The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library

Postby admin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:34 am

CHIPPODAMUS THE THURIAN:

ON FELICITY AND ON A REPUBLIC

ON FELICITY


OF ANIMALS some are capable of felicity while others are incapable. Felicity cannot subsist without virtue, and this is impossible to any lacking reason, so that those animals are incapable of felicity who are destitute of reason. The blind cannot exercise or practice sight, nor can the irrational attain to the work and virtue dependent on reason. To that which possesses reason, felicity is a work, and virtue an art. Of rational animals, some are self-perfect, in need of nothing external, either for their existence or artistic achievement. Such indeed is God. On the contrary, those animals are not self-perfect whose perfection is not due to themselves, or who are in need of anything external. Such an animal is man. Of not self-perfect animals some are perfect and others are not. The former derive their subsistence from both their own proper causes, and from the external. They derive it indeed from their own causes, because they obtain from thence both an excellent nature, and deliberate choice; but also from external causes, because they receive from thence equitable legislation, and good rulers. The animals which are not perfect are either such as participate of neither of these, or of some one of these, or whose souls are entirely depraved. Such will be the man who is of a description different from the above.

Moreover, of perfect men there are two kinds. Some of them are naturally perfect, while others are perfect only in relation to their lives. Only the good are naturally perfect, and these possess virtue. For the virtue of the nature of anything is a consummation and perfection. Thus the virtue of the eye is the eye's nature's consummation and perfection. So man's virtue is man's nature's consummation and perfection.

Those also are perfect according to life who are not only good but happy. For indeed felicity is the perfection of human life. But human life is a system of actions, and felicity completes actions. Virtue and fortune also complete life, but only partially: virtue, according to use, and good fortune according to prosperity. God, therefore, is neither good through learning virtue from anyone, nor is he happy through being attended by good fortune. For he is good and happy by nature, and always was, is and never will cease to be, since he is incorruptible and naturally good. But man is neither happy nor good by nature, requiring discipline and providential care. To become good he requires virtue, but to become happy, good fortune. On this account, human felicity may be summarily said to consist of these two things: praise, and being called happy. Praise, indeed, because of virtue; but being called happy from prosperity. Therefore it possesses virtue through a divine destiny, but prosperity through a mortal allotment. But moral concerns depend on divine ones, and terrestrial on celestial. Likewise, subordinate things depend on the more excellent. That is why the good man who follows the Gods is happy, but he who follows mortal nature is unhappy. For to him who possesses wisdom, prosperity is good and useful, being good through his knowledge of the use of it; but it is useful through his cooperating with actions. It is beautiful therefore when prosperity is present with intellect, and when, as if we were sailing with a prosperous wind, actions are performed that tend towards virtue, just as a pilot watches the stars. Thus he who does this will not only follow God, but will also harmonize human good with the divine.

This also is evident, that human life becomes different from disposition and action. But it is necessary that the disposition should be either worthy or depraved, and that action should be attended with either felicity or misery. A worthy disposition indeed participates of virtue, while a bad one of vice. With respect to actions, also, those that are prosperous are attended with felicity [for they derive their completion from looking to reason], but those that are unfortunate are attended with misery, for they are disappointed of their end. Hence it is not only necessary to learn virtue, but also to possess and use it: either for security, or growth [of property when it is too small], or for the improvement of families and cities, which is the greatest thing of all. For it is necessary not only to have the possession of beautiful things, but also their use. All these things, however, will take place when a man lives in a city that enjoys equitable laws. This is what is signified by the horn of Amalthea, for all things are contained in equitable legislation. Without this, the greatest good of human nature can neither be effected, nor, when effected, be increased and become permanent. For this contains both virtue and [the] tendency towards it, because excellent natures are generated according to it. Likewise manners, studies and laws through this subsist in the most excellent condition; and besides these, rightly-deciding reason, and piety and sanctity toward the most honorable natures. Therefore he who wishes to be happy, and whose life is to be prosperous, should live and die in a country governed by equitable laws, relinquishing all lawlessness. All the above is necessary, for man is a part of society, and according to the same reasoning will become entire and perfect, if he associates with others, but that in a becoming manner. For some things are naturally adapted to subsist in many things, and not in one thing; others in one thing and not in many; others both in many and in one, and on this account in one thing because in many. For indeed harmony, symphony and number are naturally adapted to be infused into many things. Nothing which makes a whole from these parts is sufficient in itself. But acuteness of seeing and hearing, and swiftness of feet, subsist in one thing alone. Felicity, however, and virtue of soul, subsist in one thing and in many things, in a whole, and in the universe. On this account they subsist in one thing, because they also subsist in many; and they subsist in many because they inhere in the whole and the universe. For the orderly distribution of the whole nature of things methodically arranges each particular. The orderly distribution of particulars gives completion to the whole of things, and to the universe. But this follows from the whole being naturally prior to the part, and not the part to the whole. For if the Cosmos was not, neither the sun nor the moon would exist, nor the planets, nor the fixed stars. But the universe existing, each of these also exists.

The truth of this may also be seen in the nature itself of animals. For if the animal had no existence, there would be neither eye, mouth, nor ear. But the animal existing, each of these likewise exists. However, as the whole is to the part, so is the virtue of the whole to that of the part. For if harmony did not exist, nor a divine inspection of human affairs, things adorned with order would no longer remain in good condition. Were there no equitable legislation in a city, the citizen would be neither good nor happy. Did the animal lack health, neither foot nor hand could be in health. The world's virtue is harmony, the city's virtue is equitable legislation, and the body's virtue is health and strength. Likewise, each of the parts is adjusted to the whole and the universe. For the eye sees on account of the whole body, and the other parts and members are adjusted for the sake of the whole [body] and the universe.

ON A REPUBLIC

I SAY THAT THE WHOLE OF A POLITY is divided into three parts: the good men who manage public affairs, those who are powerful, and those who are employed in supplying and procuring the necessities of life. The first group is that of the counselors, the second the auxiliaries, and third that which pertains to the mechanical and sordid arts. The first two groups belong to the liberal condition of life; the third, of those who labor to procure subsistence. Of these the council is best, the laborers the worst, and the auxiliaries, a medium between the two. The council should govern, and the laborers should be governed, and the auxiliaries should both govern and be governed. For that which consults for the general good previously deliberates what ought to be done; while that which is of an auxiliary nature, so far as it is belligerent, rules over the whole mechanical tribe, but is itself governed in so far as it has previously received advice from others.

Of these parts, however, each again receives a triple division. For of that which consults, one part presides, another governs, and another counsels for the general good. With respect to the presiding part, it is that which plans, contrives and deliberates about what pertains to the community, prior to the other parts, and afterwards refers its counsels to the senate. But the governing part is either that which now rules [for the first time], or which has before performed that office. With respect to the third part, which consults for the general good, this receives the advice of the earlier parts, and by its suffrages and authority confirms whatever is referred to its decision. In short, those who preside should refer the community's affairs to that part which consults for the general good, while the latter part should refer these affairs through the presiding officers to the convention.

Likewise, of that part which is auxiliary, powerful and efficacious: one part is of a governing nature, another part is defensive, and the remaining, and greater part, is private and military. It is the governing part, therefore, from which the leaders of the armies, the officers of bands, the bands of soldiers, and the vanguard are derived, and universally all those who rank as leaders. The vanguard consists of the bravest, the most impetuous, and the most daring, the remaining military and multitude being gregarious.

Of the third part engaged in sordid occupations, and in laboring to procure the necessities of life: one part consists of husbandmen, and those employed in the cultivation of land; another are artisans, making such instruments and machines as are required by the occasions of life; and another part travels and bargains, exporting to foreign regions such things as are superabundant in the city, and importing into it other things from foreign countries. The systems of political society are organized in many such parts.

