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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



6757
Iamblichus, Life Of Pythagoras, 25


nanPythagoras was likewise of opinion that music contributed greatly to health, if it was used in an appropriate manner. For he was accustomed to employ a purification of this kind, but not in a careless way. And he called the medicine which is obtained through music by the name of purification. But he employed such a melody as this about the vernal season. For he placed in the middle a certain person who played on the lyre, and seated in a circle round him those who were able to sing. And thus, when the person in the centre struck the lyre, those that surrounded him sung certain pæans, through which they were seen to be delighted, and to become elegant and orderly in their manners. But at another time they used music in the place of medicine. And there are 81certain melodies devised as remedies against the passions of the soul, and also against despondency and lamentation,[26] which Pythagoras invented as things that afford the greatest assistance in these maladies. And again, he employed other melodies against rage and anger, and against every aberration of the soul. There is also another kind of modulation invented as a remedy against desires. He likewise used dancing; but employed the lyre as an instrument for this purpose. For he conceived that the pipe was calculated to excite insolence, was a theatrical instrument, and had by no means a liberal sound.[27] Select verses also of Homer and Hesiod were used by him, for the purpose of correcting the soul. Among the deeds of Pythagoras likewise, it is said, that once through the spondaic song of a piper, he extinguished the rage of 82a Tauromenian lad, who had been feasting by night, and intended to burn the vestibule of his mistress, in consequence of seeing her coming from the house of his rival. For the lad was inflamed and excited [to this rash attempt] by a Phrygian song; which however Pythagoras most rapidly suppressed. But Pythagoras, as he was astronomizing, happened to meet with the Phrygian piper at an unseasonable time of night, and persuaded him to change his Phrygian for a spondaic song; through which the fury of the lad being immediately repressed, he returned home in an orderly manner, though a little before this, he could not be in the least restrained, nor would in short, bear any admonition; and even stupidly insulted Pythagoras when he met him. When a certain youth also rushed with a drawn sword on Anchitus, the host of Empedocles, because, being a judge, he had publicly condemned his father to death, and would have slain him as a homicide, Empedocles changed the intention of the youth, by singing to his lyre that verse of Homer,Nepenthe, without gall, o’er every illOblivion spreads;——[28]and thus snatched his host Anchitus from death, and the youth from the crime of homicide. It is also related that the youth from that time became 83the most celebrated of the disciples of Pythagoras. Farther still, the whole Pythagoric school produced by certain appropriate songs, what they called exartysis or adaptation, synarmoge or elegance of manners, and epaphe or contact, usefully conducting the dispositions of the soul to passions contrary to those which it before possessed. For when they went to bed they purified the reasoning power from the perturbations and noises to which it had been exposed during the day, by certain odes and peculiar songs, and by this means procured for themselves tranquil sleep, and few and good dreams. But when they rose from bed, they again liberated themselves from the torpor and heaviness of sleep, by songs of another kind. Sometimes, also, by musical sounds alone, unaccompanied with words, they healed the passions of the soul and certain diseases, enchanting, as they say, in reality. And it is probable that from hence this name epode, i. e. enchantment, came to be generally used. After this manner, therefore, Pythagoras through music produced the most beneficial correction of human manners and lives.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

6 results
1. Pindar, Olympian Odes, 7.35-7.53 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

2. Thucydides, The History of The Peloponnesian War, 1.126.6-1.126.7 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

1.126.6. Whether the grand festival that was meant was in Attica or elsewhere was a question which he never thought of, and which the oracle did not offer to solve. For the Athenians also have a festival which is called the grand festival of Zeus Meilichios or Gracious, viz. the Diasia. It is celebrated outside the city, and the whole people sacrifice not real victims but a number of bloodless offerings peculiar to the country. However, fancying he had chosen the right time, he made the attempt. 1.126.7. As soon as the Athenians perceived it, they flocked in, one and all, from the country, and sat down, and laid siege to the citadel.
3. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.42.11 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

8.42.11. It was mainly to see this Demeter that I came to Phigalia . I offered no burnt sacrifice to the goddess, that being a custom of the natives. But the rule for sacrifice by private persons, and at the annual sacrifice by the community of Phigalia, is to offer grapes and other cultivated fruits, with honeycombs and raw wool still full of its grease. These they place on the altar built before the cave, afterwards pouring oil over them.
4. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 8.13 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

8.13. Some say it was a certain trainer named Pythagoras who instituted this diet, and not our Pythagoras, who forbade even the killing, let alone the eating, of animals which share with us the privilege of having a soul. This was the excuse put forward; but his real reason for forbidding animal diet was to practise people and accustom them to simplicity of life, so that they could live on things easily procurable, spreading their tables with uncooked foods and drinking pure water only, for this was the way to a healthy body and a keen mind. of course the only altar at which he worshipped was that of Apollo the Giver of Life, behind the Altar of Horns at Delos, for thereon were placed flour and meal and cakes, without the use of fire, and there was no animal victim, as we are told by Aristotle in his Constitution of Delos.
5. Iamblichus, Life of Pythagoras, 15 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

