Anda di halaman 1dari 28

Pino Blasone

Pythagoreanism An Early Italic Philosophy

1 Modern Lucanian Jug with the Secret, moulded after ancient models by the potter Michele Di Lena at Grottole, Basilicata, Italy

Wisdom and Lore Aristotle the philosopher wrote specifically on Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans. Unfortunately, a few relevant fragments remain. In other works though, as respectively On

Heaven and Metaphysics, not only he treats them quite extensively. Also he defines them as those in Italy, [who are] called Pythagoreans ( , , 293a) or even, more simply, as the Italics ( , 988a). So strong it was, in the Hellenic culture at those times, the identification of the Pythagorean school of thought with an Italic location, although that does not mean Italian in a modern sense. For the ancient Greeks as Aristotle Itala was part of todays southern Italy, with special reference to the Greek colonies on its coasts, Sicily excluded. Later it came to denote a larger area, the Megl Hells in Latin, Magna Graecia , and finally the whole peninsula to as north as the Alps, such as described in Polybius Histories (II 14; 2nd century B.C.). However, an early idea of Italy was born about and, likely, in southern Italy itself: per ts Italas and per tn Italan, according to the title of a now lost historical writing by Antiochus of Syracuse (around 420 B.C.), and to the above expression used by Aristotle. In the Greek doxographists collected by the German philologist Herman A. Diels, we may meet with this annotation referred to the Pythagoreans and ascribed to the Aristotelian thinker and doxographer Atius, lived in the 1st or 2nd century B.C.: Their sect is called Italic since Pythagoras emigrated from his fatherland Samos, as dissenting from the tyranny of Polycrates, and taught in Italy (Atii De Placitis reliquiae, I 3; Dox. Gr. 280; Berlin, 1879). Almost the same information is found in the Philosophoumena compiled in the first half of the 3rd century A.D. by Hppolytus of Rome (Phil. II; Dox. 555), with the difference that there the Pythagoreanism is regarded not so much as a sect, but rather as an original Italic philosophy, despite the Christian author s declared adversity to philosophers. Philosophical brotherhood or scientific school, sometimes mysterical community and even political faction, in southern Italy the Pythagoreanism flourished from the age of Pythagoras to that of Aristoxenus of Tarentum at least, that is from the late 6th to the 4th century B.C. In his De senectute, the Roman Marcus Tullius Cicero wrote of Pythagoram Pythagoreosque, incolas paene nostros, qui essent Italici philosophi quondam nominati (Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans, our nearly fellow countrymen, once called Italic philosophers: XXI 78; 44 B.C.). Yet like for other Greek authors, still in the first half of the 3rd century A.D., in Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers by Diogenes Lartius, Italic philosophy is a synonym of Pythagorean philosophy, at most including the Eleatic
2

school which was derived from albeit somehow in contrast with a Pythagorean worldview. Moreover Lartius distinguishes that Italic philosophy from an Ionian one, in practice comprehensive of the rest of Greek thought, probably for unlike the latter the former had been largely transmitted in a Doric dialect, or because actually the other main source of Hellenic classical philosophy had sprung in the Ionian colonies of Asia Minor. Just like the learned dwellers of these colonies had been in touch with an astrological culture of the Near East, or with a magic one of the Middle East, a familiarity with the wisdom of the southern Mediterranean Egypt was attributed to Pythagoras, from his young age at least. Yet in the Greek traditional imagery there was also the mythic perception of a wilder and quite barbaric north, particularly and extensively the Thrace, as the original land of a Dionysian worship and Orphic lore. We can dare affirm, wisdom and lore together, the charm of far older civilizations and a wondering sense of nature, formed a sort of pictorial composite landscape with incipient ruins. Not merely that was the background for a development of Pythagoreanism, but of the whole Pre-Socratic philosophy. Was there, in southern Italy, something similar to Thrace in the imaginary baggage of the Greek settlers? Although a few clues we may detect about date from much later, they sound some useful for a phenomenological approach, needing to be supported by philological references. In his above mentioned biographical history, in the Life of Archytas, Diogenes Lartius reports an alleged letter from the Pythagorean Archytas to Plato, with related reply: Archytas wishes Plato good health. We [...] went up to Lucania, where we found the true progeny of Ocellus. [From them] we did get the works On Law, On Kingship, On Piety, and On the Origin of the Universe, all of which we have sent on to you; but the rest are, at present, nowhere to be found; if they should turn up, you shall have them. This is Archytas letter; and Platos answer is as follows: Plato to Archytas greeting. I was overjoyed to get the memoirs which you sent, and I am very greatly pleased with the writer of them; he seems to be a right worthy descendant of his distant forbears. They came, so it is said, from Myra, and were among those who emigrated from Troy in Laomedons time, really good men, as the traditional story shows (VIII 79-81; trans. Robert D. Hicks, 1925). Lucania was and is a mostly mountainous district, lying north of the Gulf of Taranto. This country was inhabited by Lucanians, a people differing from the town dwellers on the coast. Not a few of those good men though, so praised and mythologized in Platos letter,
3

had learnt the Greek language and the Pythagorean ideas. According to Iamblichus, On the Pythagoric Life, one Aresas Lucanus directed the school for a while. Ascribed to Ocellus Lucanus, today we have a fragment of On Law, and the brief treatise On the Nature of the Universe ( , Per ts tou pants phses), mentioned by Lartius with a slightly different title: gnesis instead of nature, since this concept of generation is actually central in that work. With great probability, it was already known to the Roman antiquary Marcus T. Varro in the first century B.C., the chief source of De die natali by the late Roman polymath Censorinus, where Ocellus is named along with Pythagoras and Archytas. Another thinker, Aesara of Lucania, was not so much a good man as reliably a woman. Reliably means that, even if her On Human Nature is a forgery, a critical effort to credit its author as female is plausible. Women were well accepted, amid the Pythagoreans.