Next we must study their adaption and union. Since, however, the whole of political society may well be compared to a lyre, as it requires apparatus and mutual adjustment, and also because it must be touched and used musically; this being the case, I have sufficiently spoken above about the apparatus of a polity, and shown from what and from how many particulars it is constituted. I shall now, therefore, endeavor to speak of the organization and union of these. Political society is organized by disciplines, the study of customs, and laws; through these three man is educated and improved.

Disciplines are the source of erudition, and lead the desires toward virtue. The laws, both repelling man [from the commissions of crimes] and alluring them by honors and gifts, excite them [to virtue]. Manners and studies fashion the soul like wax, and through their continued energy impress thereon propensities that become second nature. These three [parts of society] should however cooperate with the beautiful, the useful and the just; each of these three should if possible aim at all these three, but if not all of them, it should at least have two or one of them as the goal, so that discipline, manners and laws may be beautiful, just and advantageous. In the first place, the beautiful in conduct should be preferred; in the second place the just, and in the third place the useful. Universally the endeavor should be that through these the city may become, in the most eminent degree, unanimous and concordant with its parts, and may be free from sedition, and hostile contention. This will happen if the passions in the youths' souls are disciplined, and in things pleasing and painful are led to moderation, and if the possessions of men are not superfluous, and they derive their subsistence from the cultivation of the earth. This will also be accomplished if good men rule over those that are in want of virtue, skillful men over those that are wanting in skill, and right men over those things that require a certain amount of generosity and expenditure, and also if appropriate honors are distributed to those who govern in all these in a becoming manner. But there are three causes which are incitements to virtue-fear, desire and shame. Law can produce fear, but custom shame; for those that are accustomed to act well will be ashamed to do anything that is base. Desire is produced by disciplines, for they simultaneously assign the causes of things, and attract the soul, and especially so when accompanied by exhortation. Hence the souls of young men should be sufficiently instructed in what pertains to senates, fellowship and association, both military and political. Moreover, the tribe of elderly men should be trained to things of this kind, since young men indeed require correction and instruction, but elderly men need benevolent associations and a mode of living unattended by pain.

Since therefore we have said that the worthy man is perfect through three things -- customs, laws and disciplines -- we must consider how customs or manners are corrupted usually, and how they grow permanent. We shall then find that customs are corrupted in two ways: through ourselves, or through foreigners. This occurs through ourselves, indeed, due to our flying from pain, whereby we fail to endure labor, or through the pursuit of pleasure, whereby we reject the good. For labors procure good, but pleasures evil. Hence through pleasure, becoming incontinent and remiss, men are rendered effeminate in their souls, and more prodigal in their expenses. Customs and manners are corrupted through foreigners when their numbers swamp the natives, and boast of the success of their mercantile employments, or when those who dwell in the suburbs, becoming lovers of pleasures and luxury, spread their manners to the simple neighbors. Therefore the legislators, officers and mass of the people should diligently take notice whether the customs of the city are being carefully preserved, and that throughout the whole people. Moreover, they should observe whether the genuine and indigenous multitude, of which the polity consists, remains pure and unmingled with any other nation, and whether the magnitude of possessions remains in the same state, and does not become excessive. For the possession of superfluities is accompanied by the desire of still more of the superfluous. In such ways the customs should be preserved.

With respect to disciplines, however, the same legislators and officers should diligently inspect and examine the sophists, whether they are teaching what is useful to the laws, to the established political principles, and to the local economy of life. For sophistic doctrines may infect men with no passing, but [with the) greatest infelicity when they dare make innovations in anything pertaining to human or divine affairs, contrary to the popular views. In this regard, nothing can be more pernicious either with respect to truth, security or renown. In addition to this, they introduce into the minds of the general people obscurity and confusion. Of this kind are all doctrines that teach either that there is no God, or if there is, that he is not affected towards the human race so as to regard it with providential care, but despises and deserts it. In men such doctrines produce folly and injustice to a degree that is inexpressible. Any anarchist who has dismissed fear of disobedience to the laws violates them with wanton boasts. Hence the necessity of political and traditionally venerable principles, adapted to the speakers' disposition, free from any insincerity. Thus what is said exhibits the speakers' manners. The laws will inevitably introduce security if the polity is organized on lines of natural laws and not on the unnatural. From a tyranny cities derive no advantage, and very little from an oligarchy. The first need, therefore, is a kingdom, and the second is an aristocracy.

For a kingdom, indeed, is as it were an image of God, and which is with difficulty preserved and defended by the human soul. For it rapidly degenerates into luxury and insolence. Hence it is not proper to employ a kingdom universally, but only so far as it may be useful to the state, and an aristocracy should be liberally mingled with it, as this consists of many rulers who emulate each other and often govern alternately. There must also be democratic elements, for as a citizen is part of the whole state he should receive a reward from it. Yet he must be sufficiently restrained, for the common people are bold and rash.

***

By a necessity of nature, everything mortal is subject to changes, some improving, others growing worse. Things born increase until they arrive at their consummation, whereafter they age and perish. Things that grow of themselves by the same nature decay into the hidden beyond and then return to mortality through transformation of growth; then, by repeated decay, retrograde into another cycle. Sometimes, when houses or cities have attained the peak of supreme happiness, in exuberant wealth, they have, through a welling up of insolent self-satisfaction, through human folly, perished together with their vaunted possessions.

Thus every human empire has shown three distinct stages of growth, fruition and destruction. For in the beginning, being destitute of goods, empires are engrossed in acquisition, but after they become wealthy they perish. Such things, therefore, as are under the dominion of the Gods, being incorruptible, are preserved through the whole of time by incorruptible natures; but such things as are under the government of men, being mortal, from mortals receive perpetual disturbance. The end of self-satisfaction and insolence is destruction, but poverty and narrow circumstances often result in a strenuous and worthy life. Not poverty alone, but many other things bring human life to an end.
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Re: The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library

Postby admin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:35 am

DIOTOGENES:

ON SANCTITY AND CONCERNING A KINGDOM

ON SANCTITY


IT IS NECESSARY that the laws should not be enclosed in houses, or by gates, but in the manners of the citizens. What, therefore, is the basic principle of any state? The education of the youth. For vines will never bear useful fruit unless they are well cultivated; nor will horses ever excel, unless they are properly trained. Recently ripened fruit grows similar to its surroundings. With utmost prudence do men study how to prune and tend the vines, but to things pertaining to the education of their species they behave rashly and negligently, though neither vines nor wine govern men, but man and the soul of man. The nurture of a plant, indeed, we commit to an expert who is supposed to deserve no less then two minae a day, but the education of our youth we commit to some Illyrian or Thracian who is worthless. As the earliest legislators could not render the middle class of society stable, they prescribed [in the curriculum] dancing and rhythm, which instills motion and order, and besides these they added sports, some of which induced fellowship, but others truth and mental keenness. For those who through intoxication or guzzling had committed any crime, they prescribed the pipe and harmony, which by maturing and refining the manners so shaped the mind that it became capable of being adorned.

***

It is well to invoke God at the beginning and end both of supper and dinner, not because he is in want of anything of the kind, but in order that the soul may be transfigured by the recollection of divinity. For since we proceed from him, and participate in a divine nature, we should honor him. Since also God is just, we should act justly in all things.

