The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library, translated by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie, edited by David Fideler

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SELECT PYTHAGOREAN SENTENCES 1. From the Exhortation to Philosophy of Iamblichus 105. As we live through soul, it must be said that by the virtue of this we do live well; just as because we see through the eyes, we see well through their virtues. 106. It must not be thought that gold can be injured by rust, or virtue by baseness. 107. We should betake ourselves to virtue as to an inviolable temple, so that we may not be exposed to any ignoble insolence of soul with respect to our communion with, and continuance in life. 108. We should confide in virtue as in a chaste wife, but trust to fortune as an inconstant mistress. 109. It is better that virtue should be received accompanied by poverty, than wealth with violence; and frugality with health, than voracity with disease. 110. An overabundance of food is harmful to the body, but the body is preserved when the soul is disposed in a becoming manner. 111. It is as dangerous to give power to a depraved man as it is to give a sword to a madman. 112. As it is better for a part of the body that contains purulent decay to be burned than to continue as it is, thus also is it better for a depraved man to die than to continue to live. 113. The theorems of philosophy are to be enjoyed as much as possible, as if they were ambrosia and nectar. For the resultant pleasure is genuine, incorruptible and divine. They are also capable of producing magnanimity, and though they cannot make us eternal, yet they enable us to obtain a scientific knowledge of eternal natures. 114. If vigor of sensation is, as it is, considered to be desirable, so much more strenuously should we endeavor to obtain prudence; for it is, as it
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thus also discipline must precede philosophy.6/23/13 The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library. all else is a trifle. 127. 117. translated by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie. so must the greatest attention be paid to the soul if it is to produce fruits worthy of its nature. 116.2. the sensitive vigor of the practical intellect. The fruits of the earth. while www. This is the law of God: that virtue is the only thing strong. Choose rather to be strong in soul than in body.american-buddha.Pythagoras said that we must choose the best life. 125. so should stand a man on his deliberate choice. 129. 122. glory still weaker. should be beautiful.htm 2/6 . if he is worthy. Men unfairly accused of acting unjustly should be defended. indeed. Which anchors are strong? Prudence. 121. dominion. be adorned with gifts. A temple should. but the fruits of philosophy ripen at all seasons. As the lesser mysteries are to be delivered before the greater. 128. but praise for good men. Be sure that laborious things contribute to virtue more than do pleasurable things. magnanimity and fortitude. indeed. 118. and honor. Pythagoras said that it is most difficult simultaneously to walk in many paths of life. Every passion of the soul is most hostile to its salvation. Wealth is a weak anchor. edited by David Fideler were. just as those of a statue. And as through the former we are not deceived in sensible perceptions.pythagsourcebook.com/cult. 126. and similarly with the body. From Stobaeus 120. so through the latter we avoid false reasonings in practical affairs. but the soul with disciplines. these can be shaken by no tempest. 2. 115. Do not even think of doing what ought not to be done. As a statue stands immovable on its pedestal. appear annually.As he who wishes the best fruit must pay most attention to the land. which we contain. for custom will make it pleasant.25. All the parts of human life. Incense is for the Gods. We shall properly venerate Divinity if we purify our intellect from vice as from a stain. 124. 119. 123.

rather than Socrates. You will not be in want of anything. and the unseasonable. or of an emptiness and absence of it. 138. rather than Socrates. It is not the sumptuous adornment of the horse that earns him praise. 132. laborious and very multiform. and of non-perception. some are acquired and artificial. 140. Bodily necessities are easily procured by anybody without labor or molestation.2. confiding in divinity and yourself. but rather because his soul is generous. Pythagoras.6/23/13 The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library. -. 139. -. 134.Epicharmus. Wind increases fire. be sure to invoke the Gods to become your helpers. nor is the man worthy merely because he owns great wealth.Pythagoras. while others are inborn. 130. or presence of sense. 135. but those things whose attainment demands effort and trouble are objects of desire not to the body. Desire is a certain tendency and impulse of the soul. Despise all those things which you will not want when liberated from the body. 137. but rather the nature of the horse himself. Remind yourself that all men assert wisdom is the greatest good.Demophilus. for these are the nerves of wisdom. The three best known kinds of depraved desire are the improper. Be sober. and remember to be disposed to believe.com/cult. and an appetite of fullness. When the wise man opens his mouth the beauties of his soul present themselves to view as the statues in a temple. but that there are few who strenuously endeavor to obtain this greatest good. Only those are dear to divinity who are hostile to injustice.htm 3/6 . but custom increases love. For desire is either immediately www. -. It is better to live lying on the grass. -. -Democritus or Demophilus. -. -Aristoxenus the Pythagorean.Pythagoras. 133. however. which is in the power of Fortune to give or take away. than to lie on a golden bed with perturbation. 136. and exercising yourself in those things of which you will be in want when liberated from the body. 131.american-buddha. but to depraved opinion.pythagsourcebook.25. Thus spoke Pythagoras of desire: This passion is various.Demophilus. Of desires. 141. It is as impossible to conceal fire in a garment as a base deviation from rectitude in time. the unproportionate. edited by David Fideler those who excel should be praised. translated by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie.