2 Views of the ruins of the Temples of Juno at Metapontum and of Juno Lucina at Agrigentum: etchings by Jean DuplessisBerteaux after Jean Louis Desprez, for the Voyage pittoresque ou Description des

Royaumes de Naples et de Sicile by JeanClaude Richard de Saint-Non (Paris: Clousier, 1781-1786); and by Agostino Aglio for William Wilkins The Antiquities of Magna Graecia (Cambridge: University Press, 1807)

Macrocosm and Microcosm What extant of the work by Aesara, or Per anthrp phsios, was preserved in an anthology of excerpts from Greek authors, compiled by Joannes Stobaeus in the late 5th century A.D. (Eclogae physicae et ethicae, I 49, 27). The fragment is in Doric dialect, once spoken in the Peloponnese or in southern Italy, and seems to be datable to the 3rd-4th century B.C. On the contrary, On the Nature of the Universe by Ocellus is in Ionic-Attic dialect, but some relevant fragments in Doric also preserved by Stobaeus suggest that it was revised in a commoner language whereas the original had been redacted in Doric. All this implies that both texts might have been composed in the same place and time, or even by the same author, of course if we agree with the scholarly prevailing thesis that they are pseudepigraphical. Since this is not so much an academic study as rather a cultural essay, here we can compare them with each other, by focussing on their logical contents even more than on their philological history, in order to investigate what a kind of wisdom was that of those Pythagorean Lucanians or else attributed to them. A very Pythagorean analogy is that either Aesara and Ocellus sometimes Occelus, due to a different spelling which betrays some an extraneousness of this name to Greek language strive to show up a correspondence between a cosmic or natural order and an auspicable harmony in human society. That is in the subordinate, not seldom arbitrary and conservative sense, that somehow the latter ought to imitate the former. What is quite evident in the fourth and conclusive part of Ocellus tract at least or in his fragment of On Low , and in such a way in Aesaras fragment, that this almost resembles the continuation of Ocellus writing, but with some differences which also strive to show or simulate a female point of view. In a Socratic even better than Pre-Socratic fashion, the natural philosophy is converted into a human one. Nay, in Aesaras speech such a conversion is an

inversion, since hers is a human centred worldview, the human nature prevails over the nature of the universe, or the macrocosm is reflected in the microcosm of human soul. By a circumstance like that, a historian of philosophy may be easily reminded of Platos apologue about the earliest philosopher Thales of Miletus, narrated by the character of Socrates in the dialogue Theaetetus: A witty and attractive Thracian servant-girl is told to have mocked Thales for falling down into a well, while observing the stars and gazing upwards. She claimed that he was eager to know the things in the sky, but what just before him and by his feet escaped his notice (174a). Whether a real or fictional personage she might have been, and albeit far maturer and less simple, Aesara plays a similar role to that of the Platonic Thracian maid. Nevertheless, unlike Socrates behind such a mask, the presumed Lucanian woman philosopher does not devalue the philosophy of nature, mother of modern sciences. As for her as for Ocellus, natural and human centred philosophies are complementary, almost specular one of the other. Whereas Ocellus gives a priority to the former, Aesara seems to grant it to the latter. Necessary to homes as much as to cities, she says, the principles of low and justice are to be traced inside our souls before of outside. To paraphrase here St. Augustin, In interiore homine habitat justitia, or jus et justitia together. Which is the nature of human soul, in the auroral psychology outlined by Aesara? Like Plato indeed, but with more indulgence and sense of depth, she deems that it is a three layers form, disposed in a hierarchic order. What superior is the reason, which suggests sound judgement and awareness ( , gnman ki phrnasin). In the middle there is the spiritedness, which supplies with courage and other emotions or instincts ( , alkn ki hormn). In a lower position, there is the source of passions and of lovingness at once ( , rta ki philophrosnan). As you can see, the perception of those which we moderns might even identify with the subconscious and the unconscious is not so negative, as on the contrary the Platonism and the NeoPlatonism will often consider. On this point Ocellus, in the last chapter of his tract, is likewise moralistic. He regards especially the human involvement in sex and generation as a peculiar completion and contribution to a continuity of the natural world, which for him is only potentially eternal, that is otherwise liable to undergo corruption and degeneration. Thus, instinctiveness and eros must be kept under strict control by reason. In fact, those appetites, which are subservient to copulation, were imparted to men by Divinity not
6

for the sake of voluptuousness, but for the sake of the perpetual duration of the human race. For since it was impossible that man, who is born mortal, should participate of a divine life, if the immortality of his genus was corrupted, Divinity gave completion to this immortality through individuals, and made this generation of mankind to be unceasing and continued (trans. Thomas Taylor, London 1831). This passage is a little, perhaps intentionally, ambiguous. It sounds like rationalizing a prior, or popularizing, Orphic-Pythagorean belief in metempsychosis. In that later Pythagorean view, the individuals are rather presented as transitory forms of a surviving whole, which is mankind or human race and is to preserve and improve. Such a revision is not an unique, in the pseudepigraphic Pythagoreanism. Nay it is so frequent, that we might define it as Middle Pythagoreanism, between the old one and a nostalgic Neo-Pythagorenism. To appear more credible or authoritative, that Pythagoreanism needed to be Italic or even Lucanian, far better if the pseudonymous authors were feigned as contemporary with Pythagoras. For instance, a fragment of her work On Piety collected by Stobaeus is ascribed to Theano, wife of Pythgoras. There, she explains: I know, several Greeks deem Pythagoras taught that all descend from number. [] Indeed, he did not say that all derive from number, but in accordance with this, since in it there is a primordial order, participating with which every enumerable thing assumes its own... (I 10, 13). All this does not exclude that, whereas Aesaras development of the Delphic maxim Know thyself sounds quite progressive, some Ocellus eugenic advices are worse than conformist. Doubtless, his opinion of a male leadership over women according to nature is an example of abuse of this principle, recurrent in the history of Western thinking, despite some an emphasis laid by the Pythagoreans on female voices.

3 Pnax, votive tablet of originally painted terracotta, from Locri Epizefiri; Reggio Calabria: National Museum of the Magna Graecia (5th century B.C.)

