Wilbur R. Knorr
David John Furley
Leucippus (3), originator of the atomic theory in the second half of the 5th cent.
Of the Democritean works (see
Like many philosophers and Christian fathers, Porphyry was suspicious of real *music but not of musical theory. The introduction to his incomplete Commentary on Ptolemy's Harmonics explains why he chose to work on *Ptolemy rather than other theorists, but not why he thought any treatise in this science worth his attention. Having accused Ptolemy of borrowing heavily from unacknowledged sources, he names many earlier writers in the course of his work and quotes lavishly from their writings, so preserving much important material (selections translated in A. Barker, Greek Musical Writings 2 (1989)). His commentary is the platform for significant ideas of his own, especially in epistemology and on issues related to *Aristotle's theory of the categories.
Charles H. Kahn and Fritz Graf
Pythagoras, son of Mnesarchus, one of the most mysterious and influential figures in Greek intellectual history, was born in *Samos in the mid-6th cent.
The name of Pythagoras is connected with two parallel traditions, one religious and one scientific. On the religious aspects, see below. Pythagoras seems to have become a legendary figure in his own lifetime and was identified by some with the *Hyperborean*Apollo. His supernatural status was confirmed by a golden thigh, the gift of bilocation, and the capacity to recall his previous incarnations. Classical authors imagine him studying in Egypt; in the later tradition he gains universal wisdom by travels in the east. Pythagoras becomes the pattern of the ‘divine man’: at once a sage, a seer, a teacher, and a benefactor of the human race.