100 [image: images]

An interrogative particle meaning in this case, “what?” i.e., “what clothes?”

The passage in full reads as follows:

[image: images]

“And she recommended a woman, who was going to her husband, to put off her modesty with her clothes, and when she left him, to resume it again with her clothes; and when she was asked, “What clothes?” she said, “Those which cause you to be called a woman.”

(Yonge, Diogenes Laërtius, The Lives And Opinions of Eminent Philosophers p. 356. Cf. Hicks, Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Vol. 2, pp. 357-359)

p. 118 [image: images] “He said it.”

See above, note to page 99.

p. 122 [image: images] a quinquennial silence.

From Iamblicus, Life of Pythagoras, Cap. 17 (Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 1, p. 154)

p. 122 [image: images] [“keeping silent”], [image: images] from keeping our speech within ourselves. Read [image: images] [“keeping silent”], [image: images] The word [image: images] is a synonym of [image: images]

See Schmidt, M., Hesychii Alexandrini Lexicon under [image: images] and Liddell-Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 747b under [image: images] silence, reserve.)

p. 134. Quinquennial silence, [image: images]

“Quinquennial silence” is the translation of [image: images] (Iamblicus, Life of Pythagoras, Cap. 17) which Stanley mentioned specifically earlier on page 122 (see note above.) The quinquennial silence was also called [image: images]

p. 142 [image: images] [“a thing pricked,” i.e. “traced out beforehand”].

A design for a finished work, perhaps etched into the raw material. Cf. Liddell Scott A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 1486a [image: images].

p. 149 [image: images] “separation” (from multitude).

The etymological signification of the word [image: images] “Monad,” according to Theon Smyrnaeus, was based on the fact that it remained unaltered if multiplied by itself, or that is separated and isolated ([image: images]) from the remaining multitude of numbers. (Heath, The Thirteen Books of Euclid's Elements, Vol. 2 , p. 279)

p. 152 [image: images] judgment.

Derived from [image: images], “separate one from another,” in the sense of “a discerning, distinguishing.” Cf. Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 399a. “Meursius” refers to the classical scholar Johannes Meursius (15791639)

p. 153 [image: images] “silver-footed,” or “silver-sandalled.”

The word is used as an epithet of Thetis in Homer's Iliad, I, 538. Cf. Monro, Iliad, Books I-XII, p. 18. Cf. also Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 236b under [image: images]

p. 161 [image: images]

The literal meaning is “whole of limb, not dismembered.” Cf. Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon p. 1218a.

p. 162 [image: images] [“central oarsman”].

This refers to the central oarsmen of the style of Greek warship called the “Trireme” ([image: images]) The ship had three rows of oarsmen. The rowers with the longest oars who sat in the mid-most point of the boat. Used in the same sense as [image: images]. (Cf. Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, pp. 1106b, 1107a.)

p. 162 [image: images] [“hurled forth”].

The notion is that the Triad (Hecate) is hurled forth and joined with another Triad to form the Hexad. Cf. Thomas Taylor, Theoretic Arithmetic p. 198.

p. 163[image: images] “The Unwearied.”

An epithet of Pallas Athena. Cf. Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 273b, [image: images]

p. 164 [image: images] Tritogenia

Literally, “daughter of a mighty father,” an epithet of Athena. Thus also “Tritogenia” (Greek [image: images]), “Trito-born,” explained in antiquity as either the lake Tritonis ([image: images]) in Libya from which Athena was said to have been born. Another explanation is from Triton, a spring in Arcadia. Yet another is from the word [image: images] an Aeolic word for [image: images] “head,” thus “head-born.” Cf. Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 1823b.

p. 164 [image: images] [“Blue-eyed”].

Another epithet of Athena. From Pausanias' Description of Greece (1.14.6), “I was not surprised that an image of Athena stood beside Hephaestus; but observing that Athena's image had blue eyes, I recognized the Libyan version of the myth. For the Libyans say that she is a daughter of Poseidon and the Tritonian lake, and that she, like Poseidon, has blue eyes.” (Frazer, Pausanias's Description of Greece, Vol. 1, p. 21). The belief that the Greeks understood the epithet [image: images] to mean “blue-eyed” is strengthened by this passage in Pausanias. Cf. Frazer, Pausanias's Description of Greece, Vol. 2, p. 128 for his commentary on Pausanias' 1.14.6.

p. 164 ‘[image: images] [“Protectress”].

An epithet of Athena mentioned by Homer in The Iliad, IV,8 ([image: images] [image: images]). Also mentioned by Pausanias, Book 9, Chapter 33, who says it was a villiage of no great size, which got its name from Alalkomenes, a native ([image: images]), who is said to have reared Athena, or alternately, Alalkomenia was one of the daughters of Ogyges. (Cf. Sibelis, Pausaniae Graeciae Descripto, Vol. 4 pp. 222-223) In his commentary on The Iliad, Leaf writes, “It is hard to say whether the local or attributive sense prevails in this title. Pausanias testifies to a cultus of Athene at Alalkomenai, near the Tritonian lake Boiotia, down to the time of Sulla; but the word is evidently also significant, ‘the guardian’. (We hear also of [image: images] [image: images] in the Et. Mag. (i.e. Etymologia Magnum)) Probably the name of the town was taken was either taken from the title of the goddess or adapted to it from an older form, or was itself the cause of the adoption of the cultus; a local adjective being then formed with a distinct consciousness of its original significance.” (Leaf, The Iliad, Vol. 1, p. 116)

p. 164 [image: images] [“worker”].

An epithet of Athena mentioned in Pausanias' Book I, Cap. 24. Cf. Shilleto, Pausanias' Description of Greece, Vol. 1, p. 45)

p. 164 [image: images] [“sound of limbs”].

Or, “wholeness of limbs,” implying the general nature of a thing.

p. 164 [image: images] “leading to the end”.

In simpler terms, to “be brought to completion.”

p. 165 [image: images] [“making weak”].

From Nicomachus' as quoted by Photius, Bibliotheca p.144B. In the sense of “feminine.” Cf. Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 798a under [image: images] Thomas Taylor translated this as “the producing cause of females.” (Cf. Taylor, Theoretic Arithmetic, p. 204)

p. 165 [image: images] [“guardian of the city”].

An epithet of the guardian diety of a city. Cf. [image: images] in Aristophanes, Equites, 581 (Leeuwen, Aristophanes Equites cum prolegomenis et commentariis, p. 110).

p. 165 [image: images] [“untimely born”].

That is, born at the wrong time of the month, or “immature.” Cf. Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon p. 769b under [image: images]

p. 165 [image: images] [“stability”].

Literally, “security against stumbling or falling.” Used as an epithet of Poseidon as “The Securer,” who was also associated with the ogdoad. Cf. Plutarch, Theseus, 36: “they pay honors to Poseidon on the eighth day of every month. The number eight, as the first cube of an even number and the double of the first square, fitly represents the steadfast and immovable power of this god, to whom we give the epithets of Securer ([image: images]) and Earth-stayer.” (Perrin, Plutarch's Lives, Vol. 1 pp. 84-86)

p. 165 [image: images] [“placing in position”].

Used with the sense of ‘establishing' and ‘making stable’, being in the proper place.

p. 166 [image: images] [“reconciliation”].

Note that this same term is used for the Pentad. (cf. page 159, “ ‘[image: images] Reconciliation, because the fifth element, Aether, is free from the disturbances of the other four.”

p. 166 [image: images] [“far-darting”], because there is no shooting beyond it.

The meaning intended is that it prevents the further progression of number ([image: images] Theol. Ar. 58-59.) Cf. Ast, Theologumena Arithmeticae, p. 58)

p. 166 [image: images] [“bringing to the end”].

Note that this term is also used of the Heptad. See page 164.

p. 182 [image: images] [“preparations”] and [image: images] [“contact, touch”].

'Preparations' in the sense of “musical arrangement.” (Cf. Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 587b) Likewise, [image: images] in this case indicates the touch of a hand upon a musical instrument. (Cf. Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p. 85. Guthrie translated [image: images] as “readiness.”)

p. 184 [image: images] “work”.

Hesiod's poem is fully titled' [image: images] “Works and Days.”

p. 185 [image: images] “preparedness,” and [image: images] “musical combination,” and [image: images] “contact”.

Note that [image: images] is the same word that was discussed in note 182 above. Hence, “preparedness” in the sense of musical preparation. So also [image: images] “musical combination.” (Cf. Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p.1699a). [image: images] is also discussed in note 201 above, here rendered “contact.