25. Or. On being asked how a wine-lover might be cured of intoxication Pythagoras said. or towards improper objects. or if not absolutely so. -. Pythagoras said: Acquire continence as the greatest strength and wealth. you had better keep silence. "Not frequently man from man. as not to reprove him who errs.american-buddha. 149. translated by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie. The life of the avaricious resembles a funeral banquet.2. Pythagoras said: A slave to his passions cannot possibly be free. 148. As one who is clothed with a cheap robe may have a good habit of body. but to remedy them by reproofs. is productive of great delight. Neither is the sun to be taken from the world. 155. 154. it is improperly vehement and persistent. -.htm 4/6 .pythagsourcebook. The grace of freedom of speech. 143. Pythagoras said: It is not so difficult to err. As a bodily disease cannot be healed. 152. "If he frequently considers what were his actions during intoxication. 153. thus also may he whose life is poor possess freedom of speech." is one of the exhortations of Pythagoras. To have a blunt sword is as improper as to use ineffectual freedom of speech. by which obscurely he signifies that it is not proper frequently to engage sexual connections. it is impelled at an improper time. 150. Pythagoras said that intoxication is the preparation for insanity. Pythagoras said: Endeavor not to conceal your errors by words. 147. if it is concealed or praised.Aristoxenus." 156. Pythagoras said that unless you had something better than silence to say. 145. 146. but avoid flatterers as much as enemies. 151. 144. troublesome or illiberal.Pythagoras. nor freedom of speech from erudition.6/23/13 The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library. edited by David Fideler indecorous. www. in the third place. 142. For though it has all desirable elements no one rejoices. like beauty in season. thus also can neither a remedy be applied to a diseased soul which is badly guarded and protected.com/cult. Pythagoras said: Prefer those that reprove to those that flatter.

then lascivious insolence. then being glutted. luxury." 168. 165. There is not any gate of wealth so secure which the opportunity of Fortune may not open. Pythagoras said that rather than utter an idle word you had better throw a stone in vain. Pythagoras said." -. either good or evil.american-buddha. but probably Democrates or Demophilus. The sweetest remedies for hunger and weariness are bread made of milk and flour.Democrates.pythagsourcebook. "As to a mother.htm 5/6 . www. -Democrates.Pythagoras. Wherefore despise the reprehension of those whose praise you despise. and last. "Say not few things in many words. Pythagoras said that "Those who do not punish bad men are really wishing that good men be injured. Pythagoras said that the best city was that which contained the worthiest man.6/23/13 The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library. the worthy soul's fatherland is the whole world. 164. on a bed of grass.Attributed to Socrates. 171. Pythagoras said." 160. -. The unrestrained grief of a torpid soul may be expelled by reasoning. destruction. -." 167. The prosperous man who is vain is no better than the driver of a race on a slippery road. and no less riches without prudence. 162. -. 169. edited by David Fideler 157. On being asked how a man ought to behave towards his country when it had acted unjustly towards him. 158. not Democritus. -. but probably Democrates or Demophilus. 163. "You should do those things that you judge to be beautiful. "To men genius is a divinity. 166. Pythagoras said." 161. though in doing them you should lack renown.25.Every land is equally suitable as a residence for the wise man. Ibid.2.Attributed to Democritus. for the rabble is a bad judge of a good thing. "Not without a bridle can a horse be governed." 159. Pythagoras said that into cities enter first.Attributed to Democritus. not Democritus. but probably Democrates or Demophilus. Traveling teaches a man frugality and self-sufficiency. but much in few words. 170. Epicharmus said. translated by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie. Poverty should be born with equanimity by a wise man.com/cult.

pythagsourcebook.american-buddha. "Nor will I be silent as to this particular. 175. lest you consume it with sorrow and care. Pythagoras said: Spare your life.2. 174. 173. and that it is buried in this body as a sepulchre.com/cult. said. that both to Plato and Pythagoras it appeared that old age was not to be considered with reference to an egress from the present life. but to the beginning of a blessed one. Philolaus said that the ancient theologians and priests testified that the soul is united to the body as through a cenain punishment." 3.htm 6/6 ." Go to Next Page www. Pythagoras said that "Whatever we see when awake is death. Favorinus. From Clement of Alexandria. and when asleep is a dream. in speaking of old age.25. translated by Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie. edited by David Fideler 172.6/23/13 The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library. Stromateis. Book 3.

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