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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



6894
Isocrates, Busiris, 28


nanIf one were not determined to make haste, one might cite many admirable instances of the piety of the Egyptians, that piety which I am neither the first nor the only one to have observed; on the contrary, many contemporaries and predecessors have remarked it, of whom Pythagoras of Samos is one On a visit to Egypt he became a student of the religion of the people, and was first to bring to the Greeks all philosophy, and more conspicuously than others he seriously interested himself in sacrifices and in ceremonial purity, since he believed that even if he should gain thereby no greater reward from the gods, among men, at any rate, his reputation would be greatly enhanced.


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

8 results
1. Herodotus, Histories, 2.81 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

2.81. They wear linen tunics with fringes hanging about the legs, called “calasiris,” and loose white woolen mantles over these. But nothing woolen is brought into temples, or buried with them: that is impious. ,They agree in this with practices called Orphic and Bacchic, but in fact Egyptian and Pythagorean: for it is impious, too, for one partaking of these rites to be buried in woolen wrappings. There is a sacred legend about this.
2. Isocrates, Busiris, 23, 21 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

3. Plato, Hipparchus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

228c. they still do now. He dispatched a fifty-oared galley for Anacreon of Teos, and brought him into our city. Simonides of Ceos he always had about him, prevailing on him by plenteous fees and gifts. All this he did from a wish to educate the citizens, in order that he might have subjects of the highest excellence; for he thought it not right to grudge wisdom to any, so noble and good was he. And when his people in the city had been educated and were admiring him for his wisdom
4. Plato, Republic, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

600a. is there any tradition of a war in Homer’s time that was well conducted by his command or counsel? None. Well, then, as might be expected of a man wise in practical affairs, are many and ingenious inventions for the arts and business of life reported of Homer as they are of Thales the Milesian and Anacharsis the Scythian? Nothing whatever of the sort. Well, then, if no public service is credited to him, is Homer reported while he lived to have been a guide in education to men who took pleasure in associating with him
5. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 8.2-8.3, 8.34 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

8.2. From Samos he went, it is said, to Lesbos with an introduction to Pherecydes from his uncle Zoilus. He had three silver flagons made and took them as presents to each of the priests of Egypt. He had brothers, of whom Eunomus was the elder and Tyrrhenus the second; he also had a slave, Zamolxis, who is worshipped, so says Herodotus, by the Getans, as Cronos. He was a pupil, as already stated, of Pherecydes of Syros, after whose death he went to Samos to be the pupil of Hermodamas, Creophylus's descendant, a man already advanced in years. While still young, so eager was he for knowledge, he left his own country and had himself initiated into all the mysteries and rites not only of Greece but also of foreign countries. 8.3. Now he was in Egypt when Polycrates sent him a letter of introduction to Amasis; he learnt the Egyptian language, so we learn from Antiphon in his book On Men of Outstanding Merit, and he also journeyed among the Chaldaeans and Magi. Then while in Crete he went down into the cave of Ida with Epimenides; he also entered the Egyptian sanctuaries, and was told their secret lore concerning the gods. After that he returned to Samos to find his country under the tyranny of Polycrates; so he sailed away to Croton in Italy, and there he laid down a constitution for the Italian Greeks, and he and his followers were held in great estimation; for, being nearly three hundred in number, so well did they govern the state that its constitution was in effect a true aristocracy (government by the best). 8.34. According to Aristotle in his work On the Pythagoreans, Pythagoras counselled abstinence from beans either because they are like the genitals, or because they are like the gates of Hades . . . as being alone unjointed, or because they are injurious, or because they are like the form of the universe, or because they belong to oligarchy, since they are used in election by lot. He bade his disciples not to pick up fallen crumbs, either in order to accustom them not to eat immoderately, or because connected with a person's death; nay, even, according to Aristophanes, crumbs belong to the heroes, for in his Heroes he says:Nor taste ye of what falls beneath the board !Another of his precepts was not to eat white cocks, as being sacred to the Month and wearing suppliant garb – now supplication ranked with things good – sacred to the Month because they announce the time of day; and again white represents the nature of the good, black the nature of evil. Not to touch such fish as were sacred; for it is not right that gods and men should be allotted the same things, any more than free men and slaves.
6. Iamblichus, Life of Pythagoras, 14-15, 19, 13 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

