Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism
by Walter Burkert
translated by Edwin L. Minar Jr.
Harvard University Press, 1972
Cloth: 978-0-674-53918-1
Library of Congress Classification B243.B813
Dewey Decimal Classification 182.2

For this first English edition of his distinguished study of Pythagoreanism, Weisheit und Wissenschajt: Studien zu Pythagoras, Philolaos, und Platon, Walter Burkert has carefully revised text and notes, taking account of additional literature on the subject which appeared between 1962 and 1969. By a thorough critical sifting of all the available evidence, the author lays a new foundation for the understanding of ancient Pythagoreanism and in particular of the relationship within it of "lore" and "science." He shows that in the twilight zone when the Greeks were discovering the rational interpretation of the world and quantitative natural science, Pythagoras represented not the origin of the new, but the survival or revival of ancient, pre-scientific lore or wisdom, based on superhuman authority and expressed in ritual obligation.

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