In the next place, there are four causes which terminate all things and bring them to an end -- namely nature, law, art and fortune. Nature is admittedly the principle of all things. Law is the inspective guardian and creator of all things that change manners into political concord. Art is justly said to be the mother and guide of things consummated through human prudence. But of things which accidentally happen to the worthy and unworthy, the cause is ascribed to fortune, which does not produce anything orderly, prudent, moderate or controlled.

CONCERNING A KINGDOM

A KING SHOULD BE ONE who is most just; and he will be most just who most closely attends to the laws. Without justice it is impossible to be a king, and without law there can be no justice. For justice is such only through law, justice's effective cause. A king is either animated by law, or a legal ruler, when he will be most just and observant of the laws. There are however three peculiar employments of a king: leading an army, administering justice, and worshipping the Gods. He will be able to lead an army properly only if he knows how to carry on war properly. He will be skilled in administering justice and in governing all his subjects, only if he has well learned the nature of justice and law. He will worship the Gods in a pious and holy manner only if he has diligently considered the nature and virtue of God. So a good king must necessarily be a good general, judge and priest, which things are inseparable from the goodness and virtue of a king. It is the pilot's business to preserve the ship, the charioteer's to preserve the chariot, and the physician's to save the sick; but it is a king's or a general's business to save those who are in danger in battle. For a leader must also be a provident inspector and preserver. While judicial affairs are in general everybody's interest, this is the special work of a king who, like a God, is a world-leader and protector. While the whole state should be generally organized in a unitary manner, under unitary leadership, individual parts should accord with the same harmony and be submissive to the supreme domination. Besides-though the king should oblige and benefit his subjects, this should not be in contempt of justice and law. The third characteristic of a king' s dignity is the worship of the Gods. The most excellent should be worshipped by the most excellent, and the leader and ruler by that which leads and rules. Of naturally most honorable things, God is the best, but of things on the earth and human, a king is the supreme. As God is to the world, so is a king to his kingdom; and as a city is to the world, so is a king to God. For a city, indeed, being organized from things many and various, imitates the organization of the world and its harmony; but a king whose rule is beneficent, and who himself is animated by law, exhibits the form of God among men.

***

It is hence necessary that a king should not be overcome by pleasure, but that he should overcome it; that he should not resemble, but excel the multitude; and that he should not conceive his proper employment to consist in the pursuit of pleasure, but rather in the achievement of character. Likewise, he who rules others should be able first to govern his own passions.

As to the desire of obtaining great property, it must be observed that a king ought to be wealthy so as to benefit his friends, relieve those in want, and justly punish his enemies. Most delightful is the enjoyment of wealth in conjunction with virtue. So also concerning the preeminence of a king, for since he always surpasses others in virtue, a judgment of his empire might be formed with reference to virtue, and not to riches, power, or military strength. Riches he possesses in common with anyone of his subjects; power, in common with animals; and military strength in common with tyrants. But virtue is the prerogative of good men; hence, whatever king is temperate with respect to pleasures, liberal with respect to money, and prudent and sagacious in government, he will in reality be a king. The people, however, have the same analogy with respect to the virtues and the vices, as the parts of the human soul. For the desire to accumulate the superfluous subsists with the irrational part of the soul, for desire is not rational. But ambition and ferocity cling to the irascible part, for this is the spirited and strenuous part of the soul. The love of pleasure clings to the passionate part, which is effeminate and yielding. Injustice, however, which is the supreme vice, is composite, and clings to the whole soul. The king should therefore organize the well- legislated city like a lyre, first in himself establishing the justest boundary and order of law, knowing that the people's proper arrangement should be organized according to this interior boundary, the divinity having given him dominion over them. The good king should also establish proper positions and habits in the delivery of public orations, behaving in a cultured manner, seriously and earnestly, lest he seem either rough or abject to the multitude, but showing agreeable and easy manners. These things he will obtain if in the first place his aspect and discourse are worthy of respect, and if he appears to deserve the sovereign authority which he possesses; in the second place, if he proves himself to be benign in behavior to those he may meet, from his countenance and beneficence; and in the third place, if his hatred of depravity is formidable, by the punishment he inflicts thereon, from his quickness in inflicting it, and in short from his skill and exercise in the art of government. For venerable gravity, being something which imitates divinity, is capable of winning for him the admiration and honor of the multitude. Benignity will render him pleasing and beloved. His formidableness will frighten his enemies and save him from being conquered, and make him magnanimous and confident to his friends.

His gravity, however, should have no abject or vulgar element; it should be admirable, and worthy of the dignity of rule and sceptre. He should never contend with his inferiors or equals, but with those greater than himself; and, conformably to the magnitude of his empire, he should count those pleasures greatest which are derived from beautiful and great deeds, and not those which arise from sensual gratifications, separating himself indeed from human passions and approximating the Gods -- not through arrogance, but through magnanimity and the invincible preeminence of virtue. Hence he should invest his aspect and reasonings with such a gracefulness and majesty, and also in his mental conceptions and soul-manners, in his actions, and body motions and gestures, that those who observe him may perceive that he is adorned and fashioned with modesty and temperance, and a dignified disposition. A good king should be able to charm those who behold him, no less than the sound of a flute and harmony attract those that hear them. Enough about the venerable gravity of a king.

I must now mention his benignity. Generally, any king who is just, equitable and beneficent will be benign. Justice is a connective and collective communion, and is that disposition of the soul which adapts itself to those near us. As rhythm is to motion, and harmony to the voice, so justice is to diplomacy, since it is the governors' and the governed's common good, harmonizing political society. But justice has two fell administrators, equity and benignity, the former softening severity of punishment, the latter extending pardon to the less guilty offenders. A good king must extend assistance to those in need of it and be beneficent, and this assistance should be given not in one way only, but in every possible manner. Besides, this beneficence should not be hypocritical regarding the honor to be derived therefrom, but come from the deliberate choice of the giver. Towards all men a king should conduct himself so as to avoid being troublesome to them, especially to men of inferior rank and of slender fortune, for these, like diseased bodies, can endure nothing of a troublesome nature. Good kings, indeed, have dispositions similar to the Gods, especially resembling Zeus, the universal ruler, who is venerable and honorable through the magnanimous preeminence of virtue. He is benign because he is beneficent, and the giver of good; hence, by the Ionic poet [Homer], he is said to be father of men and Gods. He is also eminently terrible, punishing the unjust, reigning and ruling over all things. In his hand he carries thunder, as a symbol of his formidable excellence.

All these particulars remind us that a kingdom is something resembling the divine.
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Re: The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library

Postby admin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:37 am

THEAGES:

ON THE VIRTUES


THE SOUL is divided into reasoning power, anger and desire. Reasoning power rules knowledge, anger deals with impulse, and desire bravely rules the soul's affections. When these three parts unite into one action, exhibiting a composite energy, then in the soul results concord and virtue. When sedition divides them, then discord and vice appear. [1] Virtue therefore contains three elements: reason, power, and deliberate choice. The soul's reasoning power's virtue is wisdom, which is a habit of contemplating and judging. The irascible part's virtue is courage, which is a habit of enduring dreadful things, and resisting them. The appetitive part's virtue is temperance, which is a moderation and detention of the pleasures which arise from the body. The whole soul's virtue is justice, for men indeed become bad either through vice, or through incontinence, or through a natural ferocity. They injure each other either through gain, pleasure or ambition. More appropriately therefore does vice belong to the soul's reasoning part. While prudence is similar to good art, vice resembles bad art, inventing contrivances to act unjustly. Incontinence pertains to the soul's appetitive part, as continence consists in subduing, and incontinence in failure to subdue, pleasures. Ferocity belongs to the soul's irascible part, for when someone activated by evil desires is gratified not as man should be, but as a beast would be, then this is called ferocity.

