The golden verses of Pythagoras


The Golden Verses (Greek: Χρύσεα Ἔπη, Chrysea Epē, [kʰrýsea épɛː]; Latin: Aurea Carmina) are a collection of moral exhortations comprising 71 lines written in dactylic hexameter. They are traditionally but falsely attributed to Pythagoras. The exact origins of the Golden Verses are unknown and there are varying opinions regarding their dating. It appears that the verses may have been known as early as the third century BCE but their existence as we know them cannot be confirmed prior to the fifth century CE.The Golden Verses enjoyed great popularity and were widely distributed in late antiquity, being often quoted. Their renown persisted during the medieval ages and into the Renaissance. In 1494 the Neoplatonic Greek scholar Constantine Lascaris published in a famous printed edition of his Grammatica, deliberately, the Golden Verses translated into Latin, thereby bringing them to a widespread audience.The Neoplatonists used the Golden Verses as part of their preparatory program of moral instruction, and a number of Neoplatonic commentaries on the verses are extant. The commentary of the Neoplatonist Hierocles of Alexandria on the Golden Verses was first translated into French by André Dacier (1706) and then into English by Nicholas Rowe (1707); a recent English translation is by Schibli (2002).The most recent scholarly edition of the Golden Verses is by Thom (1994), who supplies a new English translation.
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original title: Χρύσεα Ἔπη
language: Ancient Greek


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