Early Greek Philosophy by John Burnet, with Burnet's notes
41. Want of Evidence as to the Teaching of Pythagoras 43. Abstinence

From Chapter II., Science and Religion

42. Transmigration
In the first place, as we have seen,51 he taught the doctrine of transmigration.52 Now this is most easily to be explained as a development of the primitive belief in the kinship of men and beasts, a view which Dikaiarchos said Pythagoras held. Further, this belief is commonly associated with a system of taboos on certain kinds of food, and the Pythagorean rule is best known for its prescription of similar forms of abstinence. It seems certain that Pythagoras brought this with him from Ionia. Timaios told how at Delos he refused to sacrifice on any but the oldest altar, that of Apollo the Father, where only bloodless sacrifices were allowed.53

Burnet's Notes


51. See above, p. 84.

52. The proper Greek for this is παλιγγενεσία, and the inaccurate term μετεμψύχωσις only occurs in late writers. Some of the Neoplatonists and Christian apologists say μετενσωμάτωσις, which is accurate but cumbrous. Cf. Olympiodoros in Phaed. p. 54, 25 (Norvin), τὴν μετεμψύχωσιν, ἤτοι τὴν μετενσωμάτωσιν, διότι οὐ πολλαὶ ψυχαὶ ἓν σῶμα εἰδοποιοῦσιν, ἐπεὶ αὕτη μετεμψύχωσις ἦν, ἀλλὰ μία ψυχὴ διάφορα σώματα μεταμπίσχεται.. See Rohde, Psyche, p. 428, n. 2.

53. See Diog. viii. 13.

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