n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Cleanthes, Chrysippus and the Pythagorean

Volume 44, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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This article re-examines the literary relationship between the Stoics Cleanthes and Chrysippus and the Pythagorean . Contrary to scholarly consensus, I shall argue that the two Stoics show literary dependence on the Pythagorean poem, and not vice versa. Previous scholars have dated the sometime in the Imperial period and they consequently either argue for direct dependence of the on the Stoic authors, or for a shared dependence on a hypothetical third text. If one examines the literary relationships between the various texts critically, while bracketing the chronological problem, it becomes evident that the far more traditional Pythagorean poem must have been used by the more sophisticated Stoic authors, instead of the author of the former having simplified his Stoic sources. This conclusion has important implications for the value of the within the Pythagorean tradition.

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