The effects of these dispositions also result from the things for the sake of which they are performed. Vice, hailing from the soul's reasoning part, ends in covetousness; the irascible part's fault is ambition, which results in ferocity; and as the appetitive part ends in pleasure, this generates incontinence. As unjust actions are the results of so many causes, so also are just deeds; for virtue is as naturally beneficent and profitable as vice is maleficent and harmful.

Since, however, one part of the soul leads while the others follow, and since the virtues and vices subsist about these and in these, it is evident that with respect to the virtues also, some are leaders and others followers, while others are compounds of these. The leaders are such as wisdom, the followers being courage and temperance, and their composites include justice. Now the virtues subsist in and about the passions, so we may call the latter the matter of the former. Of the passions, one is voluntary, and the other involuntary, pleasure being the voluntary, and pain the involuntary. Men who have the political virtues increase and decrease these, organizing the other parts of the soul to that which possesses reason. The desirable point of this adaptation is that intellect should not be prevented from accomplishing its proper work, either by lack or by excess. We adapt the less good to that which is more so, and in the world every part that is always passive subsists for the sake of that which is always moved. In the conjunction of animals, the female subsists for the sake of the male, for the latter sows, generating a soul, while the former also imparts matter to that which is generated. In the soul, the irrational subsists for the sake of the rational part. Anger and desire are organized in dependence on the first part of the soul; the former as a satellite and guardian of the body, the latter as a dispenser and provider of necessary wants. Intellect, being established in the highest summit of the body, and having a prospect in that which is on all sides splendid and transparent, investigates the wisdom of real beings. This indeed is its natural function, to investigate and obtain possession of the truth, and to follow those beings which are more excellent and honorable than itself. For the knowledge of things divine and most honorable is the principle, cause and rule of human blessedness.

***

The principles of all virtue are three: knowledge, power and deliberate choice. Knowledge indeed is that by which we contemplate and form a judgment of things; power is a certain strength of nature from which we derive our subsistence, and which gives stability to our actions; and deliberate choice is, as it were, the hand of the soul by which we are impelled to, and lay hold on, the objects of our choice.

The soul is divided into reasoning power, anger and desire. Reasoning power rules knowledge, anger deals with impulse, and desire bravely rules the soul's affections. When these three parts unite into one action, exhibiting a composite energy, then concord and virtue result in the soul. When sedition divides them, then discord and vice appear.

When the reasoning power prevails over the irrational part of the soul, then endurance and continence are produced; endurance indeed in the retention of pains, but continence in the absence of pleasures. But when the irrational parts of the soul prevail over the reasoning part of the soul, then are produced effeminacy in flying from pain, and incontinence in being vanquished by the pleasures. When however the better part of the soul prevails, the less excellent part is governed; the former leads, and the latter follows, and both consent and agree, and then in the whole soul is generated virtue and all the goods. Again, when the appetitive part of the soul follows the reasoning, then is produced temperance; when this is the case with the irascible, courage appears; and when it takes place in all the parts of the soul, then the result is justice. Justice is that which separates all the vices and all the virtues of the soul from each other. Justice is an established order and organization of the parts of the soul, and the perfect and supreme virtue; in this every good is contained, while the other goods of the soul cannot subsist without it. Hence Justice possesses great influence both among Gods and men. It contains the bond by which the whole and the universe are held together, and also that by which the Gods and men are connected. [2] Among the celestials it is called Themis, and among the terrestrials it is called Dike, while among men it is called the Law. These are but symbols indicative that justice is the supreme virtue: Virtue, therefore, when it consists in contemplating and judging, is called wisdom; when in sustaining dreadful things, is called courage; when in restraining pleasure, it is called temperance; and when in abstaining from injuring our neighbors, justice.

Obedience to virtue according to, and transgression thereof contrary to right reason, tends toward decorousness, and its opposite. Propriety is that which ought to be. This requires neither addition nor detraction, being what it should be. The improper is of two kinds: excess and defect. The excess is over-scrupulousness, and its deficiency, laxity. Virtue however is a habit of propriety. Hence it is both a climax and a medium of which are proper things. They are media because they fall between excess and deficiency; they are climaxes because they endure neither increase nor decrease, being just what they ought to be.

***

Since however the virtue of manners consists in dealing the the passions, over which pleasure and pain are supreme, virtue evidently does not consist in extirpating the passions of the soul, pleasure and pain, but in regulating them. So too health, which is an adjustment of the bodily powers, does not consist in expelling the cold and the hot, the moist and the dry, but in adjusting them suitably and symmetrically. Likewise in music, concord does not consist in expelling the sharp and the flat, but in exterminating dissonance by concord arising from their adjustment. Therefore it is the harmonious adjustment of heat and cold, moisture and dryness, which produces health and destroys disease. Thus by the mutual adjustment of anger and desire the vices and other passions are extirpated, while virtues and good manners are induced. Now the greatest peculiarity of the virtue of manners in beauty of conduct is deliberate choice. Reasoning and power may be used without virtue, but deliberate choice cannot be used without it, for deliberate choice inspires dignity of manners.

When the reasoning power by force subdues anger and desire it produces continence and endurance. Again, when the reasoning force is dethroned violently by the irrational parts, then result incontinence and effeminacy. Such dispositions of the soul as these are half-perfect virtues and vices. For [according to its nature] the reasoning power of the soul induces health, while the irrational induces disease. So far as anger and desire are governed and led by the soul's rational part, continence and endurance become virtues; but in so far as this is affected by violence, involuntarily, thus become vices. For virtue must carry out what is proper not with pain but pleasure. So far as anger and desire rule the reasoning power, there is produced effeminacy and incontinence, which are vices; but in so far as they gratify the passions with pain, knowing that they are erroneous, in consequence of the eye of the soul being healthy-so far as this is the case, they are not vices. Hence it is evident that virtue must voluntarily do what is proper, as the involuntary implies pain and fear, while the voluntary implies pleasure and delight.

This may be corroborated by division. Knowledge and perception of things are the province of the rational part of the soul, while power pertains to the irrational part whose peculiarity is inability to resist pain or to vanquish pleasure. In both of these, the rational and the irrational, subsists deliberate choice, which consists of intention and appetite, intention pertaining to the rational part, and appetite to the irrational. Hence every virtue consists in a mutual adaptation of the soul's parts, while both will and deliberate choice subsist entirely in virtue.

***

In general, therefore, virtue is a mutual adaptation of the irrational part of the soul to the rational. Virtue, however, is produced through pleasure and pain, receiving the boundary of that which is fit. For true virtue is nothing else than the habit of that which is fit. But the fit, or the decorous, is that which ought to be, and the unfit, or the indecorous, it that which ought not to be. Of the indecorous, however, there are two species, excess and defect. And excess, indeed, is more than is fit, but defect is less than is fit. But since the fit is that which ought to be, it is both a summit and a middle. It is a summit, indeed, because it neither requires ablation nor addition; but it is a middle because it subsists between excess and defect. The fit and the unfit are to each other as the equal and the unequal, as the ordered and the disordered, of which the two former are limited, and the two later unlimited. On this account the parts of the unequal are referred to the middle, but not to each other. An angle greater than a right angle is called obtuse, the acute one being less than it. [In a circle] also, the right line is greater than the radius drawn from the center. Any day beyond the equinox is greater than it. Too much heat or cold produce diseases. Overheatedness exceeds the mean, which frigidity does not attain.