Dualism or Monism Todays Basilicata, the Lucanian land was extending from the Gulf of Taranto at South, in Latin Tarentum, to the Tyrrhenian Sea at Noth-West. On this coast there was the Hellenic colony of Elea, in Latin Velia. The small town was the home of a philosophical school. Its founder and principal exponent was Parmenides, in the early 5 th century B.C. Diogenes Lartius tells he was a pupil of Xenophanes of Colophon but above all of one Pythagorean Aminias, while the Greek geographer Strabo between the first B.C. and the first century A.D. mentions him and his follower Zeno as Pytaghoreans. Indeed, the Eleatism can be considered such, just only as a dissident doctrine. Despite its liking for monads or triads, as we have seen for Aesaras conception of human soul, Pythagoreanism was basically a dualistic doctrine, largely argued on contrarieties: limited and unlimited, odd
8

and even, one and plurality, right and left, male and female, resting and moving, straight and curved, light and darkness, good and bad, square and oblong (cf. Aristotle, Metaphysics, 986a; he also attributes a similar doctrine to the Pythagorean physician Alcmaeon of Croton). On the contrary, Parmenides reduced these appearances to an unitarian monism. Substance and expression of such an unity was one universal, immutable being. Instead the number, adopted by the Pythagoreans as a common denominator of the whole reality, antonomastically and in itself could entail deleterious dichotomies, illusory pluralism, dangerous alterations. Parmenides seems to have been worried for the possible consequences, included social and political troubles, which the development of a dialectic worldview might reflect or produce. All this suggests that, when in his poem On Nature he polemizes with certain double-headed thinkers, likely he alludes to some Pythagoreans. Of those unnamed ones, he writes: Indecision moves a wandering mind in their breasts. They are carried like deaf and blind at once, astonished people with no judgement. For them, the being or the not being are the same and not the same, about all there is a reversible path (Diels-Kranz, frg. B6, 4-9). Initially at least, was the Eleatism a sort of heresy, within the Pythagoreanism? Like for many heresies, the return to an original and purest conception, in our case to a true albeit metaphysical harmony, could be a more or less declared aim. Early the Italic Pythagorean clubs had dealt with a crisis, which had been not so theoretical. Even if it was told that Pythagoras escaped a tyranny in his native island, it is also true that he and his fellows favoured the establishment of oligarchic governments in the towns of the Greater Hellas. On the other hand, around the half of the 5 th century B.C. a recent born democracy reacted in a violent manner. The Greek historian Polybius (II 39) and others report that a series of revolts expelled or even killed a not few Pythagoreans. Pythagoras himself fled from Croton to Metapontum. Evidently, the alleged cosmic order which the Pythagoreans wanted to imitate on earth was somewhat discrepant with human nature, what will be the subject matter of tracts partly by Ocellus and especially by Aesara, of whom above. Anyhow, reliably the whole theory was critically discussed in the Pythagorean milieu, with various and contrasting positions. Among them, the Eleatism does not appear that with most progressive implications, from a mundane point of view at least.
Incidentally though, Parmenides poem (Per phses) put some

important metaphysical and logical questions to Western reflection, by conditioning its terminology at the same time. The question of the Being, or ontological problem, is the most famous ever debated, even if the translation of the terms employed by Parmenides is rather and more simply what is and what is not ( and , t en and t m en), mainly in the extensive sense of all what is and all what is not, according to him a false contradiction anyway. Approximately the same concepts, in the same epoch or even before, are expressed with analogous terms in Sanskrit, at the beginnings of the Indian religious and philosophical speculation: st and ast, in the Rig-Vda Hymns, in the Brhadranyaka and Chndogya Upanishads. Particularly in the Chndogya the reasoning is so akin to that of Parmenides, that we cannot aver a strict exclusivity by him, even if the contacts we know between those civilizations, so remote from each other, date only since the Hellenistic age. Then, where is the main originality of Parmenides? Undoubtedly, that is in the disconcerting and a bit enigmatic assertion , the same, in fact, is to think and to be (DK 28 B3). However it might be interpreted, this apparent absurdity influenced or conditioned the entire history of Western philosophy until modern age, so much as to sound emblematic of a civilization responsible to have begot modernity itself. Amid a few ruins and against a still wild landscape, todays visitors of Elea ought to keep somewhat present to their minds such a peculiar disclosure of the Being which once occurred to the mind of the so called, by Plato, venerable Parmenides, or his assertion referred to human beings that mostly they are thought (28 B16). On the eastern side of the antique Greek cultural area, in Asia Minor, we meet with another famed philosophical and now fragmentary poem of the same period and with the same title: in particular with a nearly untranslatable expression, which is a further meaningful, flashing synthesis though. That is a os or lgos en ae (logos which always is; Diels-Kranz, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker: frg. 22 B1), which the author Heraclitus of Ephesus maintains that all things come to pass in accordance with. The Greek lgos means word, discourse, reason, and later much more, so that we might translate such an everlasting lgos en as a discursive being, or even interpret it as a dialectic reason. Slowly this dynamic concept begins to flank or replace the static one of Parmenides, his theo-ontology turns into a theophenomenology, or the essence of the world is reconciled with its existence as well as its being with its becoming. At any rate, for long the Logos beside the Being will form the
10

binary mainstream of Western philosophy. Nonetheless, indeed Heraclitus never mentions Parmenides but twice Pythagoras. His is a different answer to certain questions put by the Pythagoreans. It is quite evident in those fragments classified as B50 and B10, where we can read: ...from all [comes] one and from one [come] all. Or else, more poetically, in the renowned B51: People do not know, how what drawn in different directions harmonizes with itself. Such a harmony depends on opposite tensions, like that of the bow or the lyre.

4 Gold Orphic tablets, with ritual inscriptions (cf. the Thracian tablets in Euripides, Alcestis, lines 965-69). Dating from the 4th century B.C. or later, several of them have been found inside graves throughout the ancient Magna Graecia, or Greater Hellas

Cosmology as a Psychology Philolaus of Croton, contemporary of Socrates, and Archytas of Tarentum,


