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Author Aristoxenus, author

Title Aristoxenus of Tarentum : the Pythagorean precepts (How to live a Pythagorean life) : an edition of and commentary on the fragments with an introduction / Carl A. Huffman
Published Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2019
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xi, 636 pages)
Contents Introduction -- Evidence for the work: the excerpts preserved in Stobaeus -- Title and nature of the work -- Format and style of the work -- Fragments of the Pythagorean precepts preserved in Iamblichus' On the Pythagorean way of life -- A comparison of Stobaeus' and Iamblichus' evidence for the Pythagorean precepts -- Relationship of the Pythagorean precepts to Aristoxenus' other works on the Pythagoreans -- The influence of the Pythagorean precepts on the later Pythagorean tradition -- History of scholarship on the Pythagorean precepts -- The standard view of the Pythagorean precepts -- The ethical system of the Pythagorean precepts -- Fragments with translation and commentary -- The Pythagorean precepts: a reconstructed text in English -- Fragment 1: obedience to parents and the laws (fr. 34 Wehrli = Stobaeus 4.25.45) -- Fragment 2: the importance of order and supervision for every age of life (fr. 35 Wehrli = Stobaeus, 4.1.49) -- Fragment 3: desire (fr. 37 Wehrli = Stobaeus, 3.10.66) -- Fragment 4: the generation of children (fr. 39 Wehrli = Stobaeus, 4.37.4) -- Fragment 5: the love of what is beautiful and fine (fr. 40 Wehrli = Stobaeus 3.1.101) -- Fragment 6: learning must be willing (fr. 36 Wehrli = Stobaeus, 2.31.119) -- Fragment 7: luck (fr. 41 Wehrli = Stobaeus, 1.6.18) -- Fragment 8: human nature is prone to excess and needs the supervision of the gods, parents and laws (fr. 33 Wehrli, Iamblichus, vp 174-6) -- Fragment 9: opinion, the training of children and young people, pleasure, desire, diet, and the generation of children (fr. 38 Wehrli, Iamblichus, vp 200-13) -- Fragment 10: the appropriate and the inappropriate in human interaction on starting points and rulers (Iamblichus, vp 180-3) -- Fragment 11: friendship (Iamblichus, vp 101-2, 230-3) -- Appendices -- Subsidiary precepts 1: avoid crowds in the morning, and 2: avoid hunting (Iamblichus, vp 96-100) -- Subsidiary precept 3: memory (Iamblichus, vp 164) -- Subsidiary precept 4: all sex is harmful (Diodorus Siculus, library of history 10.9.3), Stobaeus, Eclogae 3.1.71: divination, medicine, and music -- Concordance with the fragment numbers in Wehrli's edition
Summary The Pythagorean Precepts by Aristotle's pupil, Aristoxenus of Tarentum, present the principles of the Pythagorean way of life that Plato praised in the Republic. They are our best guide to what it meant to be a Pythagorean in the time of Plato and Aristotle. The Precepts have been neglected in modern scholarship and this is the first full edition and translation of and commentary on all the surviving fragments. The introduction provides an accessible overview of the ethical system of the Precepts and their place not only in the Pythagorean tradition but also in the history of Greek ethics as a whole. The Pythagoreans thought that human beings were by nature insolent and excessive and that they could only be saved from themselves if they followed a strictly structured way of life. The Precepts govern every aspect of life, such as procreation, abortion, child rearing, friendship, religion, desire and even diet
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and indexes
Notes Online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on December 23, 2019)
Subject Aristoxenus. Pythagorean precepts.
Iamblichus, active approximately 160-180.
Pythagoras and Pythagorean school -- Early works to 1800
Philosophy, Ancient -- Early works to 1800
Philosophy, Ancient
Pythagoras and Pythagorean school
Genre/Form Early works
Form Electronic book
Author Huffman, Carl A., editor, translator
Wehrli, Fritz, 1902-1987.
Aristoxenus. Pythagorean precepts. Selections. 2018.
Aristoxenus. Pythagorean precepts. Selections. English. 2018
ISBN 9781108593168
Other Titles Pythagorean precepts