This same analogy holds good in connection with the soul. Audacity is an excess of propriety in the endurance of things of a dreadful nature, while timidity is a deficiency. Prodigality is an excess of proper expenditure of money, while illiberality is its deficiency. Rage is an excess of the proper use of the soul's irascible part, while insensibility is the corresponding deficiency. The same reasoning applies to the opposition of the other dispositions of the soul.

Since however virtue is a habit of propriety, and a medium of the passions, it should be neither wholly impassive, nor immoderately passive. Impassivity causes unimpelledness of the soul and lack of enthusiasm for the beautiful in conduct, while immoderate passivity perturbs the soul, and makes it inconsiderate. We should then, in virtue, see passion as shadow and outline in a picture which depends on animation and delicacy, imitating the truth, in conjunction with goodness of coloring. The soul's passions are animated by the natural incitation and enthusiasm of virtue, which is generated from the passions, and subsisting with them. Similarly, harmony includes the sharp and the flat, and mixtures consist of heat and cold, and equilibrium results from weight and lightness. Therefore, neither would it be necessary nor profitable to remove the passions of the soul; but they must be mutually adjusted to the rational part, under the direction of propriety and moderation.

_______________

Notes:

1. These initial lines are repeated at the beginning of the next fragment.

2. Cf. Plato, Gorgias 507E.
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Re: The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library

Postby admin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:38 am

THE PREFACE TO THE LAWS OF ZALEUCUS THE LOCRIAN

ALL INHABITANTS OF CITY OR COUNTRY should in the first place be firmly persuaded of the existence of divinities as result of their observation of the heavens and the world, and the orderly arrangement of the beings contained therein. These are not the productions of chance or of men. We should reverence and honor them as causes of every reasonable good. We should therefore prepare our souls so they may be free from vice, for the Gods are not honored by the worship of a bad man, nor through sumptuosity of offerings, nor with the tragic expense of a depraved man, but by virtue and the deliberate choice of good and beautiful deeds. All of us, therefore, should be as good as possible, both in actions and deliberate choice, if we wish to be dear to divinity. We should not fear the loss of money more than that of renown; such people should be considered the better citizens.

Those who do not easily feel so impelled, and whose soul is easily excited to injustice, are invited to consider the following. They and their fellow-residents of a house should remember that there are Gods who punish the unjust, and should remember that no one escapes the final liberation from life. For in the supreme moment they will repent, from remembering their unjust deeds, and wishing that their deeds had been just. Every one in every action should be mindful of this time as if it were present, which is a powerful incentive to honesty and justice.

Should anyone feel the presence of an evil spirit, tempting him to injustice, he should go into a temple, remain at the altar, or into sacred groves, flying from injustice as from an impious and harmful mistress, supplicating the divinities to cooperate with him in turning it away from himself. He should also seek the company of men known for their virtue, in order to hear them discourse about a blessed life and the punishment of bad men, that he may be deterred from bad deeds, dreading none but the avenging divinities.

Citizens should honor all the Gods according to the particular country's legal rites, which should be considered as the most beautiful of all. Citizens should, besides obeying the laws, show their respect for the rulers by rising before them and obeying their instructions. Men who are intelligent and wish to be saved should, after the Gods, divinities and heroes, most honor parents, laws and rulers.

Let none love his city better than his country, the indignation of whose Gods he would thus be exciting; for such conduct is the beginning of treachery. For a man to leave his country and reside in a foreign land is something most afflicting and unbearable; for nothing is more kindred to us than our native land. Nor let anyone consider a naturalized citizen an implacable enemy; for a person who thinks thus can neither judge nor govern properly, for his anger predominates over his reason. Likewise, let no one speak ill either of the whole city or of a private citizen.

Let the guardians of the laws keep a watchful eye over offenders, first by admonishing them, and if that is not sufficient, by punishment. Should any established law seem unsatisfactory, let it be changed into a better one; but whichever remain should be universally obeyed, for the breaking of established laws is neither beautiful nor beneficial, though it is both beautiful and beneficial to be restrained by a more excellent law, as if vanquished thereby.

Transgressors of established laws should however be punished, as promoting anarchy, which is the greatest evil. The magistrates should neither be arrogant, nor judge insultingly, nor in passing sentence regard friendship or hate, being partial, thus deciding more justly and being worthy of the magistracy. Slaves should do what is just through fear, but free men through shame, and for the sake of beauty in conduct. Governors should be men of this kind to arouse reverence.

Anyone who wishes to change anyone of the established laws, or to introduce another law, should put a halter around his neck and address the people. And if from the suffrages it should appear that the established law should be dissolved, or that a new law should be introduced, let him not be punished. But if it should appear that the preexisting law is better, or that the new proposition is unjust, let him who wishes to change an old or introduce a new law be executed by the halter.
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Re: The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library

Postby admin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:39 am

THE PREFACE TO THE LAWS OF CHARONDAS THE CATANEAN

FROM THE GODS should begin any deliberation or performance, for according to the old proverb, "God should be the cause of all our deliberation and works." Further, we should abstain from base actions, especially if we desire to consult with the Gods, for there is no communication between God and the unjust.

Next, everyone should help himself, inciting himself to the undertaking and performance of such things as are conformable to his abilities, for it seems sordid and illiberal for a man to extend himself similarly to small and great undertakings. You should carefully avoid rushing into things too extensive, or of too great an importance. In every undertaking you should measure your own desert and power, so as to succeed and gain credit.

A man or woman condemned by the city should not be assisted by anybody; anyone who should associate with him should be disgraced, as similar to the condemned. But it is well to love men who have been voted approved, and to associate with them to imitate and acquire similar virtue and honor, thus being initiated in the greatest and most perfect of the mysteries, for no man is perfect without virtue.

Assistance should be given to an injured citizen whether he is in his own or in a foreign country. But let every stranger who was venerated in his own country, and conformably to the proper laws of that country, be received or dismissed with auspicious cordiality, calling to mind hospitable Zeus as a God who is established by all nations in common, and who is the inspective guardian of hospitality and inhospitality.

Let the older men preside over the younger so that the latter may be deterred from, and be ashamed of vice, through reverence and fear of the former. For where the elders are shameless, so also are their children and grandchildren. Shamelessness and impudence result in insolence and injustice, and of this the end is death.

Let none be impudent, but rather modest and temperate; for he will thus earn the propitiousness of the Gods, and for himself achieve salvation. But no vicious man is dear to divinity. Let everyone honor probity and truth, hating what is base and false. These are the indications of virtue and vice. From their very youth children should therefore be accustomed [to worthy manners] by punishing those who love falsehood and delighting those who love the truth, so as to implant in each what is most beautiful, and most prolific of virtue.

Each citizen should be more anxious for a reputation for temperance than for wisdom, the pretense of which often indicates ignorance of probity and is also a sign of cowardliness. The pretense to temperance should lead to a possession of it; for no one should feign with his tongue that he performs beautiful deeds when destitute of worthiness and good intentions.

Men should preserve kindness towards their rulers, obeying and venerating them as if they were parents; for whoever cannot see the propriety of this will suffer the punishment of bad counsels from the divinities who are the inspective guardians of the seat of the empire. Rulers are the guardians of the city, and of the safety of the citizens.

Governors must preside justly over their subjects in a manner similar to that over their own children, in passing sentences on others, and in propitiating hatred and anger.

Praise and renown is due the rich who have assisted the indigent; they should be considered saviors of the children and defenders of their country. The wants of those who are poor through bad fortune should be relieved, but not the wants resulting from indolence or intemperance. While fortune is common to all men, indolence and intemperance is peculiar to bad men.