11

contemporary of Plato, were late Italic Pythagoreans, although Philolaus went into exile in Thebes of Greece. In his youth, a Pythagorean had been Aristoxenus of Tarentum, disciple of Aristotle. He wrote a now lost On the Pythagoric Life, which inspired Iamblichus work with the same title, where the Pythagoreans are so praised: Their studies filled all Italy, an unlearned country before, with men fond of learning. Thanks to Pythagoras it was called Greater Greece. Of there came out several philosophers, poets, legislators, who exported the art of rhetoric, the demonstrative reasoning and written lows to Greece itself (chap. 29; cf. a translation by Taylor, London 1818). Also of their works, a few fragments remain. Some of them may be spurious too, in the sense that they were pseudonymous productions of Pythagorean groups or even of Platonic sympathizers. Albeit an uncertain historical figure, to the above names we can add Timaeus of Locri. To him, Plato dedicated his dialogue Timaeus. As late as in the 5th century A.D., in his Commentary on the Timaeus Proclus Lycaeus informs us that Ocellus Lucanus was a precursor of Timaeus but that, whereas the general vision of the former was dualistic, the latter developed a triadic view of the physic world, with peculiar reference to the characteristics of its primary, constitutive elements. With the title On the Soul of the World and on Nature, a tract in Doric dialect was ascribed to Timaeus ( , Per psuchs ksm ki phsios; the frequent Latin translation De natura mundi et animae may be misleading, since it means On the Nature of the World and of the Soul). With great probability it is a pseudepigraphal text, even if late ancient Neoplatonists as Proclus and Iamblichus, as well as early modern Renaissance humanists, did not doubt of its authenticity. As to its contents, they are on the same line of Ocellus and Aesaras also supposed pseudepigrapha, albeit a step further. There too, cosmology joins psychology. Yet an alleged specularity between cosmos and human soul gets so close and reciprocal, that to the former it is attributed a divine soul, of which the human one would be a dim reflection or, we can insinuate, vice versa. We have to admit, this is a very Pythagorean attitude. In Latin Anima Mundi, the idea of a Soul of the World will gain its own place in the history of Western culture, included an antique Stoic worldview and not excluded the modern Jungian analytical psychology. If we consider well, the difference between Ocellus and Timaeus is not so much that deducible from Proclus, concerning a ternary rather than dualistic worldview. On one hand,

12

a fragment selected as 48 A8 by Diels and Kranz tells us of an Ocellus not less fond of triads than Timaeus. On the other hand, Timaeus speech in On the Soul of the World and on Nature remains largely dualistic, based as it is on couples of principles as Mind and Necessity or, above all, Form and Matter. Such a form is mainly the soul, which the mind of a God demiurge gave to the matter of the world, or as a heritage to the bodies of human individuals, compatibly with the limits put by the Necessity to their condition and situations. Like for Ocellus, the universe is eternal and inalterable but in a relative way, for the lower world as we know it is the fruit of a creation and subject to a changeable nature: the impassive part of the world and that which is perpetually moved, according to Ocellus (in a less contradictory way, that is what Parmenides reduces to a deceitful, unreal surface). With regard to the relation between Form and Matter, not seldom it may sound even more Aristotelian than Platonic, or like an attempt at reconciling Aristotelian with Platonic concepts, or else in case of an improbable precedence of our texts like a germinal synthesis of both of them. All the more this is true in On the Nature of the Universe, where Ocellus explains the role of contrarieties in a sort of perpetual cosmogony, a complex confluence of inner and outer essences into the existence of the world. Here, its participation of higher forms is seen as a latent potentiality inside the matter: In matter all things prior to generation are in capacity, but they exist in perfection when they are generated and receive their proper nature. Hence matter [...] is necessary to the existence of generation. The second thing which is necessary, is the existence of contrarieties, in order that mutations and changes in quality may be effected, matter for this purpose receiving passive qualities, and an aptitude to the participation of forms (chap. 2; trans. Thomas Taylor: see above). Very curious and misogynous, by the way is the utilitarian justification, which Timaeus of Locri utters in his writing, about the Orphic-Pythagorean eschatological credence in the reincarnation or transmigration of souls: Albeit in a transitory way and founded in a belief as that in metempsychosis, such penalties ought to be devised, that after their death the souls of cowardly males should migrate into female bodies, so as to be exposed to contempt and outrages; and the souls of murderers into the bodies of wild beasts, in order to receive their proper punishment; and those of impudent fellows into pigs or boars; and those of inconstant or heedless persons into birds flying through the air; and those of indolent, sluggard, ignorant or foolish people, into aquatic animal forms. It is the
13

goddess Nemesis, who judges all that... (V 17). No doubt, this aristocratic minded attitude went by hand with a political conservatism, such as in a doubtful, fragmentary tract by one Hippodamus of Thurii preserved by Stobaeus. Hippasus of Metapontum, who advised the early Pythagoreans to consent democratic instances and was later expelled or even drowned by them, or Archytas, engaged in a democratic context of his city, were only exceptions. Notoriously the Pythagoreans pioneered or excelled in mathematics, astronomy, musicology, medicine and the like. According to Iamblichus after Aristoxenus, any magic was not lacking. The divorce from humanities, typical of late modernity, was still far to come. What a kind of science was that, more specifically? Iamblichus of Chalcis offers a sharp indication about, when he wrote that the Pythagoreans more and more strove to exert their memories, since nothing is as important for experience and science, as the intent to increase our capability of memorizing (On the Pythagoric Life, chap. 29). That is not a matter of mere memorization. Actually memory, in the sense of reminiscence later idealized by Plato, and experience, if not yet an experimental research, were complementary in the Pythagorean culture. Just to say so, they were the conservative and the progressive sides of it. Reminiscence served to preserve or rediscover a traditional wisdom or even lore, also out of the Hellenic area. Experience was useful, in order to found a science in the modern sense we give it, where both old knowledge and new discoveries could find an enduring formulation and a possibility of further transmission. Step by step this various notionality, imputed to Pythagoras by Heraclitus as a dispersive /polumtheia, from a baggage for initiates makes its extensive and specialized, methodical and critical way.

14

5 Hans Leu the Younger, Orpheus and the Animals, Basel, Switzerland: Kunstmuseum; detail, 1519. If compared with other conventional images of them, indeed this Orphic-Pythagorean Orpheus resembles more Pythagoras than Orpheus himself

Philanthropy and Ecumenism In his dialogue Timaeus, Plato introduces Timaeus the Locrian as the character of a visitor from his then city-state, today in the Italian district of Calabria. Other persons are Socrates, Critias, Hermocrates. At the beginning the character of Socrates so addresses them, in particular Timaeus as representative of the Pythagoreans: [You] are the only ones remaining who are fitted by nature and education to take part at once both in politics and philosophy. Here is Timaeus, of Locri in Italy, a city which has admirable laws, and who is himself in wealth and rank the equal of any of his fellow-citizens; he has held the most important and honourable offices in his own state, and, as I believe, has scaled the heights of all philosophy (trans. Benjamin Jowett, Oxford 1871; cf. DK 49 B1). What here a nostalgic Plato admires is some a Pythagorean capability to conciliate theory and practice, philosophy and politics, almost like an anticipation of his own cherished Republic of Philosophers. Was that a real ability, or a commendable intention? In order to answer this question, even better than on controversial historical accounts of some political failures we should

