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Roman ReflectionsStudies in Latin Philosophy$
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Gareth D. Williams and Katharina Volk

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199999767

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199999767.001.0001

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Roman Pythagoras

Roman Pythagoras

(p.33) 2 Roman Pythagoras
Roman Reflections

Katharina Volk

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores a chapter in the history of philosophy at Rome that falls outside the more familiar narrative of the Roman reception and adaptation of Greek philosophical systems in the wake of the conquest of the Greek east from the second century BCE onward. From early on, the chapter demonstrates, the Romans felt a special affinity to the philosophy of Pythagoras, an intellectual movement that was perceived as authentically Italian, not an importation from abroad. In tracing the evolution of this tradition down to the end of the Republic, the chapter focuses not on the history of Roman Pythagoreanism as such, but on the role that this philosophy played in the Romans’ construction and understanding of their own intellectual formation.

Keywords:   Pythagoras, Pythagoreanism, Numa, M. Terentius Varro, P. Nigidius Figulus, Ennius, Cicero

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