15. Conceiving, however, that the first attention which should be paid to men, is that which takes place through the senses; as when some one perceives beautiful figures and forms, or hears beautiful rythms and melodies, he established that to be the first erudition which subsists through music, and also through certain melodies and rythms, from which the remedies of human manners and passions are obtained, together with those harmonies of the powers of the soul which it possessed from the first. He likewise devised medicines calculated to repress and expel the diseases both of bodies and souls. And by Jupiter that which deserves to be mentioned above all these particulars is this, that he arranged and adapted for his disciples what are called apparatus and contrectations, divinely contriving mixtures of certain diatonic, chromatic, and euharmonic melodies, through which he easily transferred and circularly led the passions of the soul into a contrary direction, when they had recently and in an irrational and clandestine manner been formed; such as sorrow, rage, and pity, absurd emulation and fear, all-various desires, angers, and appetites, pride, supineness, and vehemence. For he corrected each of these by the rule of virtue, attempering them through appropriate melodies, as 44through certain salutary medicines. In the evening, likewise, when his disciples were retiring to sleep, he liberated them by these means from diurnal perturbations and tumults, and purified their intellective power from the influxive and effluxive waves of a corporeal nature; rendered their sleep quiet, and their dreams pleasing and prophetic. But when they again rose from their bed, he freed them from nocturnal heaviness, relaxation and torpor, through certain peculiar songs and modulations, produced either by simply striking the lyre, or employing the voice. Pythagoras, however, did not procure for himself a thing of this kind through instruments or the voice, but employing a certain ineffable divinity, and which it is difficult to apprehend, he extended his ears, and fixed his intellect in the sublime symphonies of the world, he alone hearing and understanding, as it appears, the universal harmony and consoce of the spheres, and the stars that are moved through them, and which produce a fuller and more intense melody than any thing effected by mortal sounds.[17] This melody also was the result of 45dissimilar and variously differing sounds, celerities, magnitudes, and intervals, arranged with reference 46to each other in a certain most musical ratio, and thus producing a most gentle, and at the same time variously beautiful motion and convolution. Being therefore irrigated as it were with this melody, having the reason of his intellect well arranged through it, and as I may say, exercised, he determined to exhibit certain images of these things to his disciples as much as possible, especially producing an imitation of them through instruments, and through the mere voice alone. For he conceived that by him alone, of all the inhabitants of the earth, the mundane sounds were understood and heard, and this from a natural fountain itself and root. He therefore thought himself worthy to be 47taught, and to learn something about the celestial orbs, and to be assimilated to them by desire and imitation, as being the only one on the earth adapted to this by the conformation of his body, through the dæmoniacal power that inspired him. But he apprehended that other men ought to be satisfied in looking to him, and the gifts he possessed, and in being benefited and corrected through images and examples, in consequence of their inability to comprehend truly the first and genuine archetypes of things. Just, indeed, as to those who are incapable of looking intently at the sun, through the transcendent splendor of his rays, we contrive to exhibit the eclipses of that luminary, either in the profundity of still water, or through melted pitch, or through some darkly-splendid mirror; sparing the imbecility of their eyes, and devising a method of representing a certain repercussive light, though less intense than its archetype, to those who are delighted with a thing of this kind. Empedocles also appears to have obscurely signified this about Pythagoras, and the illustrious and divinely-gifted conformation of his body above that of other men, when he says:“There was a man among them [i. e. among the Pythagoreans] who was transcendent in knowledge, who possessed the most ample stores of intellectual wealth, and who was in the most eminent degree the adjutor of the works of the wise. For when he extended all the powers of his intellect, he easily 48beheld every thing, as far as to ten or twenty ages of the human race.”For the words transcendent, and he beheld every thing, and the wealth of intellect, and the like, especially exhibit the illustrious nature of the conformation of his mind and body, and its superior accuracy in seeing, and hearing, and in intellectual perception.
6. Porphyry, On Abstinence, 2.28 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

2.28. 28.The truth of this may also be perceived from the altar which is even now preserved about Delos, which, because no animal is brought to, or is sacrificed upon it, is called the altar of the pious. So that the inhabitants not only abstain from sacrificing animals, but they likewise conceive, that those who established, are similarly pious with those who use the altar. Hence, the Pythagoreans having adopted this mode of sacrifice, abstained from animal food through the whole of life. But when they distributed to the Gods a certain animal instead of themselves, they merely tasted of it, living in reality without touching other |61 animals. We, however, do not act after this manner; but being filled with animal diet, we have arrived at this manifold illegality in our life by slaughtering animals, and using them for food. For neither is it proper that the altars of the Gods should be defiled with murder, nor that food of this kind should be touched by men, as neither is it fit that men should eat one another; but the precept which is still preserved at Athens, should be obeyed through the whole of life. SPAN


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aetiologies, specific, athena on rhodes Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229
apollo erethimios, genetor Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229
athena, at athens, rhodes competing for Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229
athena, on rhodes, fireless sacrifice for Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229
athena, on rhodes Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229
auerbach, e. Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 106
coinage, of rhodes Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229
homer Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 106
iamblichus Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 106
insular Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229
islands, in the aegean Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229
kazazis, j.n. Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 106
philostratos Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229
plato Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 106
pythagoras, pythagorids Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229
pythagoras Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 106
rhodes, rivalry with athens Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229
rhodes Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229
sacrifice, fireless Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229
sacrifice, fireless meat Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229
sacrifice, meat vs. vegetables Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229
sacrifice, pastry substitutes Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229
varro atacinus' Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 106
zeus hades Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229
zeus hypatos Kowalzig, Singing for the Gods: Performances of Myth and Ritual in Archaic and Classical Greece (2007) 229