This entire section is a quotation taken from Chapter 25 of Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras: “The Pythagoreans distinguished three states of mind, called exartysis, or readiness: synarmoge, or fitness, and epaphe, or contact…” (Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p. 85)

Thomas Taylor's translation, with the exception of his reading of the word [image: images] is not only florid, but curiously obtuse: “The whole Pythagorean school produced appropriate songs, which they called exartysis or adaptions, synarmoge or elegance of manners, and apaphe or contact…” (Taylor, Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras, p. 61)

For the Greek text, see Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 1, p. 242.

p. 185 [image: images] by charming them.

See Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon p. 603a, [image: images]

p. 193 [image: images]

The original text erroneously had [image: images] “eclipse” instead of [image: images] [image: images] “fall short” (in application of areas). Cf. Heath, The Thirteen Books of Euclid's Elements, Vol. 2, p. 262 and 427.

p. 197[image: images] the custody of Jupiter.

[image: images] was a Pythagorean term for the center of the Universe. (Cf. Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 1960a, [image: images] 3.)

See Aristotle's “On the heavens” ([image: images] or De Cxlo) Book 2:

“They think (i.e. the Pythagoreans) that the most honourable place belongs to the most honourable body, and that Fire is more honourable than Earth; that the two extremes, centre and circumference, are more honourable than the parts intermediate between them. Upon these grounds, they consider that Fire, and not Earth, is at the centre of the Universal Sphere; and they have another reason, peculier to themselves, for this conclusion: they hold that the centre is the most important place in the universe, and that it ought as such to be the most carefully guarded; wherefore they call it the watch of Jupiter ([image: images]), and regard it as occupied by Fire.” (George Grote, Aristotle, Vol 2, De Cœlo II, Cap. 13, p. 423) For the Greek text of Aristotle, see Bekker, Aristotelis Graece, Vol. 1, p. 293b, 3.

p. 200 “ [image: images] [image: images] [“their oppositions, their eclipses, inequalities, eccentricities and epicycles.”] [image: images] is the anticipation of any planet, either in respect to some other planet, or to the fixed Stars.”

This is a difficult passage to translate, as [image: images] and [image: images] may both be used in the sense of “eclipse” or “occultation.” Thomas Taylor translated [image: images] as “oppositions” which was likewise followed by Guthrie. (See Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 633a) The text is from Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras, Chapter 6. Cf. Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Vol. 1, p. 70. See also Thomas Taylor, Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras, p. 15 and Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p. 64.

p. 200 [image: images] Inequality.

Astronomically, the word signifies “irregular motion,” hence the etymology of the English word “anomaly.” Cf. Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 170a.

p. 215 [image: images] precocious.

From Stobaeus' Florilegium, 99. [image: images][image: images]

Stanley read, “principally observe that which is called precocious.” It probably should be understood as “guard against that which is called precocious.” (Cf. Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 1961a, [image: images]). Cf. also Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras, Cap. 31, where this same account also occurs. Thomas Taylor read, “In the first place, they thought it necessary to guard against what is called untimely [offspring].” (Taylor, Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras, p. 108) Guthrie (The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p.107), renders the translation, “First, they prevented untimely birth.”

p. 222 [image: images] [“admonitions”]

This is a Pythagorean word for [image: images] (See Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 1351b [image: images]) From Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras, Cap. 22. (Cf. Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 1, p. 218, and Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p.82)

p. 223 [image: images] [“friends share in common”]

Read [image: images] From Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, VIII, 10.

Hicks translated it “friends have all things in common,” while Guthrie read “the property of friends is common” (Cf. Hicks, Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Vol. 2, p. pp. 328-329, and Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p. 144.)

p. 223 [image: images] [“friendship is equality”]

From Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, VIII, 10. (Cf. Hicks, Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Vol. 2, p. pp. 328-329, and Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p. 144.)

p. 225 [image: images] [“Rites of Fulfillment”]

The exact meaning of [image: images] as understood by the ancient Greeks remains something of a mystery. We might also read, “rituals of Perfection.” See Kevin Clinton's essay, Stages of Initiation in the Eleusinian and Samothracian Mysteries (pp. 50-78 in Greek Mysteries, The Archaeology and Ritual of Ancient Greek Secret Cults (London, 2003)

p. 226 [image: images] [“of oaths”].

Cf. Hicks, Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Vol. 2, pp. 348-349:

[image: images]

“Right has the force of an oath, and that is why Zeus (i.e. Jupiter) is called the God of Oaths.”

p. 234 [image: images] the Decree of God.

Read [image: images] the Decree of God.” The word [image: images] means “decree.” Stanley translated the entire phrase, but the last two Greek words were omitted from the original book. From an Anonymous Life of Pythagoras which Photius preserved in his Codex CCXLIX of his Bibliotheca. (Cf. Migne, Patrologiæ Cursus Completus, Series Græca. Vol. 103, p. 1581, and Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p. 138)

p. 234 [image: images] a Fate of all things in general and in particular, the cause of their administration.

Cf. Hicks, Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Vol. 2, pp. 342-343.

p. 236 reading (perhaps) [image: images]

Stanley means to read the phrase [image: images] “enclosed in the brass.” Thus also all the authorities. For the Greek, see Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 2, p. 72 and for the Greek with Latin translation, see Nauck, Porphryii Philosophi Platonici Opuscula Tria, p. 30. The latter renders the Greek by the Latin includo, which is more in keeping with the sense of the word, implying that the voice of the daimon was “confined” or “imprisoned” in the brass. For an English translation, see Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p. 131.

p. 246 [image: images] [“order”].

See Anonymous: Life of Pythagoras Preserved by Photius in Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p. 139, “It was Pythagoras who first called heaven kosmos because it is perfect, and “adorned” with infinite beauty and living beings. In addition to “order,” [image: images] may also have the meaning “ornament” or “decoration,” hence the last portion of the sentence in the quotation.

p. 254 by divine participation, [image: images]

Read [image: images] . The quote is from Clement of Alexandria, Stromata V. It is found in Chapter 13. The Greek text reads:

[image: images]

“Thus, the Pythagoreans say that the mind ([image: images]) comes to man by divine providence, as Plato and Aristotle affirm.” The common and accepted translation of [image: images] is “divine providence.” Thus also Xenophon, Memorabilia Book 2, Chapter 3, line 18. (Dindorf, Clementis Alexandrini Opera, Vol. 3, p. 68., Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 1141a, III., Schneider, Xenophontes Quae Extant, Vol. 4, p. 95)

p. 266 and Pindar, speaking of Aesculapius, [image: images] [“tending them”] with soft charms.

Aesculapius (Latin) is better known to the modern reader by his Greek name Asclepius, the god of medicine and healing, described in Pindar's Pythian Ode III:


“Them therefore, whoso came unto him,

having self-caused sores

or marred in limbs by the polished steel,

or far-hurled stone;

or wasted in body by summer's fire or winter's cold,

he cured, freeing various from various pains;

some he fixed healthful,

tending them with gentle spells…”


(Fennell, Pindar: The Olypian and Pythian Odes, p. 179, Laurent, The Odes of Pindar in English Prose, Vol. 1, p. 155)

p. 267 [image: images]

Unfortunately, it is unclear what Stanley understood this phrase to mean, since all the authorities declare it to be a corruption. The Greek text given by Kiessling is as follows:

[image: images]

Kiessling notes that [image: images] is monstra verborum (an “ill-formed word”), and would restore the passage to: [image: images] translated as “in euesto aut et aeiesto, id est, tranquillo et constanti animo.” (in euesto (happiness) and aeiesto (everlastingness,) which is, peace and continual life”)

The critical edition of Ludwig Deubner marks the passage but omits the two words.

The popular editions of Thomas Taylor and Kenneth Guthrie likewise ignore them.

(Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, pp. 342-344, Taylor, Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras, p. xxx, Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p.97)

pp. 278, who named the more honorable hand [image: images] the right, not only [image: images], from receiving; but likewise, [image: images][image: images] from being ready to receive in communicating.

From the Protrepticus of Iamblicus, Chapter 21. Johnson translated this, “who called the right hand more excellent than the left, not only because it receives, but also because it is able to impart.” (Cf. Pistelli, Iamblichi Protrepticus Ad Fidem Codicis Florentini, p. 117, Johnson, Iamblicus: The Exhortation to Philosophy, p. 104.)

p. 288. In the Twenty eighth, Lay not hold on every one readily with your right hand. Plutarch omits [image: images], Suidus [image: images]

From the Protrepticus of Iamblicus, Cap. XXI. The Greek reads, [image: images] [image: images] which Stanley translates as, “Lay not hold on everyone readily with your right hand.” (i.e. “Do not hasten to offer everyone your right hand.”)

