Chapter

<i>Mathematici</i> and <i>Acusmatici</i>. The Pythagorean ‘Symbols’

Leonid Zhmud

in Pythagoras and the Early Pythagoreans

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199289318
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741371 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289318.003.0006
Mathematici and Acusmatici. The Pythagorean ‘Symbols’

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This chapter discusses the Pythagorean ‘symbols’ and their custodians, the mathematici and the acusmatici. The ‘symbols’ are short sayings divided into three kinds according to the question they answer. The first kind answer the question, ‘What is...?’ The second kind answers the question, ‘What is most...?’ The third and most important kind contains precepts and prohibitions. In its application of the ‘symbols’, the following question is addressed: was there in the history of ancient Pythagoreanism a period in which the precepts and taboos they contain were observed to the letter, and, if there was, then what circle of persons was affected?

Keywords: Pythagoreans; symbols; Pythagoras; questions

Chapter.  16425 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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