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Headword: Πυθαγόρας
Adler number: pi,3120
Translated headword: Pythagoras
Vetting Status: high
[Pythagoras] of Samos, but Tyrrhenian [Etruscan] by descent; son of Mnesarchus[1] an engraver of gems. When he was young he migrated with his father from Tyrrhenian territory to Samos. This man was taught first by Pherecydes of Syros[2] on Samos, then also on Samos by Hermodamas, who was a descendant of Kreophylos.[3] Then [he was taught by] Abaris the Hyperborean[4] and Zares the mage. After being educated by Egyptians and Chaldeans he came to Samos. Finding it subject to the tyranny of Polykrates[5] he moved to Kroton in Italy.[6] He established a school and had more than 600 disciples. He also had two brothers, the elder Eunomos, the middle one Tyrrhenos. He had a slave Zamolxis[7] to whom the Getae sacrifice as to Kronos. He married Theano[8] the daughter of Brotinos the Krotoniate. With her he had two children, Telauges[9] and Damon (or as some say Mnesarchus); according to some he also had a daughter Muia[10] by name; according to others also Arignote.[11] Pythagoras wrote only three books: On Education, On Statesmanship:[12] but the third attributed to Pythagoras is by Lysis of Tarentum, who became his disciple and fled to Thebes and taught Epaminondas.[13] But some attribute to him also the Golden verses. Pythagoras was the first to teach abstention from animal food and beans.[14]
Pythagoras died in this manner: as he was sitting with his friends in the house of Melon, it happened that the house was set on fire out of spite by one of those who had not been found worthy of admission. But some say that the Krotoniates themselves did this, suspecting an attempt at tyranny. Pythagoras was caught trying to escape: coming to a certain field full of beans, when he was trying to escape, he stopped there, saying that he would be captured rather than to tread on [them], and to be killed was better than to speak: and thus he was slain by the pursuers. In this way also most of his companions were murdered, about 40 of them.[15]
Greek Original:
Πυθαγόρας, Σάμιος, φύσει δὲ Τυρρηνός, Μνησάρχου υἱὸς δακτυλιογλύφου. νέος δὲ ὢν σὺν τῷ πατρὶ ἐκ Τυρρηνίας ᾤκησεν εἰς Σάμον. οὗτος ἤκουσε πρῶτος Φερεκύδου τοῦ Συρίου ἐν Σάμῳ, εἶτα Ἑρμοδάμαντος ἐν τῇ αὐτῇ Σάμῳ, ὃς ἦν ἀπόγονος Κρεοφύλου, εἶτα Ἀβάριδος τοῦ Ὑπερβορέου καὶ Ζάρητος τοῦ μάγου: παιδευθεὶς δὲ καὶ παρ' Αἰγυπτίοις καὶ Χαλδαίοις ἦλθεν εἰς Σάμον καὶ εὑρὼν αὐτὴν τυραννουμένην ὑπὸ Πολυκράτους ἀπῇρεν εἰς Κρότωνα τῆς Ἰταλίας καὶ σχολὴν συστησάμενος πλεῖον ἢ χ# ἔσχε γνωρίμους. ἦσαν δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ ἀδελφοὶ δύο, πρεσβύτερος μὲν Εὔνομος, μέσος δὲ Τυρρηνός. δοῦλος δὲ ἦν αὐτῷ Ζάμολξις, ᾧ Γέται ὡς Κρόνῳ θύουσι. γαμετὴν δ' ἐποιήσατο Θεανώ, τὴν Βροτίνου τοῦ Κροτωνιάτου θυγατέρα: ἐξ ἧς καὶ παῖδες αὐτῷ ἐγένοντο δύο, Τηλαύγης καὶ Δάμων ἢ ὥς τινες Μνήσαρχος. κατὰ δέ τινας καὶ θυγάτηρ, Μυῖα ὄνομα, κατὰ δὲ ἄλλους καὶ Ἀριγνώτη. συνέγραψε δὲ ὁ Πυθαγόρας μόνα τρία βιβλία, Παιδευτικόν, Πολιτικόν: τὸ δὲ φερόμενον τρίτον ὡς Πυθαγόρου Λύσιδός ἐστι τοῦ Ταραντίνου, μαθητοῦ αὐτοῦ γενομένου καὶ φυγόντος εἰς Θήβας καὶ καθηγησαμένου Ἐπαμινώνδα. τινὲς δὲ ἀνατιθέασιν αὐτῷ καὶ τὰ Χρυσᾶ ἔπη. πρῶτος δὲ ὁ Πυθαγόρας ἐμψύχων ἀπέχεσθαι τροφῆς παρέδωκε καὶ κυάμων. ἐτελεύτα δὲ ὁ Πυθαγόρας τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον: συνεδρεύοντος μετὰ τῶν συνήθων ἐν τῇ Μήλωνος οἰκίᾳ, τούτου ὑπό τινος τῶν μὴ παραδοχῆς ἀξιωθέντων διὰ φθόνον ὑποπρησθῆναι τὴν οἰκίαν συνέβη. τινὲς δὲ αὐτοὺς τοὺς Κροτωνιάτας τοῦτο πρᾶξαι, τυραννίδος ἐπίθεσιν εὐλαβουμένους, τὸν δὴ Πυθαγόραν καταληφθῆναι διεξιόντα καὶ πρός τινι χωρίῳ γενόμενον πλήρει κυάμων, ἵνα διήρχετο, αὐτόθι ἔστη, εἰπὼν ἁλῶναι μᾶλλον ἢ πατῆσαι, ἀναιρεθῆναι δὲ κρεῖττον ἢ λαλῆσαι: καὶ ὧδε πρὸς τῶν διωκόντων ἀποσφαγῆναι. οὕτω δὲ καὶ τοὺς πλείστους τῶν ἑταίρων αὐτοῦ διαφθαρῆναι, ὄντας πρὸς τοὺς μ#.
Philosopher, mathematician and religious leader, born mid-C6 BCE; see generally OCD4 s.v., and web addresses 1 (MacTutor History of Mathematics) and 2 (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy). In the Suda see also pi 3121, pi 3123, pi 3124.
[1] Mnesarchus: possibly mu 1160.
[2] Pherecydes: phi 214.
[3] Kreophylos: kappa 2376.
[4] Abaris: alpha 18.
[5] Polycrates: see under nu 240, tau 175.
[6] Kroton: kappa 2481, kappa 2482.
[7] Zamolxis: zeta 17, zeta 18.
[8] Theano: theta 83, theta 84.
[9] Telauges: tau 481.
[10] Muia: mu 1363.
[11] Arignote: alpha 3872.
[12] Pythagoras' third book was Phusikon, that is On Nature, according to Diogenes Laertius (8.1.6).
[13] Epaminondas: epsilon 1949.
[14] Thus far, the entry is derived from Diogenes Laertius 8.1-13; and cf. the scholia on Plato, Republic 600B.
[15] From Diogenes Laertius 8.39.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: biography; children; chronology; ethics; food; geography; mathematics; philosophy; politics; religion; trade and manufacture; women
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 4 April 2002@14:06:15.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes; cosmetics) on 1 September 2002@05:52:40.
Catharine Roth (added keyword) on 29 September 2005@02:21:07.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 23 October 2013@07:44:57.
David Whitehead on 23 October 2013@07:45:25.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 16 July 2014@00:41:15.
David Whitehead on 10 August 2014@07:23:45.
Catharine Roth (tweaked link references) on 10 August 2014@11:05:51.
Catharine Roth on 10 August 2014@11:08:25.


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