Let it be considered as a worthy deed to point out anyone who has acted unjustly, in order that the state may be saved, having many guardians of its proprieties. Let the informer be considered a pious man, though his information affect his most familiar acquaintance; for nothing is more intimate or kindred to a man than his country. However let not the information regard things done through involuntary ignorance, but of such crimes as have been committed from a previous knowledge of their enormity. A criminal who shows enmity to the informer should be generally despised, that he may suffer the punishment of ingratitude, through which he deprives himself of being cured of the greatest of diseases, namely injustice.

Further, let contempt of the Gods be considered as the greatest of iniquities, including voluntary injury to parents, neglecting of rulers and laws, and voluntary dishonoring of justice. Let him be considered as a most just and holy citizen who honors these things, and indicates to the rulers and the citizens those that despise them.

Let it be esteemed more honorable for a man to die for his country than, through a desire of life, to desert it, along with honor; for it is better to die well than to live basely and disgracefully.

We should honor each of the dead not with tears or lamentations, but with good remembrance, and with an oblation of annual fruits. For when we grieve immoderately for the dead we are ungrateful to the terrestrial divinities.

Let no one curse him by whom he has been injured; praise is more divine than defamation.

He who is superior to anger should be considered a better citizen than he who thereby offends.

Not praiseworthy, but shameful is it to surpass temples and palaces in the sumptuousness of one's expense. Nothing private should be more magnificent and venerable than things of a public nature.

Let him who is a slave to wealth and money be despised as cowardly and illiberal, being impressed by sumptuous possessions yet leading a tragic and vile life. The magnanimous man foresees all human concerns and is not disturbed by any accident of fortune.

Let no one speak obscenely, lest his thoughts lead him to base deeds and defile his soul with impudence. Proper and lovely things it is well and legal to advertise, but such things are honored by being kept silent. It is base even to mention something disgraceful.

Let everyone dearly love his lawful wife and beget children by her. But let none shed the seed due his children into any other person, and let him not disgrace that which is honorable by both nature and law. For nature produced the seed for the sake of producing children, and not for the sake of lust.

A wife should be chaste and refuse impious connection with other men, for otherwise she will subject herself to the vengeance of the daimons, whose office it is to expel those to whom they are hostile from their houses, and to produce hatred.

He who gives a step-mother to his children should not be praised, but disgraced as the cause of domestic dissension.

As it is proper to observe these mandates, let him who transgresses them be subjected to political execration.

The law also orders that these introductory suggestions be known by all the citizens, and should be read in the festivals after the hymns to Apollo called paeons, by him who is appointed for this purpose by the master of the feast, so that the precepts may germinate in the minds of all who hear them.
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Re: The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library

Postby admin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:40 am

CALLICRATIDAS:

ON THE FELICITY OF FAMILIES


THE UNIVERSE MUST BE CONSIDERED as a system of kindred communion or association. But every system consists of certain dissimilar contraries, and is organized with reference to one particular thing, which is the most excellent, and also with a view to benefit the majority. What we call a choir is a system of musical communion in view of one common thing, a concert of voices. Further, a ship's construction plan contains many dissimilar contrary things which are arranged with reference to one thing which is best-the pilot, and the common advantage of a prosperous voyage.

Now a family is also a system of kindred communion, consisting of dissimilar proper parts organized in view of the best thing, the father of the family, the common advantage being unanimity. In the same manner as a zither, every family requires three things: apparatus, organization, and a certain manner of practice or musical use. An apparatus -- being the composition of all its parts -- is that from which the whole, and the whole system of kindred communion, derives its consummation. A family is divided into two divisions, man and the possessions, which latter is the thing governed which affords utility. Thus also, an animal's first and greatest parts are soul and body: soul being that which governs and uses, the body being that which is governed and affords utility. Possessions indeed are the advantageous instruments of human life, while the body is a tool born along with the soul, and kindred to it. Of the persons that complete a family, some are relatives and others only attracted acquaintances. The former are born from the same blood or race, but the latter are of an accidental alliance commencing with the communion of wedlock. These are either fathers or brothers, or maternal and paternal grandfathers, or other relatives by marriage. But if the good arising from friendship is also to be referred to a family -- for thus it will become greater and more magnificent, not only through an abundance of wealth and many relations, but also through numerous friends -- in this case it is evident that the family will thus become more ample, and that friendship is a social relation essential to a family. Possessions are either necessary or desirable. The necessary subserve the wants of life; the desirable produce an elegant and well-ordered life. However, whatever exceeds what is not needed for an elegant and well-ordered life are the roots of wantonness, insolence and destruction. Great possessions swell out with pride and this leads to arrogance and fastidiousness, conceiving that their kindred, nation and tribe do not equal them. Fastidiousness leads to insolence, whose end is destruction. Wherever then in family or city there is a superfluity of possessions, the legislator must cut off and amputate the superfluities, as a good husbandman prunes luxurious leafage.

In the family's domestic part there are three divisions: the governor (the husband), the governed (the wife), and the auxiliary (the offspring).

***

With respect to practical and rational domination, one kind is despotic, another protective, and another political. The despotic is that which governs with a view to the advantage of the governor, and not of the governed, as a master rules his slaves or a tyrant his subjects. But the guardian domination subsists for the sake of the governed and not the governor, as the masseurs rule the athletes, physicians rule over the sick, and instructors rule over their pupils. Their labors are not directed to their own advantage but to the benefit of those they govern: those of the physician being undertaken for the sake of the sick, that of the masseurs for the sake of exercising somebody else's body, and those of the erudite for the ignorant. Political domination, however, aims at the common benefit of both governors and governed. For in human affairs, according to this domination, are organized both a family and a city: just as the world and divine affairs are in correspondence, a family and a city stand in relation analogous to the government of the world. Divinity indeed is the principle of nature, and his attention is directed neither to his own advantage, nor to private good, but to that of the public. That is why the world is called cosmos, from the orderly disposition of all things, which are mutually organized with reference to the most excellent thing -- God -- who, according to our notions of him, is a celestial living being, incorruptible, and the principle and cause of the orderly disposition of wholes.

Since therefore the husband rules over the wife, he rules with a power either despotic, protective, or political. Despotic power is out of the question, as he diligently attends to her welfare; nor is it protective entirely, for he has to consider himself also. It remains therefore that he rules over her with a political power, according to which both the governor and the governed seek the common advantage. Hence wedlock is established with a view to the communion of life. Those husbands that govern their wives despotically are by them hated; those that govern them protectively are despised, being as it were mere appendages and flatterers of their wives. But those that govern them politically are both admired and beloved. Both these will be effected if he who governs exercises his power so that it may be mingled with pleasure and veneration: pleasure being produced from his fondness, but veneration from his doing nothing vile or abject.

***

He who wishes to marry ought to take for a wife one whose fortune is conformable to his own, neither above nor beneath, but of equal property. Those who marry a woman above their condition have to contend for the mastership; for the wife, surpassing her husband in wealth and lineage, wishes to rule over him, but he considers it to be unworthy of him and unnatural to submit to his wife. But those who marry a wife beneath their condition subvert the dignity and reputation of their family. One should imitate the musician who, having learned the proper tone of his voice, moderates it so as to be neither sharp nor flat, nor broken, nor strident. So wedlock should be adjusted to the tone of the soul, so that the husband and wife may accord, not only in prosperity, but also in adversity. The husband should be his wife's regulator, master and preceptor: regulator, in paying diligent attention to his wife's affairs; master, in governing and exercising authority over her; and preceptor in teaching her such things as are fitting for her to know. This will be specially effected by him who, directing his attention to worthy parents, from their family marries a virgin in the flower of her youth. Such virgins are easily fashioned and docile, and are naturally well disposed to be instructed by, and to fear and love their husbands.
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Re: The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library

Postby admin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:40 am

PERICTYONE:

ON THE HARMONY OF A WOMAN


A WOMAN SHOULD BE A HARMONY of thoughtfulness and temperance. Her soul should be zealous to acquire virtue so that she may be just, brave, prudent, frugal, and hating vainglory. Furnished with these virtues she will, when she becomes a wife, act worthily towards herself, her husband, her children and her family. Frequently also such a woman will act beautifully towards cities if she happens to rule over cities and nations, as we see is sometimes the case in a kingdom. If she subdues desire and anger there will be produced a divine symphony. She will not be pursued by illegal loves, being devoted to her husband, children and family. Women fond of connection with outside men come to hate their families, both the free members and the slaves. They also plot against their husbands, falsely representing them as the slanderers of all their acquaintances so that they alone may appear benevolent; and they govern their families in such a way as may be expected from lovers of indolence. Such conduct leads to the destruction of everything common to husband and wife.