In Suidas' Lexicon, the entry describing this Symbol omits the word [image: images] and reads:

[image: images] “Do not hasten to offer the right hand.” In Plutarch's Morals, “On Education,” Chapter 17, it is written as: [image: images] [image: images] “Do not offer everyone your right hand,” omitting the word [image: images] from the account of Pythagoras' Symbol. This Symbol is recounted in full by Diogenes Laertius in his Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Chapter VIII, 17, which Hicks translated liberally, “don't shake hands too eagerly,” but which effectively sums up the actual meaning of the sentence. (Cf. Pistelli, Iamblichi Protrepticus Ad Fidem Codicis Florentini, p. 108, Bekker, Suidae Lexicon, p. 910a., Vernardakis, Plutarchi Chaeronensis Moralia, Vol. 1, p. 28, Shilleto, Plutarch's Morals, Ethical Essays, p. 18., and Hicks, Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Vol. 2, p. 337.)

p. 289 This last reason is confirmed by Plutarch, who explains this Symbol: Abstain from Suffrages; which of old were given by Beans.

In Liberis Educandis (On the training of children), Plutarch wrote, “Abstain from beans”; means that a man should keep out of politics, for beans were used in earlier times for voting upon the removal of magistrates from office.” (Babbitt, Plutarch, Moralia, Vol. 1., Chap. 17) This process is described by Robert Bateman Paul as follows:

“when [the assembly] deprived the magistrates of their power for maladministration, they gave their votes in private. The manner of voting privately was by casting pebbles ([image: images]) into vessels, ([image: images]) which the prytanes [i.e. officers in the Senate] were obliged to place in the assembly for this purpose. Before the use of pebbles, they voted with beans ([image: images]) As soon as the people had done voting, the proëdri [i.e. other officers of the Senate], having carefully examined the number of suffrages, pronounced the decree ratified or thrown out, according as the majority part approved or rejected it.” (R.B. Paul, The Antiquities of Greece, p.228.) Beans were also used in this manner for casting judgments against defendants on trial, as well as voting for Senators.

“The Senators were elected by lots in the following manner: on a certain day, before the beginning of the month Hecatombæon, the president of every tribe gave in the names of all the persons within his district who were capable of this dignity, and chose to be candidates for it. These were engraven on tables of brass, called [image: images] and cast into a vessel set there for that purpose. Into another vessel were cast the same number of beans, fifty of which were white, and all the rest black. Then the names of the candidates and the beans were drawn out one by one; and those whose names were drawn out together with the white beans were elected for that tribe.” (Ibid, p. 229)

p. 291. [image: images] [“testicles (and) genitals”]

Read, [image: images] From Porphyry's Life of Pythagoras, Chapter 43. (Cf. Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 2, p. 76, and Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p. 132.)

p. 291 [image: images] Generation

Stanley translates [image: images] as “Generation,” instead of the literal “testicles and genitals”.

p. 312. [image: images] He said.

See page 373 above, note to page 99.

p. 312. Thus the Cabalists answer [image: images] The wise said; and Christians, [image: images] Believe.

The phrase, [image: images] (ameru hakamim) “the sages say,” was translated by Reuchlin in Latin as dixerunt sapientes, read by Stanley as “the wise said.” The phrase is found, for example, in some of the Midrashim, such as the Midrash ‘Aseret Ha-Dibrot, and the Midrash Vayosha where the authors introduced subject matter without feeling the necessity to quote their sources, intitiating significant sections with, ameru hakamim, “the sages say…”

In speaking of the corresponding Christian admonition “Believe,” Reuchlin was in turn quoting Gregory of Nazienzus' First Invective Against Julian, Chapter 102, where Gregory says of Julian:

“Ours,” says he, “are the words and speaking of Greek, whose right it is to worship the gods; yours are the want of words, and clownishness, and nothing beyond the faith in your own doctrine.” At this, those I fancy will not laugh, who follow the sect of Pythagoras amongst you, with whom the [image: images] “ is the first and greatest of articles of faith; and preferable to the “Golden (perhaps Leaden) Words.” For after that preliminary and much celebrated training of Silence of such as were initiated into his doctrine (in order that they might be trained in bridling speech by dint of holding their tongues), it was the rule, ‘tis said, that when questioned about any one of his tenets, they replied in explanation, when the reason was asked, that it had been so decreed by Pythagoras himself: and that the reason of the doctrine was what had come into that sage's head, without proof, and unquestioned. Thus your “He said so” comes to the same thing with our “Believe,” but in other syllables and terms, although you never give over ridiculing and abusing the latter. For our saying means that it is not allowable to disbelieve things said by divinely-inspired persons, but that the proof of the Word is their trustworthiness, a thing more convincing than any logical argument or defense.”

(Goodman, Johann Reuchlin On the Art of the Kabbalah, pp. 144-147, King, C.W. Julian the Emperor containing Gregory Nazianzen's Two Invectives and Libanius' Monody, pp. 68-69)

p. 317. That is the IDEA (from [image: images]), [“seeing, meaning understanding”]

Stanley is paraphrasing Reuchlin's De Arte Cabalistica here, but the Greek as he gives it is problematical. The Reuchlin text has [image: images] [image: images] “ from seeing ([image: images]), meaning understanding ([image: images]).” Stanley has structured his parenthetical note in such a way that [image: images] appears only as a gloss on [image: images], apparently intending to emphasize that IDEA is derived from [image: images], adding [image: images] as an explanation or definition of [image: images] It is unclear why Stanley did not simply quote Reuchlin verbatum. (Cf. Goodman, Johann Reuchlin, On the Art of the Kabbalah. De Arte Cabalistica, p. 152-153.)

p. 318 Empedocles [image: images] “strife”

Stanley is closely paraphrasing Reuchlin here, but he supplies the Greek term where Reuchlin remains in Latin. The doctrine of Empedocles asserted that creation and destruction were impossible, but that which appeared to be either of these arises from the union or separation of the four eternal elements of Air, Earth, Fire and Water. The unifying principle was signifed by [image: images] “love,” while the separative principle was its opposite [image: images], “strife” or “contention,” the latter being a synonym of [image: images] .

[image: images] [image: images] “O mortal kind! O ye poor sons of grief! From such contentions and such sighings sprung!”—Empedocles, 124.2.

(Leonard, The Fragments of Empedocles, p. 57)

p. 322 Having overcome these things (says Pythagoras) thou shalt know [image: images] the cohabitation of the immortal gods, and mortal men.

This quote is a short paraphrase of Reuchlin, whose longer version closely follows the Golden Verses: “from Pythagoras, who wrote in the the Golden Verses: ‘When you cast aside the body you come to the free aether, you will be a god and immortal. When the things of this life are overcome, you will know the dwelling together (which he elegantly termed [image: images] because they ‘stand together’) of immortal gods and mortal men.”

Reuchlin was quoting from two different places within the Golden Verses. The first portion of the quote is the last two lines of the Golden Verses: “Then should you be separated from the body, and soar in the aethyr. You will be imperishable, a divinity, a mortal no more.” (Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook, p. 165). The second portion of the quote is lines 49-51: “If this you hold fast, soon will you recognize of Gods and mortal men.” (Ibid, p. 164.) For the Greek text, see Gaisford, Poetæ Minories Gracæ Vol. 3, pp.282-283. Cf. Goodman, Johann Reuchlin, On the Art of the Kabbalah. De Arte Cabalistica, pp. 196-197.

p. 322 styled by Homer [image: images] , inextinguishable laughter.

From the Iliad, I:595-600: “the white-armed goddess Hera smiled, and smiling took the cup at her son's hand. Then he poured wine to all the other gods from right to left, ladling the sweet nectar from the bowl. And laughter unquenchable arose amid the blessed gods to see Hephaistos bustling through the palace.” (Lang, Leaf & Meyers. Homer's Iliad done into English Prose, p. 20) For the Greek text, see Monro, Homer, Iliad, Books I-XII, p. 20. Cf. Goodman, Johann Reuchlin, On the Art of the Kabbalah. De Arte Cabalistica, pp. 198-199.

p. 327 For men often straying from the rule of right reason precipitate themselves into misery, [image: images], in Pythagoras's word, incurring ills voluntary.

