Archytas of Tarentum was a central figure in fourth-century Greek life and thought and the last great philosopher in the early Pythagorean tradition. He solved a famous mathematical puzzle, saved Plato from the tyrant of Syracuse, led a powerful Greek city state, and was the subject of three books by Aristotle. This first extensive study of Archytas' work in any language presents a radically new interpretation of his significance for fourth-century Greek thought and his relationship to Plato, as well as a full commentary on all the fragments and testimonia.
Part I. Introductory Essays: 1. Life, writings and reception; 2. The philosophy of Archytas; 3. The authenticity question; Part II. Genuine Fragments: 1. Fragment 1; 2. Fragment 2; 3. Fragment 3; 4. Fragment 4; Part III: Genuine Testimonia: 1. Life and writings (A1–A6, B5–B8); 2. Moral philosophy and character; 3. Geometry: the duplication of the cube (A14 and A15); 4. Music; 5. Metaphysics; 6. Physics; 7. Miscellaneous testimonia; Appendix: Spurious writings and testimonia; Appendix: Archytas' name.
Huffman gives readers the clearest picture yet of this important thinker about whom Aristotle wrote more books that about anyone else. Highly recommended.
"We have here another blockbuster offering from Carl Huffman (hereafter H.), who has already put us in his debt by a definitive (and similarly vast) study of (Philolaus of Croton, Pythagorean and Presocratic, Cambridge, 1993). This work will serve in turn to establish Archytas as a philosopher in his own right, and not simply a footnote to Pythagoras, as has all too often been the case hitherto. Archytas had views on other aspects of philosophy and science as well, such as optics and the theory of motion, as well as some suggestions of a theory of first principles, and all these H. expounds with great fullness. One can only salute his immense industry, while wondering how many punters are actually going to get through the 620 pages of text. Those who do, however, will be rewarded, learning much, not only about Archytas himself, but about many other areas of antiquity as well."
John Dillon, Trinity College, Dublin, Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews
"Archytas of Tarentum is a major achievement. It will stand as the starting point for any serious engagement with the Pythagorean's philosophy, and more generally will enrich the study of ancient music and mathematics, of the Pythagorean movement, of those like Plato who have been presumed to be sympathetic to it, and of those like Aristotle who have been held to react against it." - William Wians, Merrimack College Classical Bulletin
"Aristotle's extant writings mention Archytas only three times, but among his lost writings there were three books about the Archytan philosophy -more than he wrote about any other single figure. Huffman is the first modern scholar to follow Aristotle's lead, devoting an entire work to this philosophy."
Patrick Lee Miller, Journal of the History of Philosophy