Skip to main content
  • Print publication year: 1967
  • Online publication date: March 2008

Chapter 5 - The Pythagoreans

This chapter discusses three classes of Pythagorean writings. The first consists of pseudepigrapha. Two names are of particular interest in this group: that of Ps. -Archytas and that of Ps. -Brontinus. Speaking of Brontinus, Syrianus assures that the Pythagoreans were familiar with the doctrine that there is a principle higher than the two opposite principles. A second group of Pythagorean writings is represented by three complexes, such as the anonymus Photii, the anonymus of Alexander Polyhistor, and the anonymus of Sextus Empiricus. The third class of Pythagorean writings consists of works by Moderatus of Gades, Nicomachus of Gerasa and Numenius of Apamea. Their Pythagoreanism differs from that represented by the two other classes. For it is generally assumed that Plotinus was the first to interpret the Parmenides ontologically. Plotinus was accused, obviously by Athenian Platonists, of plagiarizing Numenius. Numenius professes the doctrine of incarnation and reincarnation. He considers incarnation an evil and the result of some guilt.
Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy
  • Online ISBN: 9781139055147
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
Albinus, ed. Hermann, C. F. in Platonis Dialogi, 6 vols. Leipzig, 1921–36; vol. VI.
Albinus, Épitomé, ed. Louis, P.. Paris, 1945.
,Alexander of Aphrodisias Commentaries on Aristotle, in Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca, I–III. Berlin, 1891–9. Minor Works, ed. Bruns, I., in Supplementum Aristotelicum, II, 1–2. Berlin, 1887, 1892.
Anonymous Commentary on the Theaetetus ed. Diels, H. and Schubart, W.. Berlin, 1905.
Antiochus, Fragments, ed. Luck, G. in Der Akademiker Antiochus. Bern, 1953.
Apuleius, De Philosophia libri, ed. Thomas, P.. Leipzig, 1908.
,AristoclesFragments, ed. Heiland, H., Aristoclis Messenii reliquiae.Giessen, 1925.
Atticus, Fragments, in Eusebius, Praeparatio evangelica XI 1–2; XV 4–12; ed. Baudry, J.. Paris, 1931.
Baeumker, C.Das Problem der Materie in der griechischen Philosophie.Munich, 1890 (reprinted Frankfurt, 1963).
Beutler, R., Realencyclopaädie der klassischen Altertumswissensch, Suppl. VII (1940);
Beutler, R.‘Okellos’ and ‘Numenios’, in Paulys Realencyclopädie, 17.2 (1937) and Suppl. 7 (1940).
Bickel, E., ‘Neupythagoreische Kosmologie bei den Römern’, Philologus, LXXIX (1924) –69;
Bickel, E.Neupythagoreische Kosmologie bei den Römern’, in Philologus, 79 (1924).
Bickel, E.Senecas Briefe 58 und 65’, in Rheinisches Museum, 103 (1960).
Bignone, E., L'Aristotele perduto e la formazione filosofica di Epicuro (1936), 1.
(Boyance, P., ‘Le dieu cosmique’, Revue des Études grecques, LXIV [1951] –13, esp. p. 303).
Boyancé, P., ‘Les deux démons personnels dans l'antiquité gréco-latine’, Revue de Phllologie, LXI (1935), who sees in the doctrine of two souls simply a variant of the undoubtedly Greek doctrine of two guardian spirits, one good, one evil.
Boyancé, P.Fulvius Nobilior et Le Dieu Ineffable’, in Revue de Philologie, 29 (1955).
Burkert, W., ‘Hellenistische Pseudopythagorica’, Philologus, cv (1961), 226–46;
Burkert, W., Weisheit und JVissenschaft (1962); cf. p. 73.
Carcopino, J., La Basilique pythagoricienne de la Porte Majeure (31927), esp. p. n. 1, and De Pythagore aux Apôtres (1956), the continuity in both respects.
Delatte, A., La Constitution des États-Unis et les Pythagoriciens (1948), their political doctrines were rooted in the Two-opposite-principles doctrine.
D'Ooge, M. L., Robbins, F. E., Karpinski, L. C., Nicomachus of Gerasa. Introduction to Mathematics (Ann Arbor, 1938), esp. f.
Dörrie, H., ‘Die Frage nach dem Transzendenten im Mittelplatonismus’, Les Sources de Plotin, Entretiens, v (1960), seems to exaggerate its religious character.
Gaiser, K., Platons ungeschriebene Lehre (1963) f.
Guthrie, W. K. C., A History of Greek Philosophy, 1 (1962).
Jaeger, W., Aristoteles (21955) f.;
Krämer, H. J.Der Ursprung der Geistmetaphysik.Amsterdam, 1964.
Leeman's, E. A.Studie over den wijsgeer Numenius van Apamea (1937).
Merlan, P., Drei Anmerkungen zu Numenios’, Philologus, CVI (1962) –45, esp. p. 138.
Merlan, P.From Platonism to Neoplatonism, 2nd edn. The Hague, 1960.
Merlan, P.Monopsychism, Mysticism, Metaconsciousness.The Hague, 1963.
Nicomachus, Introductio arithmetica, ed. Hoche, R.. Leipzig, 1866.
Numenius, Fragments, ed. Leemans, E. A.. Brussels, 1937.
,PanaetiusFragments, ed. Straaten, M., 3rd edn. Leyden, 1962.
,PeripateticsFragments, ed. Wehrli, F. (Die Schule des Aristoteles), 10 vols. Basel, 1944–59.
Plutarch, Moralia, ed. Hubert, C., Pohlenz, M., etc.: in progress. Leipzig, 1952–.
Plutarch, Moralia, ed. Bernardakis, G. N., 7 vols. Leipzig, 1888–96.
Plutarch, Moralia, ed. and tr. Babbitt, F. C., etc. (Loeb Classical Library): in progress. London, 1927–.
Pohlenz, M., Die Stoa (21959, 1955), 11.
,PosidoniusFragments, ed. Bake, I.. Posidonii Rhodii reliquiae.Leyden, 1820.
,Pseudo-Aristotlede mundo ed. and tr. Furley, D. J. (Loeb Classical Library). London, 1955.
Puech, H. C., ‘Numénius d'Apamée et les théologies orientales au second siècle’, Mélanges Bidez, II (1934).
Puech, H. C.Numénius d'Apaméeet les théologies orientales au second siècle’, in Mélanges Bidez, 11 (Brussels, 1934).
Robin, L.La théorie platonicienne des idées et des nombres d'après Aristote.Paris, 1908 (reprinted Hildesheim, 1963).
Speusippus, Fragments, ed. Lang, P. in De Speusippi Academici scriptis. Bonn, 1911 (reprinted Frankfurt, 1964).
,the older stoaStoicorum Veterum Fragmenta, ed. Arnim, J., 4 vols. Leipzig, 1903–24.
Theiler, W., ‘Diotima neuplatonisch’, Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophic’, L (1968).
Theiler, W.Plotin und die an tike Philosophie’, in Museum Helveticum, 1 (1944).
Theiler, W.Die Vorbereitung des Neuplatonismus.Berlin, 1930.
Theophrastus, Metaphysics, ed. and tr. Ross, W. D. and Fobes, F. H.. Oxford, 1929.
Thesleff, H., The Pythagorean Texts of the Hellenistic Period (1965).
Thesleff, H., An Introduction to the Pythagorean Writings of the Hellenistic Period (1961).
Xenocrates, Fragments, ed. Heinze, R.. Leipzig, 1892.