From the Golden Verses, “Men shall you find whose sorrows they themselves have created.” (Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook, p. 164. Greek text in Gainsford, Poetæ Minories Gracæ. Vol. 3, p. 283.)

p. 327 Thus is man placed between Virtue and Vice, like the stalk between the two branches in the Pythagorical Y.

“In this way, man seems poised between virtue and vice. This brings to mind the Pythagorean letter “Y,” with its upright split into two branches.” (Goodman, Johann Reuchlin, On the Art of the Kabbalah. De Arte Cabalistica, p. 167)

p. 327 Tartarus, by those who endure infinite torments, [image: images] [image: images] (as Plato, imitating Pythagoras, says) whence they never come out.

From Plato's Phaedra: “But those who appear to be incurable, on account of the greatness of their wrong-doings, because they have committed many great deeds of sacrilege, or wicked and abominable murders, or any other such crimes, are cast by their fitting destiny into Tartarus, whence they never emerge ([image: images]).

(Fowler, Plato, Vol. 1, Phaedo,62, p. 388-389) Reuchlin believed this passage from Phaedo was a direct quote from Pythagoras. (Goodman, Johann Reuchlin, On the Art of the Kabbalah. De Arte Cabalistica, p. 168-169.) Eduard Zeller discussed the influence of Pythagorean ideas of the soul on later writers such as Plato in his History of Greek Philosophy from the earliest period to the time of Socrates (See pp. 481-496.)

p. 330 Look on him as my Progenitor, or [image: images] progeniting body;

From Philostratus' The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Cap. XIX. Conybeare translated [image: images] as “ancestral body.” (Conybeare, Philostratus, The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Vol. 1, pp. 270-271)

p. 337 note 15. [image: images] [“instead of Same”].

According to Iamblicus, Ancaeus of Cephallenia was informed of his task by the Pythian Oracle in the words:

[image: images]

“I order you Ancaeus, to colonize the marine island Samos instead of Same, and to call it Phyllas.” (Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 1, p.18 & Guthrie, The Pythagorean Source-book and Library, p. 58)

p. 337 note 20. Adding [image: images] [image: images]

“and got her with child” [i.e. “caused her to become pregnant”]

The text is added from Iamblicus, De Vita Pythagorica, Cap. 2. (Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 1, p.24)

p. 337 note 25. The manuscript of Porphyry's Life of Pythagoras gives the name Cleanthes ([image: images]) as the source of these accounts, and Stanley is quoting it correctly. However, scholars now affirm that the word is a misspelling for Neanthes ([image: images]). Edouard Zeller, in A History of Greek Philosophy from the earliest period to the time of Socrates, Vol. 1, p. 329: “The Cleanthes of Porphyry is certainly not the Stoic but most likely a misspelling for Neanthes (of Cyzicus).” Guthrie likewise modifies Cleanthes to Neanthes (The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p. 123). For the Greek text, see Nauck, Porphryii Philosophi Platonici Opuscula Tria, p. 14. Cf. Pearson, The Fragments of Zeno and Cleanthes, p. 294)

p. 338 note 44. Reading [image: images] [“principal”].

From Iamblicus, De Vita Pythagorica, Cap. 3 (Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 1, p.38)

p. 338 note 46. For [image: images] reading [image: images] [image: images] etc.

Stanley offered an emendation to Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras, Cap. 3 which reads: [image: images] Thomas Taylor translated the original text, “he said nothing more than, ‘Are you bound for Egypt?’” (Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 1, p.44. Taylor, Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras, p. 8. Cf. Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p. 60)

p. 340 note 98. [image: images]. Hesych. [image: images] [image: images].

The earliest edition of Porphyry's Life of Pythagoras that was available to consult, the 1630 edition by Cardinal Barberinus, does not concur with Stanley, but gives the reading [image: images]. Likewise, the 1731 Latin edition of Stanley's History of Philosophy notes that Stanley wrote [image: images] instead of [image: images] which is in the published text of Porphyry. “The later editions of Kiessling and Nauck likewise read [image: images] [image: images], “in the place called Tripod.” Guthrie follows Kiessling and Nauck, translating the entire passage quoted by Stanley:

“At Delphi he inscribed an elegy on the tomb of Apollo, declaring that Apollo was the son of Silenus, but was slain by Pytho, and buried in the place called “Tripod,” so named from the local mourning for Apollo by the three daughters of Triopas.”

Stanley's reference “Hesychius’, [image: images] [image: images].” refers to the Lexicon of Hesychius of Alexandria, where it is said that Triops for the Pythagoreans signified the Tripod of Delphi.

(Barberinus, Porphyrii Philosophi Liber De Vita Pythagoræ, pp. 10-11, Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 2, p. 30, Nauck, Porphryii Philosophi Platonici Opuscula Tria, p. 20, Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p. 126. Cf. Schmidt, Hesychii Alexandrini Lexicon, Editionem Minorem, p. 1472)

p. 340 note 122. Cicero's reference to this event in his Tusculan Disputations, Book I, Chapter 4, is quite brief: “Pythagoras…came into Italy in the reign of Tarquin the proud.”

Cicero referred to Pythagoras' arrival in Italy with more detail in his treatise, On the Commonwealth, Book 2, Chapter 15: “For it was not till the fourth year of the reign of Tarquinius Superbus that Pythagoras is ascertained to have come to Sybaris, Crotona, and this part of Italy.” (Yonge, Cicero's Tusculan Disputations; also treatises on the nature of the gods and on the Commonwealth, pp. 25 & 406.)

p. 340 note 127. Eusebius, Chronicon

Stanley's footnote to the English edition does not identify the specific source, but merely indicates that it is from a work by Eusebius. The Latin edition of The History of Philosophy clearly identifies the source as the Chronicon or “Chronicle” of Eusebius. The original Greek for the Eusebius' Chronicon is lost and it is known only through an early Latin translation by Justin. However, in the year 1616 the scholar Joseph Justus Scaliger published an edition of the Chronicon under the title Thesaurus Temporum: Eusebii Pamphili Caesareae Palaestinae Episcopi, Chronicorum Canonum Omnimodae Historiae, in which he attempted to restore the Greek of Eusebius, relying heavily upon the Latin translation of Justin. In Stanley's time, this work was acknowledged as a very important work, and was widely read. It is probable that this was the work untilized by Thomas Stanley for referencing the Greek Olympiads.

p. 341 note 146. [image: images] quasi [image: images], [‘Muse’, practically the same as ‘Music'] Synessius in Dion, Chap. 5 & Cassiodorus, Variarum, Liber II, 40.

Synessius, the Neo-Platonic philosopher who became the Bishop of Kyrenaica, in his work Dion, writes about Dio Cocceianus of Prusa, also known as Chrysostom, “goldvoice.” Dio was a Greek philosopher and politician, considered by many to be one of the first representatives of the Second Sophistic movement of Greece. Synessius argues that Dio converted from sophism to philosophy. In Chapter 5 of Dion, Synessius extols the usefulness of the arts of the Muses, suggesting that while the Muses inspire a variety of arts, the philosopher harmonizes them into one. The passage in full reads:

“Now this speech would define as an artist and an expert the man who cuts off for himself any one branch of knowledge, one such man belonging to one divinity (daimon), another to another; but it would call philosopher that one who has been fitted together from the harmony of all, and has made the multitude of arts into one. Or rather he has not attained this yet, for this must be added to him also, namely, that he have a task of his own superior to that of his company. Thus the story goes that Apollo sings at one time with the Muses, leading off himself, and giving the time to the band, and at another sings by himself; but the first would be the sacred and ineffable melody. So our philosopher will commune, now with himself, and now with the god through philosophy, but he will commune with men by the subordinate powers of speech. He will possess knowledge indeed as a lover of literature, whereas he will pass judgment upon each and everything as a philosopher. But these immovable men who despise rhetoric and poetry do not seem to me to be what they are of their own free will, and owing to the poverty of their natural gifts they are incapable of even small achievements. You may more easily see such men than see anything in their minds, and their tongues are unable to interpret any thought.”