15

focus on a gist of the political ideology of the Pythagoreans. That is the or mutual friendship, a version of the cosmic harmony applied to human relationships or to the citystate, a principle variously idealized in Platonic dialogues as Lysis and The Republic, but which Aristotle will more realistically and widely develop in his treatise on Politics. Before all, the phila of the Pythagoreans was prescribed as a norm to their own brotherhood or communities. In practice it could be so exclusive and elitarian, as to easily work in defence of group or social class interests, rather than as a generalized feeling of solidarity. Likely, such was not the less cause of the popular revolts against a Pythagorean hegemony, in the ancient Greek colonies of southern Italy or Magna Graecia. An anecdote narrated in Iamblichus On the Pythagoric Life may confirm this impression, although it is proposed by the Neoplatonic author as an edifying example, nearly like a Christian evangelical parable. That is so nice, as to be worthy of being fully reported. A certain Pythagorean, travelling through a long and solitary road on foot, came to an inn; and there, from labor and other all-various causes, fell into a long and severe disease, so as to be at length in want of the necessaries of life. The inn-keeper, however, whether from commiseration of the man, or from benevolence, supplied him with every thing that was requisite, neither sparing for this purpose any assistance or expense. But the Pythagorean falling a victim to the disease, wrote a certain symbol, before he died, in a table, and desired the inn-keeper, if he should happen to die, to suspend the table near the road, and observe whether any passenger read the symbol. For that person, said he, will repay you what you have spent on me, and will also thank you for your kindness. The inn-keeper, therefore, after the death of the Pythagorean, having buried, and paid the requisite attention to his body, had neither any hopes of being repaid, nor of receiving any recompense from some one who might read the table. At the same time, however, being surprised at the request of the Pythagorean, he was induced to expose the writing in the public road. A long time after, therefore, a certain Pythagorean passing that way, having understood the symbol, and learnt who it was that placed the table there, and having also investigated every particular, paid the inn-keeper a much greater sum of money than he had disbursed (chap. 33; trans. Th. Taylor: see above). Already at the times of Iamblichus, an epochal match was played just inside the Neoplatonism and especially on the ground of ethics, between a Christianized wing and a pagan one, a Neo-Pythagorean component included. Probably not by chance, the above
16

apologue by the heathen Iamblichus may recall the well known parable of the Good Samaritan in the Gospel of Luke. Yet, in a sort of emulation of the values of the new religion, the moral focus here is no longer and not so much on the phila among the Pythagoreans, as rather on the commiseration or benevolence of the inn-keeper. He is the hero of the story better than both travellers, since these need a symbol as a warranty of recognition about their belonging to a shared community, whereas the inn-keeper like the Samaritan in Jesus parable does not need any about his belonging to a wider one which is mankind itself. It is strange how Iamblichus parable is an unwilling propaganda in favour of Christianity or, even better, of an ethics which might exceed either Pythagoreanism and Christianity. Even more than a political event, the end of pagan antiquity will be an ethical one, which assumed a religious form. Paradoxically, the nostalgic and a little anachronistic Pythagoreanism of Iamblichus sounds like a very Neoplatonic premonition of that event. Neither last nor least, a bit of boring philology. Pythagoras was credited to have invented the word philosopha, where the terms phila and sopha got married to each other. Let us return onto the quotation from On the Pythagoric Life, referred to the Pythagoreans: Their studies filled all Italy, an unlearned country before, with men fond of learning. Thanks to Pythagoras it was called Greater Hellas. Of there came out several philosophers, poets, legislators, who exported the art of rhetoric, the demonstrative reasoning and written lows to Greece itself. As to physics, we may also refer to eminent physiologists as Empedocles and Parmenides of Elea; as to ethics, Epicharmus, whose maxims are used by most philosophers. In the Greek original, indeed the term philsophoi is used with two meanings: to designate generically men fond of learning, and in a more specific way. We may affirm, the specific Pythagorean sense of the word was friends of wisdom. It is also true, in the above reported or mentioned parables, neither the inn-keeper nor the Samaritan were philosophers. More simply, they were friends of mankind. Without a feeling of philanthrpa, in his apologue Iamblichus implied, no philosophy can be Amity of Wisdom. Or else, here echoing the Stoic ethics, there cannot be real humanity without humaneness. Before of being Platonic or evangelical, the parabling was a Pythagorean custom. And, even when the parabler opens the door to the main sense of his speech, a window may remain open to further interpretations. What invites us to confront the above apologues or parables by Plato, by Iamblichus, by Luke. All of them are written in Greek, as expressions
17

of a Hellenic or Hellenized culture. Yet the characters may be Thracians, Samaritans or Italics, all minorities with regard not only to a shared civilization but also to their respective hegemonic ethnic or religious groups. Each of them is immersed in a natural Mediterranean landscape, might it be set in Southern Italy, in Asia Minor or in Palestine. By paraphrasing Heraclitus here, rather than to one logos, they act or speak in accordance with nature, close to a heart of the cosmic enigma. And, by paraphrasing the Stoics, just there was a seminal or spermatiks logos, even before of being a Pythagorean, a Platonic or a Christian one. Albeit in a peculiar exclusive fashion, elsewhere in his book Iamblichus strives to assimilate the Pythagoric way of life to a Stoic ecumenism, susceptible to overcome national barriers and state borders even in war times. This anecdote is referred to Greek prisoners, once captured by Carthaginian enemies: When the Carthaginians were about to send more than five thousand soldiers into a desert island, Miltiades the Carthaginian, perceiving among them the Argive Possiden (both of them being Pythagoreans), went to him, and not manifesting what he intended to do, advised him to return to his native country, with all possible celerity, and having placed him in a ship that was then sailing near the shore, supplied him with what was necessary for his voyage, and thus saved the man from the dangers [to which he was exposed] (chap. 27; cf. chap 36; trans. Th. Taylor). At least, from Iamblichus himself we know that there were Pythagoreans not only in the Greek areas.

