Arist. Rhet. 2.23.1398B and the Cult of Pythagoras


  • Tomasz Mojsik University of Białystok, Poland



pythagoreanism, Pythagoras, cult of intellectuals, heroic cult, cult of the Muses, Alcidamas, mouseion, memory


Arist. Rhet. 2.23.1398B and the Cult of Pythagoras

In the present article I would like to focus on three things: the usefulness of Alcidamas’s fragment (cited in Arist. Rhet. 2.23.1398b) for the procedure of establishing when the cult of poets/intellectuals began, the suitability of the terminology in scholarly papers which refer to the problem, and the validity of the information about Pythagoras. In conclusion it is proposed that there are no existing testimonies supporting the (weak) hypothesis that the phrase καὶ Ἰταλιῶται Πυθαγόραν featuring in manuscripts of Rhetoric is authentic. Few late testimonies are either too vague or they indicate only Crotone and Metapontum, and not Greeks from the Italian peninsula in general. Such a perspective is not typical (to say the least) and at most reveals that the mention of respecting Pythagoras by those Greeks is not to be trusted fully. In the form as we know it, the phrase does not harmonize neither with the times of Alcidamas nor with the passage quoted by Aristotle.


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How to Cite

Mojsik, T. “Arist. Rhet. 2.23.1398B and the Cult of Pythagoras”. Classica Cracoviensia, vol. 18, Sept. 2015, pp. 293-10, doi:10.12797/CC.18.2015.18.17.