(Migne, Patrologiæ Cursus Completus, Series Græca. Vol. 66. [image: images], p. 1125-1128, and Fitzgerald, The Letters of Synesius of Cyrene: Translated into English with introduction and notes)

Cassiodorus in Liber II, Letter 40 of his Variarum wrote concerning music:

“Reflections on the nature of music. She is the Queen of the senses; when she comes forth from her secret abiding place all other thoughts are cast out. Her curatiave influence on the soul. The five tones: the Dorian, influencing to modesty and purity; the Phrygian to fierce combat; the Aeolian to tranquility and slumber; the Ionian (Jastius) , which sharpens the intellect of the dull and kindles the desire of heavenly things; the Lydian, which soothes the soul oppressed with too many cares. We distinguish the highest, middle and lowest in each tone, obtaining thus in all fifteen tones of artificial music. The diapason is collected from all, and unites all their virtues.

Classical instances of music: Orpheus. Amphion. Musaeus.

The human voice was an instrument of music. Oratory and Poesy as branches of the art.

The power of song: Ulysses and the Sirens. David, the author of the Psalter, who by his melody three times drove away the evil spirit from Saul. The lyre is called ‘Chorda' because it so easily moves the hearts (corda) of men. As the diadem dazzles by the variegated luster of its gems, so the lyre with its diverse sounds. The lyre, the loom of the Muses. Mercury, the inventor of the lyre, is said to have derived the idea of it from the harmony of the spheres. This astral music, apprehended by reason alone, is said to form one of the delights of heaven.”

(Cf. Migne, Jaques Paul. Patrologiæ Cursus Completus, Series Latinae, Vol. 69, Cassiodori, and Hodgkin, The Letters of Cassiodorus being a condensed translation of the Variae Epistolae of Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator, pp.193-194).

p. 341 note 147. Aristotle, Analytica Priora et Posteriora, Posterior Analytics Chap. 11. [image: images] [image: images] Cicero, Oratio Pro Licinio Archia, Oratio IX, “Quasi cognatione quadam” etc.

The translation of [image: images] [image: images] is, “All sciences communicate with each other according to common (principles)” “Quasi cognatione quadam” etc.” refers to a quote from Cicero's Oratio Pro Licinio Archia: “Etenim omnes artes, quae ad humanitatem pertinent, habent quoddam commune vinculum, et quasi cognatione quadam inter se continentur”.

“all the liberal arts are nearly allied to each other, and have, as it were, one common bond of union.”

(Cf. Bekker, Aristoteles Opera, Vol. 1, p. 198, and Owen, The Organon, or Logical Treatises of Aristotle, p. 270 & Duncan, Cicero's Select Orations Translated Into English, p. 287)

p. 341 note 152. The missing text from Laertius is as follows:

[image: images].

“Timaeus, in the tenth book of his Histories, tells us, that he used to say that women who were married to men had the names of the Gods, being successively called Virgins, then Nymphs, and subsequently Mothers.” (Hicks, Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Vol. 2, p. 330 and Yonge, Diogenes Laertius, The Lives And Opinions of Eminent Philosophers p. 342.)

p. 341 note 157. Iamblichus, De Vita Pythagorica, Chap 6.

'Acousmatics' from [image: images], “eager to hear.” (Liddell-Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 53b.)

p. 341 note 159. Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, Liber I, Chap. 15.

Homacoeion from [image: images], “school,” in turn derived from [image: images][image: images] “fellow hearers,” or “fellow students” in the school of Pythagoras. (Liddell-Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 1220a. Cf. Taylor, Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras, pp. 38-41.)

page 342 note 190. So read, [Pyrrhus], not Pythius.

The Scholiast of Sophocles incorrectly rendered the name [image: images], thus Stanley's note.

(Cf. Mobeim, Marcus. Diogenes Laertii De Vitis, Dogmatibus et Apophthegmatibus Clarorum Philosophorum, p. 491)

p. 343 note 194. [image: images], ill rendered, amicorum inopia [“lack of friends”.]

Stanley's note means that the Greek text of Porphyry's Life of Pythagoras, [image: images], should be rendered as “want of necessities” rather than the Latin translation amicorum inopia, “lack of friends.” The 1630 edition of Cardinal Barberinus', Porphyrii Philosophi Liber De Vita Pythagoræ p. 39 translates the Greek by the Latin amicorum inopia, the phrase Stanley finds faulty. Likewise, the Eighteenth century translation of Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 2, p. 93, retains the reading amicorum inopia. The Greek text reads:

[image: images]

Guthrie's version has, “Pythagoras fled to the temple of the Muses, in Metapontum. There he abode forty days, and starving, died.” (Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p. 134)

p. 343 note 198. Ibid, Chap. 2

“fair-haired Samian,” [image: images], was correctly translated “long-haired Samian” by Taylor and Guthrie. (Cf. Taylor, Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras or Pythagoric Life, p. 5, Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p.59. Cf. Liddell-Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 975a., Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, p. 30.)

p. 343 note 225. Perhaps [image: images], etc.

Stanley's original marginal note reads verbatum with the text of Laertius.

Cf. Huebner, Diogenis Laertii De Vitis, Dogmatis Et Apophthegmatis Clarorum Philosophorum Libri Decem, Vol. 2, p. 276 and Yonge, Diogenes Laertius, The Lives And Opinions of Eminent Philosophers p. 355 : “Telauges, noble youth, whom in due time, Theano bore to wise Pythagoras.”

p.344 note 235. [image: images] “poor workmanship,” [image: images] “mischevious art.

From Laertius Chapter 5:' [image: images] Yonge translated it, “Now, some people say that Pythagoras did not leave behind him a single book; but they talk foolishly; for Heraclitus, the natural philosopher, speaks plainly enough of him saying, ‘Pythagoras, the son of Mnesarchus, was the most learned of all men in history; and having selected from these writings, he thus formed his own wisdom, and extensive learning, and mischevious art” (Yonge, Diogenes Laertius, The Lives And Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, p. 340) Compare the version of Hicks: “There are some who insist, absurdly enough, that Pythagoras left no writings whatever. At all events, Heraclitus, the physicist, almost shouts in our ear, “Pythagoras, son of Mnesarchus, practised inquiry beyond all other men, and in this selection of his writings made himself a wisdom of his own, showing much learning, but poor workmanship.” (Hicks, Diogenes Laertius Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Vol 2 pp. 324-325). Cf. Huebner Diogenis Laertii De Vitis, Dogmatis Et Apophthegmatis Clarorum Philosophorum Libri Decem, Vol. 2, p. 242.

“sometimes taken in a good sense; Gregory Nazianzus, Adversus Julianus, Oratio 4. [image: images]the text being so to be restored.”

(Cf. Migne, Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Gregorius Nazianzenus Vol. XXXV, Contra Julianum imperatorem, Cap.112, 87-88. p. 649. Note that the Greek is significantly different from that given by Stanley: [image: images] Cf. King, Julian the Emperor containing Gregory Nazianzen's Two Invectives and Libanius' Monody, p. 75 where [image: images] was rendered “treacherous intention.” Stanley's suggestion that the word is sometimes taken in a “good sense” would appear to be dependent on his own restoration and interpretation of the text of Nazianzus, not followed by other authorities.

p. 344 note 238. [image: images] “bear ill-will.” The original Ms. of Diogenes Laertius' Lives of Eminent Philosophers has [image: images], which was copied by Stanley. Hicks rendered the phrase “suffer censure” Yonge translated it, “be blamed.”

(For [image: images] see Liddel Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon under [image: images]. Cf. Hicks, Diogenes Laertius Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Vol 2 p. 325. Yonge, Diogenes Laertius, The Lives And Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, p. 340)

p. 345 note 259. For [image: images] perhaps read [image: images]. The Greek text of Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras Cap. 19, 77 reads: [image: images] [image: images]. Kiessling also noted that [image: images], “art, craft,” is corrupt in this context. (Cf. Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 1, p. 200-201) The sentence requires the meaning of “mark” or “sign,” hence Kiessling's Latin translation Etiam alia similia potentiae Abaradis vestigia memorantur. “Many other such signs of the power of Abaris were reported.”

p. 346 note 297. For [image: images] reading, [image: images], “Thus, as said by Plato….”

From Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras, Chapter 16, the passage in full reads:

[image: images]

“By all these inventions, therefore, he divinely healed and purified the soul, resuscitated and saved its divine part, and conducted to the intelligible its divine eye, which, as Plato says, is better worth saving than ten thousand corporeal eyes.”