18

6 The so called Head of a Philosopher, Reggio Calabria: National Museum of Magna Graecia; 5th century B.C. Pythagoras was told to have invented the word ksmos, a beautiful order of the universe opposed to the chos of the mythical cosmogony, as well as the cosmic allegory of the harmony of the spheres. According to Philolaus, neither the earth nor the sun were at the centre of the space, but an arcane fireplace or fire of Hestia (cf. the Latin goddess Vesta)

Our Nearly Fellow Countrymen

In the scholarly tradition, willingly the two tracts by Ocellus Lucanus and by Timaeus of Locri have been considered and translated by the same personages. What is particularly true for the Italian Lodovico Nogarola in the 16th century; for the French JeanBaptiste de Boyer, Marquis dArgens, in the 18 th century; for the British Thomas Taylor in the 19th century. Furthermore, their interest seems to have been more philosophical than erudite. Thanks to these thoughtful researchers, respectively Humanism, Enlightenment and Romanticism could somewhat appreciate texts like those and find in them an adaptable congeniality, besides an internal fundamental homogeneity. The causes may be various: a

19

fascination exerted by the intuition of a Soul of the World, a theistic or pantheistic feeling of nature, the perception of an affinity and continuity between Pythagoreanism and Platonism, even some an indulgence toward occultism. Yet there are also other, more specific motives. Together with a Latin translation from Ocellus, Nogarola issued an Epistola [...] super viris illustribus genere Italis, qui Graece scripserunt (Epistle [...] on illustrious Italic men, who wrote in Greek, Venice 1559). Not only this essay in form of private letter is the first study, as critical as the late Renaissance culture allowed it to be, about such a subject matter. Indeed it is also an early, passionate identification of the antique Greek Italic civilization as an important root and component of a problematic Italian national identity, then still far from being fully realized. What Nogarola applied to a next Counter-Reformed Italy, the cosmopolitan Marquis dArgens will cast into a lay idea of modern Europe, which coincided with a Neoclassic sensitiveness. His laity did not mean atheism though, but rather an open type of religiosity, such as Platonism and even Pythagoreanism could supply. Of course, it was a Pythagoreanism filtered through a Platonic or Neoplatonic interpretation, such as in the presumed pseudepigraphal productions of Ocellus and Timaeus of Locri.
In 1762 the Marquis dArgens published Ocellus Lucanus, and afterwards Timaeus

Locrus, both writers, who [...] had been neglected by universal consent: thus Thomas Taylor wrote in 1831, introducing his English translation of Ocellus On the Nature of the Universe and other minor Platonizing or Neoplatonic writings, by one Taurus late Platonic philosopher and by Proclus. Their respective attributed titles, On the Eternity of the World and On the Perpetuity of Time, may be indicative of a peculiar selective reading which Taylor gave of the ancient Pythagoreanism and Platonism. Yet what matters here is that such an interpretation reliably influenced some English Romantic poets and an American thinker as Ralph Waldo Emerson. From the Italic Magna Graecia and surroundings to the Italian Renaissance, from the French Enlightenment to a British and North-American modernity, actually that Golden Chain of a so called philosophia perennis did work. Albeit in a roundabout way, it is still working hic et nunc, while we are writing or reading. After the Roman Cicero once in his Cato Maior de senectute, evidently Lodovico Nogarola, the Marquis dArgens and Thomas Taylor somehow regarded those Pythagoreans as their nearly fellow countrymen, respectively in an Italian, European or Western perspective. All that leads our mind back to shortly consider the consistency of a Latin
20

Pythagoreanism, as a possible link in that Golden Chain of transmission of an archaic wisdom disciplina sapientiae, according to the historians Livy and Valerius Maximus and as part of a middle or Hellenistic Pythagoreanism. For instance, there are the legend of the Roman king Numa as a scholar or even a familiar acquaintance of Pythagoras (cf. Plutarch, Life of Numa Pompilius), and the fact of a Pythagorean ascendancy over the poet Quintus Ennius (especially in his now fragmentary poem Epicharmus), who was from the Magna Graecia. In a fabulous way, among Italic peoples not only the Lucanians, but the early Romans too, would have been learned by the Pythagoreanism or Pythagoras himself. In the first century B.C. at Rome, a magic Pythagorean was Nigidius Figulus, later a character in the poem Pharsalia by Lucan. An ascetic one had to be Quintus Sextius with his circle, whose Stoic eclecticism pleased the philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca. What we know about is too scarce and dubious, even if the eclecticism of the latter seems to have been a moral synthesis better than a mere juxtaposition of elements. Anyway, it is not to exclude at all that those influences altogether concurred to inspire Ovid, in the 15 th book of his Metamorphoses. There, the Latin poet imagines Pythagoras himself to speak. His speech in verse sounds like a theoretical justification of the entire poem. It has been objected, this quite contradictory Pythagoras argues like Heraclitus rather than as a Pythagorean. Nonetheless, on one hand this criticism makes less sense, if we share the point of view that Parmenides and Heraclitus gave different or opposite answers to the main question put by the Pythagoreans, about the being or becoming of the world. On the other hand, the basic worldview exposed by Ovids Pythagoras does not differ so much from that emerging from Ocellus and Timaeus pseudepigrapha: all details must change, for the general picture could survive in itself. In Ovids poetry, what new is a transparent deal of melancholy. Its originality is that this is the only antique not fully Platonizant interpretation, which we have. Yet let us read Pythagoras, such as dramatized by the great poet, who could know the Pythagorean sources somewhat better than what we can, and at last had also to suffer a lot of exile like that of his favourite thinker. In the foreground, the consolatory or warning myth of metempsychosis is kept alive. The precept of vegetarianism grows an appeal against any superfluous violence, but what recurs is an almost biblical feeling of the vanitas vanitatum: What we have been,/ What we now are, we shall not be tomorrow./ There was a time when

21

we were only seed,/ Only the hope of men, housed in the womb,/ Where Nature shaped us, brought us forth, exposed us/ To the void air, and there in light we lay,/ Feeble and infant, and were quadrupeds/ Before too long, and after a little wobbled/ And pulled ourselves upright, holding a chair,/ The side of the crib, and strength grew into us,/ And swiftness; youth and middle age went swiftly/ Down the long hill toward age, and all our vigor/ Came to decline. [...] Time devours all things/ With envious Age, together. The slow gnawing/ Consumes all things, and very, very slowly (lines 214-33; trans. Rolfe Humphries, 1955).