The body should also be trained to moderation in food, clothes, baths, massage, hair dressing and jewelry adornment. Sumptuous eating, drinking, garments and keepsakes involve them in every crime, and faithlessness to their husbands and to everybody else. It is sufficient to satisfy hunger and thirst, and this from easily accessible things, and to protect themselves from the cold by garments of the simplest description. It is quite a vice to feed on things brought from distant countries and bought at a great price. It is also great folly to search after excessively elegant garments, made brilliant with purple or other precious colors.

The body itself demands no more than to be saved from cold and nakedness, for the sake of propriety, and that is all it needs. Men's opinions, combined with ignorance, demand inanities and superfluities. No woman should be decorated with gold, nor with gems from India or any other country, nor plait her hair artistically, nor be perfumed with Arabian perfumes, nor paint her face so that it may be more white or more red, nor give a dark tinge to her eyebrows and her eyes, nor artificially dye her gray hair, nor bathe continually. A woman of this sort is hunting a spectator of female intemperance. The beauty produced by thoughtfulness, and not by these particulars, pleases women that are well born. Neither should she consider it necessary to be noble, rich, to be born in a great city, have glory, and the friendship of renowned or royal men. The presence of such should not cause her any annoyance, but should they be absent she should not regret them; their absence will not hinder the prudent woman from living properly. Her soul should not anxiously dream about them, but ignore them. They are really more harmful than beneficial, as they lead to misfortune; inevitable are treachery, envy and calumny, so that their possessor cannot be free from perturbation.

She should venerate the Gods, thereby hoping to achieve felicity, also by obeying the laws and sacred institutions of her country. After the Gods, she should honor and venerate her parents, who cooperate with the Gods in benefiting their children.

Moreover she ought to live with her husband legally and kindly, claiming nothing as her own property but preserving and protecting his bed, for this protection contains all things. In a becoming manner she should bear any stroke of fortune that may strike her husband, whether he is unfortunate in business, or makes ignorant mistakes, is sick, intoxicated, or has connection with other women. This last error is granted to men, but not to women, since they are punished for this offence. She must submit to the law with equanimity, without jealousy. She should likewise patiently bear his anger, his parsimony, complaints he may make of his destiny, his jealousy, his accusations of her, and whatever other faults he may inherit from his nature. All these she should cheerfully endure, conducting herself towards him with prudence and modesty. A wife who is dear to her husband, and who truly performs her duty towards him, is a domestic harmony, and loves the whole of her family, to which also she conciliates the benevolence of strangers.

If however she loves neither her husband nor her children, nor her servants, nor wishes to see any sacrifice preserved, then she becomes the herald of every kind of destruction, which she likewise prays for, as being an enemy, and also prays for the death of her husband, as being hostile to him, in order that she may be connected with other men; and in the last place she hates whatever her husband loves.

But a wife will be a domestic harmony if she is full of prudence and modesty. For then she will love not only her husband, but also her kindred, her servants, and the whole of her family among with which she numbers her possessions, friends, fellow-citizens, and strangers. Their bodies she will adorn without any superfluous ornaments, and will both speak and hear such things only as are beautiful and good. She should conform to her husband's opinion as regards their common life, and be satisfied with those relatives and friends as meet his sanction. Unless she is entirely devoid of harmony she will consider pleasant or disagreeable such things which are thought so by her husband.

***

Parents ought not to be injured either in word or deed; and whatever their rank in life, great or small, they should be obeyed. Children should remain with them, and never forsake them, and almost submit to them even when they are insane, in every allotted condition of soul or body, or external circumstances, in peace, war, health, sickness, riches, poverty, renown, ignominy, class, or magistrate's rank. Such conduct will be wisely and cheerfully adopted by the pious. He who despises his parents will both among the living and the dead be condemned for this crime by the Gods, will be hated by men, and under earth will, together with the impious, be eternally punished in the same place by Justice, and the subterranean Gods, whose province it is to inspect things of this kind.

The aspect of parents is a thing divine and beautiful, and a diligent observance of them is attended by a delight such that neither a view of the sun, nor of all the stars, which swing around the illuminated heavens, is capable of producing any spectacle greater than this. The Gods are not envious in a case like this.

We should reverence parents both while living and dead, and never oppose them in anything they say or do. If ignorant of anything through deception or disease, their children should console and instruct, but by no means hate them on this account. For no greater error or injustice can be committed by men than to act impiously towards their parents.
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Re: The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library

Postby admin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:42 am

Image
FIGURE 14. THE MUSIC OF THE SPHERES. Shown in this engraving from Renaissance Italy are Apollo, the Muses, the planetary spheres and musical ratios.

ARISTOXENUS OF TARENTUM: APOTHEGMS

ARISTOXENUS OF TARENTUM (latter half of the 4th century B.C.E.) was a music theorist and student of Aristotle. He had connections with the last surviving members of the Pythagorean school at Phlious and has been categorized as actually being one of the Pythagorean mathematikoi. His writings on Pythagoras were used by Porphyry and Iamblichus. The second fragment is based on the 4th book of Plato's Laws
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APOTHEGMS

AFTER DIVINITY AND DIVINE SPIRITS, the greatest respect should be paid to parents and the laws; not fictitiously, but in reality preparing ourselves to an observance of, and perseverance in, the manners and laws of our country, though they should be in. a small degree worse than those of other countries.

***

But after these things follow the honors which should be paid to living parents, it being right to discharge the first, greatest, and the most ancient of debts. Everyone, likewise, should think that all which he possesses belongs to those who begot and nurtured him, in order that he may be ministrant to their want to the utmost of his ability, beginning from his property; in the second place, discharging his debt to them from things pertaining to his body; and in the third place, from things pertaining to his soul, thus with usury repairing the cares and pains which his now very aged parents bestowed on him when he was young. Through the whole of life, likewise, he should particularly employ the most respectful language in speaking to his parents, because there is a most severe punishment for light and winged words and Nemesis, the messenger of Justice, is appointed to be the inspector of everything of this kind.

When parents are angry, therefore, we should yield to them and appease their anger, whether it is seen in words or deeds, acknowledging that a father may reasonably be very much enraged with his son when he thinks that he has been injured by him.

On the parents' death the most appropriate and beautiful monuments should be raised to them, not exceeding the usual magnitude, nor yet less than those which our ancestors erected for their parents. Every year, also, attention ought to be paid to the decoration of their tombs. They should likewise be continually remembered and reverenced, and this with a moderate but appropriate expense.