The reference to Plato is from his Republic, Book VII, Chapter X, where in the dialogue, the argument is made that the study of science and mathematics, while difficult, enlightens the soul: “that by these branches of study some organ of the soul in each individual is purified and rekindled like fire, after having been destroyed and blinded by other kinds of study–an organ, indeed, better worth saving than ten-thousand eyes, since by that alone truth can be seen.”

This same passage from Plato is also quoted by Nicomachus in his Introduction To Arithmetic (Chapter 3) as a defense of the four sciences of Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and Astronomy.

(Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 1, p. 148. Taylor, Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras, p. 37. Burges, Works of Plato, Vol. 2, p. 217. D'Ooge, Introduction to Arithmetic, by Nicomachus of Gerasa (pp. 181-190))

p. 346 note 308. For [image: images], “savage Aenean” perhaps read [image: images][image: images] “Agrinean.”

Kiessling (Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 1 p. 188) mentions the option [image: images] (rusticus Aeneus) but suggested [image: images] “Aegean” and rendered the Latin, Hippomedon Aegeus, “Hippomedon the Aegean.” Thomas Taylor rendered it “Hippomedon, an Aegean.” (Taylor, Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras, p.46) Cf. Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p. 79. Stanley himself lists Hippomedon as one of the Aegeans. (See page 113.)

p. 346 note 310. For [image: images], perhaps read [image: images]. Yet Laertius expressly saith, that linen was not as yet used in those parts.

The reference to the linen garment is from Iamblicus, Life of Pythagoras, Cap. 21. Kiessling also corrected the reading to [image: images], “linen garment,” Diogenes Laertius however wrote: [image: images] [image: images]“His robe was white and spotless, his quilts of white wool, for linen had not yet reached those parts.”

(Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 1, p. 216. Hicks, Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Vol. 2, pp. 336-337.)

p. 346 note 312. From Iamblichus restore Diodorus in Excerpta Valesiana page 245. reading [image: images]

The fragment from Excerpta Valesiana refers to a fragment of Diodorus Siculus' Bibliotheca Historica, originally published by Henricus Valesius in 1636. The text may be found in Dindorf, [image: images] [image: images] Diodori Bibliotheca Historica, Vol. 2, p. 166, where the actual fragment from Liber X, Chapter 5, Section 1 reads:

…[image: images]…

Stanley's restoration comes from Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras, Chapter 29. Cf. Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. I, page 350 line 166: [image: images]. “the ability of remembering was most important for experience, science and wisdom.” See also Booth, The Historical Library of Diodorus The Sicilian in Fifteen Books to which are added The Fragments of Diodorus and Those published by H. Valesius, I. Rhodomannus, and F. Ursinus, Vol. 2 page 576 (No. 38). Where the entire passage of the fragment from Diodorus translated reads, “The Pythagoreans had a great art in improving their memories, and to that end employed their utmost care and diligence. For the first thing they did constantly after they rose from their beds in a morning, was to recollect and call to mind every thing they had done the day before, from the morning to the evening; if if they had time and leisure, they would go back to examine the actions of the second, third, and fourth days, and sometimes farther, conceiving it very helpful and advantageous for improving the memory, and increasing knowledge.” From this, one can see that Stanley drew heavily on Diodorus for the text immediately preceding the note, and adding from Iamblicus.

p. 347 note 323. [image: images].

Also rendered the same by Friedlein, Procli Diadochi In Primum Euclidis Elementorum Librum Commentarii, p. 36. ‘Barocius' refers to Franciscus Barocius (the Latin name of Francesco Barozzi) who published a translation of Euclid's Elements in Venice in the year 1560.

p. 347 note 324. [image: images]

Freidlein read this passage [image: images] [image: images]. (Friedlein, Procli Diadochi In Primum Euclidis Elementorum Librum Commentarii, p. 36)

p. 347 note 326. [image: images] “Introduction to Arithmetic” The subsequent text, “so supply the Title, as a page. 30. 35. 44. 62. 76) cap. 4. refers to the Greek [image: images] which is the title of the book by Nicomachus by that name, known by its Latin name Introductionis Arithmeticae. In Chapter 3, Nicomachus quotes Plato's Republic, Book VII, Chapter X, wherein the four mathemata of the quadrivium (the “higher subjects”—Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and “Spheric,” i.e. Astronomy) are described and defended: “arithmetic for reckoning, distributions, contributions, exchanges and partnerships, geometry for sieges, the founding of cities and sanctuaries, and the partition of land, music for festivals, entertainment, and the worship of the gods, and the doctrine of the spheres, or astronomy, for farming, navigation and other undertaking, revealing beforehand the proper procedure and suitable season.”

Chapter 4 of Nicomachus' “Introduction to Arithmetic” clarifies the reasoning to select Arithmetic as the first of the four methods (Music, Mathematics, Geometry or Spheric) should be studied first. The Chapter is given in full below:

“Which then of these four methods must we first learn? Evidently, the one which naturally exists before them all, is superior and takes the place of origin and root and, as it were, of mother to the others. And this is arithmetic, not solely because we said that it existed before all the others in the mind of the creating God like some universal and exemplary plan, relying upon which as a design and archetypal example the creator of the universe sets in order his material creations and makes them attain to their proper ends; but also because it is naturally prior in birth inasmuch as it abolishes other sciences with itself, but is not abolished together with them. For example, ‘animal' is naturally antecedent to ‘man,’ for abolish ‘animal' and ‘man' is abolished; but if ‘man' be abolished, it no longer follows that ‘animal' is abolished at the same time. And again, ‘man' is antecedent to ‘schoolteacher,’ but if ‘schoolteacher' is nonexistent, it is still possible for ‘man' to be. Thus since it has the property of abolishing the other ideas with itself, it is likewise the older. Conversely, that is called younger and posterior which implies the other thing with itself, but is not implied by it, like ‘musician,’ for this always implies ‘man.’ Again, take ‘horse’; ‘animal' is always implied along with ‘horse,’ but not the reverse; for if ‘animal' exists, it is not necessary that ‘horse' should exist, nor if ‘man' exists, must ‘musician' also be implied. So it is with the foregoing sciences; if geometry exists, arithmetic must also needs be implied, for it is with the help of this latter that we can speak of triangle, quadrilateral, octahedron, icosahedron, double, eightfold, or one and one-half times, or anything else of the sort which is used as a term by geometry, and such things cannot be conceived of without the numbers that are implied with each one. For how can ‘triple' exist, or be spoken of, unless the number 3 exists beforehand, or ‘eightfold' without 8? But on the contrary, 3, 4, and the rest might be without the figures existing to which they give names. Hence arithmetic abolishes geometry along with itself, but is not abolished by it, and while it is implied by geometry, it does not itself imply geometry.”

(Hoche, [image: images][image: images], Nicomachi Geraseni Pythagorei Introductionis Arithmeticae, pp. 9-10, D'Ooge, Introduction to Arithmetic, by Nicomachus of Gerasa (pp. 181-190)

p. 347 note 342. Eustratius, Ethica Nicomachea.1 & Servius, Incipit Expositio Primae Eclogae, VIII.

Cf. Virgil, Ecologue VIII:

“Threefold first I twine about thee these diverse triple-hued threads, and thrice round these altars I draw thine image: an odd number is god's delight.” (McKail, The Eclogues and Georgics of Virgil, p. 29)

p. 354 note 599. Meibomius seems to mistake the meaning of [image: images][image: images], and therefore puts a point after [image: images].

The quote is from Nicomachus' ‘Manual of Harmonics' (APMONIKON ETXEIPI[image: images]ION).

Marcus Meibom, in the Greek text of his Nicomachi Harmonices p. 10 in Antiquae Musicae, Vol. 1, erroneously places a period after [image: images]. The correct Greek text is supplied by Jan, Musici Scriptoris Graeci p. 245, given below with a translation by Mike Estell:

[image: images]

“After the interval of four chords, that of five chords, and that by the joining of both, call diapason, and the tone added between the two four-chord intervals, were confirmed to have this numerical quantity, in some such manner seized upon by Pythagoras.”