7 Portraits of the German astronomer Friedrich Johannes Kepler and of the Italian humanist Lodovico Nogarola (16th-17th century). Jokingly, the former liked to say that he was a reincarnation of Pythagoras. He was also a modern fan of the Pythagorean musica universalis or harmony of the spheres

22

An Archaeological Wondering When Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, said that philosophy begins in wonder, probably they were mainly thinking of the Pythagoreans in front of the cosmic enigma, which they perceived as a mirror of the human inner nature. Sure, today no longer we run the risk of falling down into a well like Thales while scanning the sky. On the contrary of the character of the philosopher in the above apologue narrated by Plato, sometimes we seem to pay more attention to our feet and to what before them, than to gaze upwards or at any witty and attractive Thracian girl smiling at us. Yet it may occur that it is the presumed figure of a philosopher to come back to us, neither ascending out of a well nor descending from heaven but emerging from sea like out of a deep and wide subconscious. A collective and cultural one, where often a will of representation coincides with a wish of re-presentation. That is what happened in 1969 and 1970s, off Porticello in Calabria. Together with other fragmentary bronzes, what casually discovered and recovered from an ancient wreck was the sculpted head of an elderly long bearded man, with a musing and hieratic expression. A few draped pieces, part of a right foot and a left hand were supposed to belong to the same statue, what confirmed by later scientific examinations (cf. In situ Study of the Porticello Bronzes..., in bibliography). Currently in the Museum of Magna Graecia at Reggio Calabria, the artwork was dated approximately to the 5th century B.C. A temptation to identify this so called Head of a Philosopher as that of a local thinker or even a late portrait of Pythagoras rather than as the image of a generic or mythic personage, is quite obviously strong, although there are well grounded objections about among the archaeologists and still now the controversial question remains open. The Pythagoreans in Rhegion, todays Reggio Calabria, were an eminent group, and there were also excellent artists as Clearcus and Pythagoras of Rhegion, whose name itself may hint at an ancient veneration to the figure of the Samian philosopher. Whomever the Porticello head might be referred to and whoever its sculptor might have been, it is to notice that this antique culture does not stop baffling us, sometimes so much as to bewilder our relevant knowledge and consequently to influence our perception of an advanced modernity. Here just only paraphrasing a modern thinker as Martin Heidegger, a no mean

23

wonder of wonder is our recurrent occurrence to wonder at those wondering predecessors.

Even better than any historical identity or remote genealogy, likely what we try to trace and capture in their alleged texts or figural expressions is the secret of their capability to wonder at this same old world, even when they were projecting theorems onto it. A capability, which we may have mostly lost, since disillusioned or distracted by an artificial way of life. Far better than an ascetic way, the Pythagoric life was an evergreen attitude of the mind. It is a common place that modern philosophy began with a question put in 1714 by the German philosopher and scientist Gottfried W. Leibniz, in his Principles of Nature and Grace, Based on Reason: Why is there something instead of nothing? [] Assuming that things must exist, we should give a reason why they must be as they are, and not otherwise. Despite a vaguely Parmenidean formulation of its first part, the wondering spirit of this argument sounds still Pythagorean: after all, an order enables the world to exist, each one of us included in his own time and place. May it be a beautiful order, as the Pythagoreans thought, or the best of possible worlds according to Leibniz himself? If it is not so, how much does this depend on a bad fatality and how little on our responsibility? There are things which must be as they are, and other ones we enjoy the rare free chance to change. Evidently, that is not a matter of mere wonder but of reminiscence too. At the dawn of our civilization, the Pythagoreanism reflected such a development of memory into an organic remembrance. In an Orphic tradition, a goddess Mnemosyne was watching over our memorial consistencies, not excluded an eschatological perspective, as evidenced by some inscriptions on the so dubbed Orphic tablets largely discovered in southern Italy. Amid her daughters there were Mneme, muse of memory, and later Clio, muse of history. Indeed, the complex evolution of the myth of Muses deals with the origins of what we call culture. As individuals or collectivity, then we may well stop wondering at a cosmic beauty. Yet, after Timaeus of Locri at least, somewhere a goddess Nemesis prevents us from doing it at the errors and horrors of history. That is what a thoughtful mythology can still warn us of, and what re-elaborated in the 18th century by a Pre-Romantic thinker as Giambattista Vico, who also wrote De antiquissima Italorum sapientia (On the Most Ancient Italic Wisdom).

24

8 Supposed Temple of Vesta, the oldest marble building existing in Rome, from the late 2nd century B.C. (Square of the Bocca della Verit; old photograph)

An Extensive Bibliography Aristotle, Metaphysics, translated by Hugh Tredennick, 2 vols.; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1933-35. Aristote, Du Ciel, texte tabli et traduit par Paul Moraux, Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1965. Baltes Matthias, Timaios Lokros. ber die Natur des Kosmos und der Seele (a commentary), Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1972. Blasone P., I cigni e la luna. Archeologia dellEssere (...Archaeology of the Being), in the World Wide Web magazine Filosofia in Italia, University of Venice: Department of Philosophy, 2001. Castrizio Daniele, Il ritratto di Pitagora di Samo (The Portrait of Pythagoras of Samos), video-lecture in Italian at the Web Address http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kc_JhvLYRc; 2008. Centrone Bruno, I Pitagorici, Rome/Bari: Laterza, 1996.

