Iamblichus, De vita Pythagorica, 74.


Editor: J.Piccinini


εἰ γοῦν, μετὰ τὸ ἐκ μορφῆς τε καὶ βαδίσματος καὶ τῆς ἄλλης κινήσεώς τε καὶ καταστάσεως ὑπ’ αὐτῶν φυσιογνωμονηθῆναι καὶ ἐλπίδα ἀγαθὴν περὶ αὑτοῦ παρασχεῖν, μετὰ τὴν πενταετῆ σιωπὴν καὶ [τὴν] μετὰ τοὺς ἐκ τῶν τοσῶνδε μαθημάτων ὀργιασμοὺς καὶ μυήσεις ψυχῆς τε ἀπορρύψεις καὶ καθαρμοὺς τοσούτους τε καὶ τηλικούτους καὶ ἐκ ποικίλων οὕτως θεωρημάτων προοδεύσαντας, δι’ οὓς ἀγχίνοιαί τε καὶ ψυχῆς εὐάγειαι πᾶσιν ἐκ παντὸς ἐνεφύοντο, δυσκίνητος ἔτι τις καὶ δυσπαρακολούθητος ηὑρίσκετο, στήλην δή τινα τῷ τοιούτῳ καὶ μνημεῖον ἐν τῇ διατριβῇ χώσαντες (καθὰ καὶ Περίλλῳ τῷ Θουρίῳ λέγεται καὶ Κύλωνι τῷ Συβαριτῶν ἐξάρχῳ, ἀπογνωσθεῖσιν ὑπ’ αὐτῶν) ἐξήλαυνον ἂν τοῦ ὁμακοείου, φορτίσαντες χρυσοῦ τε καὶ ἀργύρου πλῆθος (κοινὰ γὰρ αὐτοῖς καὶ ταῦτα ἀπέκειτο, ὑπό τινων εἰς τοῦτο ἐπιτηδείων κοινῇ διοικονομούμενα, οὓς προσηγόρευον οἰκονομικοὺς ἀπὸ τοῦ τέλους)· καὶ εἴ ποτε συντύχοιεν ἄλλως αὐτῷ, πάντα ὁντινοῦν μᾶλλον ἢ ἐκεῖνον ἡγοῦντο εἶναι, τὸν κατ’ αὐτοὺς τεθνηκότα.
(ROMANO 2006)

Translation: “If, however, after they [i.e. the Pythagoreans] had physiognomically considered his form, his mode of walking, and every other motion, and the state of his body, and had conceived good hope respecting him; after likewise five years of silence, and the orgies and initiations from so many disciplines, together with the ablutions of the soul, and so many and such great purifications produced from such various theorems, through which the sagacity and sanctity of the soul is perfectly ingenerated; if, after all this, someone was found to be still sluggish and of a dull intellect, they raised to such a one in the school a certain pillar and funerary monument (as they are said to have done to Perialus from Thurii and Cylon the governor of the Sybarites, who were rejected by them) expelled him from the auditory, loading him with a great quantity of silver and gold. For these were deposited by them in common, and were committed to the care of certain persons adapted to this purpose, who were called managers, from the office, which they bore. And if afterwards they happened to meet with such a one, they conceived him to be any other person, than him, who according to them was dead”. (J.Piccinini)

Dating: post 510 BC.

Bibliography: T.J.DUNBABIN, The Western Greeks. The History of Sicily and South Italy from the Foundation of th Greek Colonies to 480 BC, Oxford 1948, 366; F.SARTORI, Problemi di storia costituzionale italiota, Roma 1953, 117; M.BUGNO, Da Sibari a Thurii. La fine di un impero, Roma 1999, 42-43; F.ROMANO, Giamblico. Summa Pitagorica, Milano 2006; M.GIANGIULIO, Giamblico. La vita pitagorica, Milano 20083, 415-420; L.ZHMUD, Pythagoras and the Early Pythagoreans, Oxford 2012, 98-101, 105-106.