ISBN-10: 1107014395

ISBN-13: 9781107014398

It is a finished, authoritative and leading edge account of Pythagoras and Pythagoreanism, the most enigmatic and influential philosophies within the West. In twenty-one chapters overlaying a timespan from the 6th century BC to the 17th century advert, best students build a few diversified pictures of Pythagoras and his group, assessing present scholarship and supplying new solutions to critical difficulties. Chapters are dedicated to the early Pythagoreans, and the total breadth of Pythagorean inspiration is explored together with politics, faith, tune idea, technology, arithmetic and magic. Separate chapters give some thought to Pythagoreanism in Plato, Aristotle, the Peripatetics and the later educational culture, whereas others describe Pythagoreanism within the old culture, in Rome and within the pseudo-Pythagorean writings. the 3 nice lives of Pythagoras through Diogenes Laertius, Porphyry and Iamblichus also are mentioned intimately, as is the importance of Pythagoras for the center a while and Renaissance.

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Extra resources for A History of Pythagoreanism

Example text

A Babylonian clay tablet in the Plimpton collection at Columbia University (Plimpton ) contains a list of such triplets and dates from the second millennium bc. At most Pythagoras might be the first Greek to have discovered this relationship or to have introduced it to the Greeks, but this too seems unlikely. At least in the particular case of a triangle with sides , , , the knowledge that the angle opposite the side of  is right is a piece of craft expertise that is widely distributed across many cultures.

Guthrie, the first volume of whose magisterial History of Greek Philosophy appeared in that year.  In an effort to get to the real Pythagoras, Guthrie proceeded with meticulous care through the earliest, pre-Platonic, sources, the most reliable ones, since they were not contaminated by later Neopythagorean influences. All of that looks and is very scrupulous. Yet he allowed himself to suspend the principle of relying just on those sources on one crucial matter in particular, namely Pythagoras’ role as a mathematician.

Pythagoras  certainly has to be rejected, since there is clear evidence that the Babylonians were well aware of the relationship between sets of what are called Pythagorean triplets, that is numbers such that the squares of the first and the second equal the square on the third (a + b = c ). A Babylonian clay tablet in the Plimpton collection at Columbia University (Plimpton ) contains a list of such triplets and dates from the second millennium bc. At most Pythagoras might be the first Greek to have discovered this relationship or to have introduced it to the Greeks, but this too seems unlikely.

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A History of Pythagoreanism


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