Whereas Meibom has [image: images], Jan's text from Musici Scriptoris Graeci correctly gives [image: images], which is the masculine dative with the final letter being iota, not alpha. The word is the aorist passive participle of [image: images], “seize, catch” or “constrain.” In the sentence above, [image: images] modifies the phrase [image: images], “in some such manner.” It refers to the manner in which Pythagoras came to establish the numerical quantity of intervals with the musical chords, which he “seized upon.” The phrase, “in some such manner,” refers to the following sentence which describes Pythagoras' trip to the Blacksmith shop. As Stanley observes, Meibom mistakes the meaning, or function in the sentence, of [image: images], not understanding it to modify [image: images], but apparently relating back to the phrase “the tone added between the two four-chord intervals,” with a meaning something akin to “comprehended.” [image: images] can mean “to seize with the mind, comprehend, understand,” and this may have been the basis of his error. The period following [image: images] may not be related to this error at all, and may just be a simple misprint in the Greek text printed by Meibom. He does not insert a period in the middle of the Latin text as he does in the Greek.

(For the Greek translation and scholarly commentary on this difficult passage above, we are indebted to Mike Estell.)

P. 355 note 605. [image: images], Meibomius otherwise.

The quotation is from Nicomachus' Harmonicum Enchiridium, which is verbatum with Iamblicus' Life of Pythagoras, Chapter 26:

[image: images] [image: images]. “After carefully examining the weights of the hammers and their impacts, which were identical, he went home.” Marcus Meibom had the correct Greek [image: images] but his Latin translation, intra se est conversus, “he returned by himself,” is faulty, hence Stanley's note. Kiessling rendered it domum rediit, “he returned home.” (Meibom, Nicomachi Harmonices p. 11 in Antiquae Musicae Vol. 1, Jan, Musici Scriptoris Graeci, p. 246., Levin, The Manual of Harmonics of Nicomachus the Pythagorean, p.83, Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 1, p. 248.)

p. 355 note 606. [image: images], which Meibomius, contrary to all MSS. Would change unnecessarily into [image: images] and renders aeque graves.

In the main body of the text Meibom printed [image: images] which is correct. In his notes to the text on p. 48 however, he discussed [image: images] “in balance” and [image: images] “equal in weight” in support of his Latin translation aeque graves (equal weight). The word [image: images] means literally “equally twisted,” and refers to the ropes. (See Meibom, Nicomachi Harmonices pp. 11 and 48 in Antiquae Musicae Vol. 1, and Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 839b under [image: images].)

p. 355 note 617. [image: images].

Kiessling read it as [image: images]. (Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 1 p. 238)

p. 356 note 654. “Reading [image: images] etc.” (Cf. Freidlein, Procli Diadochi In Primum Euclidis Elementorum Librum Commentarii, p. 419-420.)

p. 357 note 676. For an English translation of Censorinus' De Die Natale (“The Natal Day”), and specifically Chapter XIII, on the “Music of the Spheres” quoted by Stanley, see Maude, Die Die Natale by Censorinus, pp. 10-11. For the Latin text, Cf. Hultsch, CENSORINI, DE DIE NATALI LIBER pp. 22-24.”

p. 358 note 727. “Perhaps [image: images] [image: images]. See St. Basil of Caesarea, Homilia ad Psalm. XIX.”

The quotation is from from Basil's [image: images][image: images], To young men on how they might profit from Greek Literature. (“Greek Literature” is alternately translated, “Pagan Literature” or “Profane Works”) In Migne's Patrologiæ Cursus Completus, Series Græca. Vol. 31 this work is listed as one of the Sermons, and falls between Homily 21 and 23. The 24th Homily is Contra Sabellianos, et Arium, et Anomæos. The entire quote, with a better restoration, reads:

[image: images]

“And it will be remembered of Pythagoras, that calling one of his familiars from the gymnastics and eating, which were fattening him very much, he said, ‘Will you not cease making your imprisonment harder for yourself?” (Jacks, St. Basil and Greek Literature, p. 45) These words of Pythagoras were assigned by Stobaeus to Plato (Serm. 77)

For the Greek text see Migne, Patrologiæ Cursus Completus, Series Græca. Vol. 31, pp. 583-584, or for Greek text with another translation, Cf. Defarrari, Saint Basil: The Letters & Address To Young Men On Reading Greek Literature, Vol. 4, pp. 422-423.

The final portion of the note refers to St. Basil of Caesarea's, Homilia ad Psalm. XXIX, which contains the following condemnation of gluttony:

“On the other hand, what is uglier or more disgusting than a soul given over to base passions? Look at the hot-headed person: he is like a wild beast. Consider the slave of lust or gluttony: who can bear the sight of him?” (PG 29, 316)

p. 358 note 727. “Reading [image: images] according to Stobaeus, Florilegium 99, who cites this fragment but of Aristoxenus; perhaps it belonged to his Book, De Vitae Pythagorae.”

See above, page 373, note to page 99. By [image: images], Stanley means [image: images] [image: images], “He said it,” referring to Pythagoras, since Stobaeus credits the source as Aristoxenus, but relates it as a quotation from Pythagoras himself.

p. 360 note 787. Laertius, De Vitis Philosophorum, Liber I, Life of Pittacus, Chap. 8.

The “Epigram of Callimachus upon Pittacus” is in full, as follows:

'Hyrradius' prudent son, old Pittacus
The pride of Mitylene, once was asked
By an Atarnean stranger; “Tell me, sage,
I have two marriages proposed to me;
One maid my equal is in birth and riches;
The other's far above me; which is best?
Advise me now which shall I take to wife?”
Thus spoke the stranger; but the aged prince,
Raising his old man's staff before his face,
Said, “These will tell you all you want to know;”
And pointed to some boys, who with quick lashes
Were driving whipping tops along the street.
“Follow their steps,” said he; so he went near them
And heard them say, “Let each now mind his own.”—
So when the stranger heard the boys speak thus,
He pondered on their words, and laid aside
Ambitious thoughts of an unequal marriage.
As then he took to shame the poorer bride,
So too do you, O reader, mind thy own.’

(Yonge, Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, p. 37)

p. 361 note 830. These are termed [image: images] [“intelligence”], [image: images] [“reason”], [image: images] [“passion”]. [image: images] [“intelligence”] and [image: images] [“passion”] are in other living creatures, [image: images] [“reason”], only in man.

[image: images]

“The soul of man, he says, is divided into three parts: intelligence, reason, and passion. Intelligence and passion are possessed by other animals as well, but reason by man alone.” (Hicks, Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Vol. 2, p. 347)

p. 361 note 831. [image: images] They talk, but cannot speak.

For the Greek text, see Wyttenbach, [image: images] [image: images] PLUTARCHI CHÆRONENSIS MORALIA, Vol. 4, part 2, p. 668. [image: images] means “inarticulate speech” or “chatter.” (Cf. the reading by Vernardakis, Plutarchi Chaeronensis Moralia, Vol. 5, p. 364.)

p. 361 note 835. Anonymous, De Vita Pythagorae apud Photius, Chap. 10. For [image: images] [“Twelve”], perhaps [image: images] [“ten”].

The Greek text in the Anonymous De Vita Pythagorae preserved by Photius, Chapter 10 reads:

[image: images]

“According to Pythagoras, Plato and Aristotle, sight is the judge of the twelve colors, white and black being the extremes of those in between: yellow, tawny, pale, red, blue, green, light blue, and gray”.

One would expect a list of twelve colors to follow, however only ten colors are given. Thus Stanley corrects the text from “twelve” ([image: images]) to “ten” ([image: images].)

(Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 2, pp. 106-108.)

p. 362 note 837. Of which the Ancients made their Mirrors, see Callimachus, Hymn 5.

The fifth Hymn of Callimachus gives the name given by the Greeks to the material from which mirrors were made: “bring not, ye companions of the Bath, for Pallas perfumes nor alabasters (for Athena loves not mixed unguents), neither bring ye a mirror. Always her face is fair, and, even when the Phrygian judged the strife on Ida, the great goddess looked not into orichak.”

(A.W. Mair, Callimachus and Lycophron, p. 113) Orichak ([image: images]) “mountain copper” was a mixture of copper and zinc, frequently given as “Aurichalcum,” or Brass.

(Cf. Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 1247b)

p. 363 note 901. For [image: images], for so Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, Liber V, Chap. 8.

Stanley intended us to read, [image: images], “the Sea, a tear of Saturn,” supplying the wording from Clement of Alexander's Stromata, Liber V, Chapter 8: [image: images]. “In the same way too, the Pythagoreans figuratively called the planets the “dogs of Persephone,” and to the sea they applied the metaphorical appellation of “the tears of Kronos.”