By always acting and living in this manner we shall each of us be rewarded according to our deserts, both by those Gods and those natures that are superior to us, and shall pass the greatest part of our life in good hope.
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Re: The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library

Postby admin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:43 am

EURYPHAMUS:

CONCERNING HUMAN LIFE


THE PERFECT LIFE OF MAN falls short indeed of the life of God because it is not self-perfect, but surpasses that of irrational animals, participating as it does of virtue and felicity. For neither is God in want of external causes -- as he is naturally good and happy, and is perfect from himself -- nor is he in want of any irrational animal. For beasts being destitute of reason, they are also destitute of the sciences pertaining to actions. But the nature of man partly consists of his own proper deliberate choice, and partly is in want of the assistance derived from divinity. For that which is capable of being fashioned by reason, which has an intellectual perception of things beautiful and base, can from earth erect itself and look to heaven; and with the eye of intellect can perceive the highest Gods -- that which is capable of all this likewise receives assistance from the Gods.

But in consequence of possessing will, deliberate choice, and a principle of such a kind as enables it to study virtue, and to be agitated by the storms of vice, to follow, and also to apostatize from the Gods -- it is likewise able to be moved by itself. Hence it may be praised or blamed, partly by the Gods, and partly by men, according as it applies itself zealously either to virtue or vice.

For the whole reason of the thing is as follows: Divinity introduced man into the world as a most exquisite being, to be honored reciprocally with himself, and as the eye of the orderly systematization of everything. Hence also man gave things names, himself becoming the character of them. He also invented letters, through these procuring a treasury of memory. He imitated the established order of the universe, by laws and judicial proceedings, organizing the communion of cities. For no human work is more honorable in the eyes of the world, nor more worthy of notice by the Gods, than proper constitution of a city governed by good laws, distributed in an orderly fashion throughout the state. For though by himself no man amounts to anything, and by himself is not able to lead a life conforming to the common concord, and to the proper organization of a state; yet he is well adapted to the perfect system of society.

Human life resembles a properly tuned and cared-for lyre. Every lyre requires three things: apparatus, tuning, and musical skill of the player. By apparatus we mean preparation of all the appropriate parts: the strings, the plectrum and other instruments cooperating in the tuning of the instrument. By tuning we mean the adaptation of the sounds to each other. The musical skill is the motion of the player in consideration of the tuning. Human life requires the same three things. Apparatus is the preparation of the physical basis of life, riches, renown, and friends. Tuning is the organizing of these according to virtue and the laws. Musical skill is the mingling of these according to virtue and the laws, virtue sailing with a prosperous wind and no external resistance. For felicity does not consist in being driven from the purpose of voluntary intentions, but in obtaining them; nor in virtue lacking attendants and servers, but in completely possessing its own proper powers which are adapted to actions.

For man is not self-perfect, but imperfect. He may become perfect partly from himself, and partly from some external cause. Likewise, he may be perfect either according to nature or to life. According to nature he is perfect if he becomes a good man, as the virtue of everything is the climax and perfection of the nature of that thing. Thus the virtue of the eyes is the climax and perfection of their nature, and this is also true of the virtue of the ears. Thus too the virtue of man is the climax and perfection of the nature of man. But man is perfect according to life when he becomes happy. For felicity is the perfection and completion of human goods. Hence, again, virtue and prosperity become parts of the life of man.

Virtue, indeed, is a part of him so far as he is soul; but prosperity, so far as he is connected with body; but both parts of him, so far as he is an animal. For it is the province of virtue to use in a becoming manner the goods which are conformable to nature, but of prosperity to impart the use of them. The former, indeed imparts deliberate choice and right reason, but the latter imparts energies and actions. For to wish what is beautiful in conduct, and to endure things of a dreadful nature, is the proper business of virtue. But it is the work of prosperity to render deliberate choice successful, and to cause actions to arrive at the desired end. For a general conquers in conjunction with virtue and good fortune. The pilot sails well in conjunction with art and prosperous winds; the eye sees well in conjunction with acuteness of vision and light. So the life of man reaches its perfection through virtue and prosperity.
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Re: The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library

Postby admin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:43 am

HIPPARCHUS:

ON TRANQUILITY


SINCE MEN LIVE for but a very short period, if their life is compared to the whole of time, they will, as it were, make a most beautiful journey if they pass through life with tranquility. This they will best possess if they will accurately and scientifically know themselves -- namely, that they are mortal and of a fleshy nature, and that they have a body which is corruptible, and can be easily injured, and which is exposed to everything most grievous and severe, even to their last breath.

In the first place, let us observe those things which happen to the body, such as pleurisy, pneumonia, phrensy, gout, stranguary, dysentery, lethargy, epilepsy, ulcers, and a thousand other diseases. But the diseases that can happen to the soul are much greater and more dire. For all the iniquitous, evil, lawless and impious conduct in the life of man originates from the passions of the soul. Through unnatural immoderate desires many have become subject to unrestrained impulses and have not refrained from the most unholy pleasures, arising from connection with daughters and even mothers. Many have even destroyed their fathers and offspring. But what is the use to continue detailing externally impending evils, such as excessive rain, drought, violent heat and cold, so that frequently from the anomalous state of the air, pestilence and famine arise, followed by manifold calamities making whole cities desolate? Since therefore many such calamities impend, we should neither be elated by the possession of worldly goods, which might rapidly be consumed by the irruption of some small fever, nor with what are conceived to be prosperous external circumstances, which from their own nature frequently decay quicker than they arose. For all these are uncertain and unstable, and are found to have their existence in many and various mutations, and no one of them is permanent, or immutable, or stable or indivisible. Considering these things well, and also being persuaded that if what is present and is imparted to us is able to remain for the smallest portion of time, it is as much as we ought to expect; we shall then live in tranquility, and with humor, generously bearing whatever may befall us.

How many people imagine that all they have and what they receive from fortune and nature is better than it is, not realizing what it is in reality. But such as it is able to become when it has arrived at its highest excellence, they then burden the soul with many and great and nefarious stupid evils when they are suddenly deprived of these transitory goods. That is how they lead a most bitter and miserable life. But this takes place in the loss of riches, or the death of friends and children, or in the privation of certain other things, which by them are conceived to be possessions most honorable. Afterwards, weeping and lamenting, they assert of themselves that they alone are most unfortunate and miserable, not remembering that these things have happened, and even now happen to many others, nor are they able to understand the life of those that are now in existence, and of those that have lived in former times, nor to see in what great calamities and waves of evils of which many of the present times are, and of which the past have been, involved. Therefore considering with ourselves that many who have lost their property have afterwards on account of this very loss been saved, since thereafter they might either have fallen into the hands of robbers or into the power of a tyrant; that many also who have loved certain persons, and have been extremely benevolently disposed towards them, but have afterwards hated them extremely-considering all these things of which history informs us, and learning likewise that many have been destroyed by their own children, and by those they have most dearly loved, and comparing our own life with that of those who have been more unhappy than we have been, and taking into account general human vicissitudes that happen to others besides ourselves, we shall pass through life with greater tranquility.

A reasonable man will not think the calamities of others easy to be borne, but not his own, since he sees that the whole of life is naturally exposed to many calamities. Those however who weep and lament, besides not being able to recover what they have lost, or recall to life those that are dead, impel the soul to still greater perturbations, in consequence of its being filled with much depravity. Being washed and purified, we should do our best to wipe away our inveterate stains by the reasoning of philosophy. This we shall accomplish by adhering to prudence and temperance, being satisfied with our present circumstances and not aspiring after too many things. Men who gather a great abundance of external things do not consider that enjoyment of them terminates with this present life. We should therefore use the present goods, and by the assistance of the beautiful and venerable results of philosophy we shall be liberated from the insatiable desire of depraved possessions.
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