Pythagorean Knowledge from the Ancient to the Modern World. Askesis, Religion Science
Almut-Barbara Renger and Alessandro Stavru (Eds.)
Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2016
In both ancient tradition and modern research Pythagoreanism has been understood as a religious sect or as a philosophical and scientific community. Numerous attempts have been made to reconcile these pictures as well as to analyze them separately. The most recent scholarship compartmentalizes different facets of Pythagorean knowledge, but this offers no context for exploring their origins, development, and interdependence. This collection aims to reverse this trend, addressing connections between the different fields of Pythagorean knowledge, such as eschatology, metempsychosis, metaphysics, epistemology, arithmology and numerology, music, dietetics and medicine as well as politics. In particular, the contributions discuss how the Pythagorean way of life related to more doctrinal aspects of knowledge, such as Pythagorean religion and science. The volume explores the effects of this interdependence between different kinds of knowledge both within the Pythagorean corpus and in its later reception. Chapters cover historical periods from the Archaic Period (6th century BC) to Neoplatonism, Early Christianity, the European and Arabic Middle Ages, and the Renaissance through to the Early Modern Period (17th century AD).