13. Moreover, if we may believe in so many ancient and credible historians as have written concerning him, the words of Pythagoras contained something of a recalling and admonitory nature, which extended as far as to irrational animals; by which it may be inferred that learning predominates in those endued with intellect, since it tames even wild beasts, and those which are considered to be deprived of reason. For it is said that Pythagoras detained the Daunian bear which had most severely injured the inhabitants, and that having gently stroked it with his hand for a long time, fed it with maze and acorns, and compelled it by an oath no longer to touch any living thing, he dismissed it. But the bear immediately after hid herself in the mountains and woods, and was never seen from that time to attack any irrational animal. Perceiving likewise an ox at Tarentum feeding in a pasture, and eating among other things green beans, he advised the herdsman to tell the ox to abstain from the beans. The herdsman, however, laughed at him, and said that he did not understand the language of oxen, but if Pythagoras did, it was in vain to advise him to speak to the ox, but fit that he himself should advise the animal to abstain from such food. Pythagoras therefore, approaching to 41the ear of the ox, and whispering in it for a long time, not only caused him then to refrain from beans, but it is said that he never after tasted them. This ox also lived for a long time at Tarentum near the temple of Juno, where it remained when it was old, and was called the sacred ox of Pythagoras. It was also fed by those that came to it with human food. When likewise he happened to be conversing with his familiars about birds, symbols, and prodigies, and was observing that all these are the messengers of the Gods, sent by them to those men who are truly dear to the Gods, he is said to have brought down an eagle that was flying over Olympia, and after gently stroking, to have dismissed it. Through these things, therefore, and other things similar to these, he demonstrated that he possessed the same dominion as Orpheus, over savage animals, and that he allured and detained them by the power of voice proceeding from the mouth.
7. Porphyry, Life of Pythagoras, 6 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

6. As to his knowledge, it is said that he learned the mathematical sciences from the Egyptians, Chaldeans and Phoenicians; for of' old the Egyptians excelled, in geometry, the Phoenicians in numbers and proportions, and the Chaldeans of astronomical theorems, divine rites, and worship of the Gods; other secrets concerning the course of life he received and learned from the Magi. SPAN
8. Heraclitus Lesbius, Fragments, None



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
acusmata (pythagorean) Wolfsdorf, Early Greek Ethics (2020) 700
anaximander of miletus Petrovic and Petrovic, Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion (2016) 57
animal worship, egyptians and Gruen, Rethinking the Other in Antiquity (2011) 105
corpse as source of pollution Petrovic and Petrovic, Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion (2016) 57
death as source of pollution Petrovic and Petrovic, Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion (2016) 57
delatte, a. Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 90
diogenes laertius, as source for pythagoreanism Wolfsdorf, Early Greek Ethics (2020) 700
hecataeus Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 90
heraclitus Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 90
hipparchus Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 90
huffman, c.a. Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 90
iamblichus, as source for pythagoreanism Wolfsdorf, Early Greek Ethics (2020) 700
libations Petrovic and Petrovic, Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion (2016) 57
macris, c. Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 90
metempsychosis, and pythagoras Petrovic and Petrovic, Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion (2016) 57
mystery cults, stringent purity regulations as a prerequisite for a mystery initiation Petrovic and Petrovic, Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion (2016) 57
onomacritus Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 90
plato Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 90
porphyry, as source for pythagoreanism Wolfsdorf, Early Greek Ethics (2020) 700
psyche as seat of purity/impurity, in pythagoras Petrovic and Petrovic, Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion (2016) 57
pythagoras Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 90; Gruen, Rethinking the Other in Antiquity (2011) 105; Petrovic and Petrovic, Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion (2016) 57
pythagoreanism xxv Wolfsdorf, Early Greek Ethics (2020) 700
riedweg, c. Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 90
sacrifice, animal, in pythagoras Petrovic and Petrovic, Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion (2016) 57
symbola, pythagorean Petrovic and Petrovic, Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion (2016) 57
washing, ritual Petrovic and Petrovic, Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion (2016) 57
zeller, e.' Cornelli, In Search of Pythagoreanism: Pythagoreanism as an Historiographical Category (2013) 90