The Early Tradition on Pythagoras and Its Development

Leonid Zhmud

in Pythagoras and the Early Pythagoreans

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199289318
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741371 | DOI:
The Early Tradition on Pythagoras and Its Development

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This chapter reviews references to Pythagoras by the authors of the pre-Platonic period. It shows that in the course of the fourth century, studies in mathematics, particularly geometry and arithmetic, became a constant element of the tradition of Pythagoras; astronomy and harmonics are less frequently mentioned. Mathematics did not displace metempsychosis and wonders, nor did the tradition of Pythagoras the politician which emerged concurrently with it, yet they did edge them aside, completing the ambivalent, contradictory image of Pythagoras, which was retained by his Neoplatonic biographers and passed from them into modern scholarship. It concludes that Pythagoras the mathematician is as little a product of the Academy as Pythagoras the philosopher.

Keywords: Pythagoras; pre-Platonic period; Pythagoreans; Academy; mathematician; philosopher

Chapter.  15398 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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