25

Bernabe Alberto and Ana Isabel Jimenez San Cristobal, Instructions for the Netherworld: The Orphic Gold Tablets, Leiden: Brill, 2008. Burkert Walter, Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism, translated by Edwin L. Minar Jr.; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1972. Diels Hermann, Doxographi Graeci, Berlin: De Gruyter, 1958. Diels Hermann and Kranz Walter, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, Dublin and Zrich: Weidmann, 1952; vol. 1. Diogenes Lartius, Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, translated by Robert Drew Hicks, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1925. Evans Frank B. III, Thomas Taylor, Platonist of the Romantic Period, in PMLA, LV (New York, December 1940), pp. 1067-8. Fairbanks Arthur, editor and translator, The First Philosophers of Greece, London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1898. Ferguson Kitty, The Music of Pythagoras, New York: Walker & Company, 2008. Ferguson Kitty, Pythagoras: His Lives and the Legacy of a Rational Universe, London: Icon Books Ltd, 2010. Fritz, Kurt von, Pythagorean Politics in Southern Italy: An Analysis of the Sources, New York: Columbia University Press, 1940. Giangiulio Maurizio (edited by; with an introduction by Walter Burkert), Pitagora: le opere e le testimonianze, 2 vols.; Milan: A. Mondadori, 2000. Guthrie Kenneth Sylvan and Fideler David R., The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library: An Anthology of Ancient Writings which Relate to Pythagoras and Pythagorean Philosophy, Grand Rapids, Minnesota: Phanes Press, 1987. Huffman Carl A., Philolaus of Croton: Pythagorean and Presocratic, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. Huffman Carl A., Architas of Tarentum: Pythagorean, Philosopher and Mathematician King, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Iamblichus Life of Pythagoras, or, Pythagoric life (London 1818), translated by Thomas Taylor, Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International Ltd, 1986. Iamblichus, On the Pythagorean Way of Life, text, translation and notes by John Dillon and Jackson Hershbell, Atlanta, Georgia: Scholars Press, 1991. Joannes Stobaeus, Eclogae physicae et ethicae, edited by Curt Wachsmuth, 2 vols.; Berlin: Weidmann, 1884. Joost-Gaugier Christiane L., Measuring Heaven: Pythagoras and his Influence on Art in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2006. Joost-Gaugier Christiane L., Pythagoras and Renaissance Europe: Finding Heaven, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Kahn Charles H., Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans: a Brief History, Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing Company, 2001. Kennedy John Bernard, New Research on Plato and Pythagoras, Manchester, U.K.: Centre for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine at the Manchester University, 2010; informative page at the Web address http://personalpages.manchester.ac.uk/staff/jay.kennedy/ Kingsley Peter, Ancient Philosophy, Mystery, and Magic: Empedocles and Pythagorean Tradition, Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon Press, 1996. Marg Walter, Timaeus Locrus: De Natura Mundi et Animae, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1972.
26

Menage Gilles, Historia mulierum philosopharum, Lyon: Joan Anissonios, Posuel and Claudium Rigaud, 1690. Mullach Friedrich Wilhelm August, Fragmenta philosophorum Graecorum, particularly the vols. 1 and 2; Paris: Firmin Didot, 1860-81. OMeara Dominic J., Pythagoras Revived: Mathematics and Philosophy in Late Antiquity, Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1991. Ocelli Lucani... De universi natura libellus, Greek text and Latin translation by Lodovico Nogarola, with his essay Epistola [...] super viris illustribus genere Italis, qui Graece scripserunt; Venice: Giovanni Griffio, 1559. Ocellus Lucanus, en Grec et en Franois, translated and commented by Jean-Baptiste de Boyer, Marquis dArgens, Utrecht: Libraires Associs, 1762. Ocellus Lucanus, On the Nature of the Universe, translated by Thomas Taylor, London: John Bohn, Henry Bohn, Thomas Rodd, 1831. Ovid, Metamorphoses, translated by Rolfe Humphries, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1955. Plant Ian, Women Writers of Ancient Greece and Rome: An Anthology, London: Equinox Publishing Ltd, 2004. Plato, Timaeus, translated by Benjamin Jowett in The Dialogues of Plato, vol. 3; Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon Press, 1871. Porfirio, Vita di Pitagora (Porphyrys Life of Pythagoras translated into Italian, with Greek and Arabic texts), Milan: Rusconi, 1998. Pozzoni Ivan, La collocazione della Schola Pythagorica tra essere e dover essere etico/sociali, in Informacin Filosfica vol. VII (Rome, 2010), n. 14, pp. 29-65. Proclus Commentary on the Timaeus of Plato (first edition 1816), translated by Thomas Taylor, 2 vols.; Westbury, Wiltshire, U.K.: The Prometheus Trust, 1998. Radcliffe G. Edmonds III (edited by), The Orphic Gold Tablets and Greek Religion: Further Along the Path, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Riedweg Christoph, Pythagoras: His Life, Teaching, and Influence, translated by Steven Rendall, Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press; 2nd edition, 2008. Ridgway Brunilde S., The Porticello Bronzes Once Again, in American Journal of Archaeology, issue 114.2, pp. 331-42; Boston: Archaeological Institute of America, 2010. Sassi Maria Michela, Gli inizi della filosofia in Grecia, Turin: Bollati Boringhieri, 2009. Thesleff Holger, An Introduction to the Pythagorean Writings of the Hellenistic Period, bo: bo Akademi, 1961. Thesleff Holger, The Pythagorean Texts of the Hellenistic Period, bo: bo Akademi, 1965. Thom Johan C., The Pythagorean Golden Verses, with introduction and commentary, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1995. Timaei Locri... De mundi anima, & natura libellus, Greek text and Latin translation by Lodovico Nogarola, Venice: Girolamo Scoto, 1555. Timaios of Locri, On the Nature of the World and the Soul, text, translation and notes by Thomas H. Tobin, Chico, California: Scholars Press, 1985. Time de Locres, en Grec et en Franois, translated and commented by Jean-Baptiste de Boyer, Marquis dArgens, Berlin: Haude and Spener, 1763.

27

Uzdavinys Algis, The Golden Chain: An Anthology of Pythagorean and Platonic Philosophy, Bloomington, Indiana: World Wisdom, 2004. Various Authors, In situ Study of the Porticello Bronzes by portable X-ray fluorescence and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, in Spectrochimica Acta Part B Atomic Spectroscopy, vol. 62, issue 12, pp. 1512-18; Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2007. Vico Giambattista, De antiquissima Italorum sapientia (first edition 1710), Latin text and Italian translation edited by Manuela Sanna, Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2005. Waithe Mary Ellen, A History of Women Philosophers, vol. 1, Boston/The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1987. Wolf Johann Christoph, Mulierum Graecarum quae Oratione Prosa usae sunt Fragmenta et Elogia Graece et Latine (Gttingen 1739), Whitefish, Montana: Kessinger Publishing Co., 2009.

9 Greco-Roman marble herma of Pythagoras, Rome: Capitoline Museums (1st century A.D.); and Pythgoras as a mathematician, fresco medallion in St. Michaels Abbey, Montescaglioso, Italy (17th century). The iconography of Pythagoras with an oriental looking turban is attested also by a fine bronze bust from Herculaneum, in the National Archaeological Museum at Naples (1st century B.C.) Copyright pinoblasone@yahoo.com 2010

28