The name of Saturn was omitted by Porphyry, and read only “the Sea, a tear.” The full epithet was restored by Kenneth Guthrie, but who preferred translating [image: images] using the Greek “Kronos” rather than the Roman equivalent “Saturn.” (Dindorf, Clementis Alexandrini Opera, Vol. 3, p. 40; Kiessling, Iamblichi Chalcidensis Ex Coele-Suria De Vita Pythagorica, Vol. 2, p. 72., and Guthrie, The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, p.131.)

p. 364 note 907. Perhaps [image: images], [“disbelieve”.]

For “disbelieve.” Cf. Liddell Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 189b, [image: images]. In the listing of the Pythagorean Symbols in the Protrepticus of Iamblicus, the 25th Symbol is, [image: images], “Concerning the gods, disbelieve nothing wonderful, nor concerning Divine Doctrines.” When explained, it is switched to the position of Symbol #4. In this book, it is both listed and explained as Symbol #4. In the Protrepticus the explanation reads:

[image: images]

Stanley's correction to [image: images] appears to be unique, not followed by either Piscelli or Edouard Des Places. Thomas Moore Johnson approached the text a bit differently and translated, “For it urges us to acquire a science of that kind through which we shall be in no respect deficient in things asserted about the gods.” (Cf. Pistelli, Iamblichi Protrepticus Ad Fidem Codicis Florentini, pp. 107 & 121, Des Places, Jamblique Protreptique, pp. 134 & 146, and Johnson, Iamblicus: The Exhortation to Philosophy, p. 98)

p. 365 note 963. [image: images] perhaps is for [image: images]. Doric.

The Doric word [image: images] the equivalent of the Attic [image: images][image: images], “proper,” or as Stanley has it, “good.” From Timaei Locri, De Anima Mundi:

[image: images]

Thomas Tobin, following the restoration of William Marg to the first line and reads, [image: images] etc…

“Accordingly, the cause of vice comes rather from our parents and from our own basic elements than from ourselves, granted that there is no laziness and that we do not shrink from our proper duties.”

(Cf. Tobin, Timaios of Locri, On the Nature of the World and the Soul, pp. 66-67, Marg, Timaeus Locrus. De Natura Mundi et Animae, p. 146, Burges, Works of Plato, Vol. 6, p. 166, and Stallbaum, Platonis Opera Omnia, Vol. 7, p. 439)



Upon the near affinity which Pythagoras (following Orpheus) conceived to be between the gods and numbers, he collected a kind of Arithmancy. This he not only practiced himself, but communicated to his disciples—as is manifest from Iamblichus, who cites this fragment of the Sacred Discourse, a book ascribed to him.

“Concerning the gods of Pythagoras, son of Mnesarchus, I learned this when I was initiated at Libeth in Thrace, Aglaophemus administering the rites to me. Orpheus, son of Calliope, instructed by his mother in the Pangaean mountain, said that number is an eternal substance, the most provident principle of the universe: heaven, and earth, and middle nature; likewise the root of divine beings, and of gods and daemons.” 581

Hence (says Iamblichus) it is manifest that Pythagoras received from the traditions of Orpheus the doctrine that numbers hold the determinate essence of the gods. By these numbers he framed a wonderful system of divination and service of the gods. This had the closest affinity to numbers, as may be evinced from hence (for it is requisite to give an instance for confirmation of what we say).

The student of Pythagoras, Abaris, performed those kinds of sacrifices to which he was accustomed, and diligently practiced divination after the ways of the Barbarians by victims (principally of cocks, whose entrals they conceived to be most exact for inspection). Pythagoras, not willing to take him away from his study of truth; yet, in order to direct him by a safer way, without blood and slaughter (moreover esteeming the cock sacred to the Sun), taught Abaris to find out all truth by the science of arithmetic.582 Thus says Iamblichus, who writes elsewhere that Pythagoras, instead of the art of divining by sacrifices, taught that kind of prediction which is by numbers, conceiving that to be more sacred and divine, and more agreeable to the celestial nature of the gods.

This hint some have taken to impose upon the world, under the name of Pythagoras, an Onomantic kind of arithmetic—assigning particular numbers to the letters of the alphabet, to the planets, to the days of the week, and to the signs of the Zodiac. They thereby resolve questions concerning nativities, victory, life or death, journeys, prosperity or adversity. Such a system is set down by Fludd,583 who adds that Apollonius has delivered another way of divination according to the Pythagorean doctrine; affirming that future things may be prognosticated by virtue of a wheel invented by Pythagoras. Hereby is treated of life and death, of fugitives, of litigious business, of victories, of the sex of children unborn, and infinite others of the like kind. But concerning the exposition of the wheel, and the true position of numbers, therein the ancient authors have written very inconstantly. So that the truth of its composition cannot be comprehended otherwise than by conjecture. What ancient authors he means I know not. The citation of Apollonius I doubt to be no less an assumption than the wheel itself, which Trithemius and others acknowledge to be an invention of later times.584



Having been a diligent auditor and disciple of all these, he returned home and earnestly addicted himself to enquiry after such things as he had omitted.112 First, as soon as he returned to Ionia (says Antiphon, cited by Porphyry, repeated and enlarged by Iamblicus), he built in his country within the city a school which even yet is called the Semicircle of Pythagoras.113 Here the Samians, when they would consult about public affairs, would assemble, choosing to enquire after things honest, just, and advantageous in that place which he, who took care of them all, had erected. Without the city he made a cave proper for his study of philosophy, in which he lived for the most part day and night, and discoursed with his friends, and made enquiry into the most useful part of Mathematics, taking the same course as Minos son of Jupiter. And so far did he surpass all whom he taught, that they, for the smallest theorem, were reputed great persons.

Pythagoras now perfected the science of the celestial bodies and covered it with all demonstrations Arithmetical and Geometrical. Nor this only, but he became much more admired for the things he performed afterwards. For philosophy had now received a great increase, and all Greece began to admire him; and the best and most studious persons, for his sake, reported to Samos desiring to participate of his institutions.

An Explication of the Pythagorean Doctrine By John Reuchlin964



The incommunicable and abstruse tradition of Mysteries and Symbols is not to be investigated by acuteness of human wit (which rather affects us with a doubtful fear than an adherent firmness). It requires ample strength of thinking and believing, and above all things, faith and taciturnity.965 Whence Pythagoras taught nothing (as Apuleius says) to his disciples before silence; it being the first rudiment of contemplative wisdom to learn to meditate, and to unlearn to talk.966 As if the Pythagorean sublimity were of greater worth than to be comprehended by the talk of boys. This kind of learning (as other things) Pythagoras brought into Greece from the Hebrews. That the disciple intending to ask some sublime question, should hold his peace; and being questioned, should only answer [image: images], “He said.”† Thus the Cabalists answer [image: images], “The wise said”; and Christians, pioteuoov, “Believe.”†

Moreover, all the Pythagorean philosophy (especially that which concerns divine things) is mystical, expressed by Riddles and Symbols.967 The reasons are these: First, the Ancients used to deliver wisdom by Allegories. All their Philosophers and Poets are full of Riddles, avoiding by obscurity contempt of the vulgar. For the most apt interpreter of things not perceptible by human infirmity is Fable. That befits Philosophers which is declared under the pious veil of fictions, hidden in honest things, and attired in honest words. For what is easily found is but too negligently pursued. Secondly, it sometimes happens that we cannot express abstruse things without much circumlocution, unless by some short Parable. Thirdly, as generals use watch-words to distinguish their own soldiers from others, so it is not improper to communicate to friends some peculiar Symbols as distinctive marks of a Society. These, among the Pythagoreans, were a chain of indissoluble love. Pythagoras was studious of friendship; and if he heard of any that used his Symbols, he presently admitted him into his Society.968 Hereupon all became desirous of them—as well thereby to be acceptable to their Master as to be known as Pythagoreans. Lastly, symbols may serve as memorial notes. For in treating of all things divine and human, the vastness of the subject requires short Symbols as conducing much to memory.

Part One

The Life of Pythagoras

[image: images]

[image: images]

[image: images]

Among the earliest coins from Southern Italy, this silver stater of c.540–530 B.C. was issued at Metaptontum, a city some ancient authorities claim to be the home town of Pythagoras' father. The coin has an unusual configuration in which the barley ear of the reverse form-fits within the raised design of the obverse. This required precision in the cutting of the dies and in the striking of the coin. This unusual minting process may be attributable to Pythagoras, though it is far from certain.
Photo courtesy of Numismatica Ars Classica



Next to gods and daemons, we ought to reverence parents and the law; and to render ourselves o