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How Philosophers Saved MythsAllegorical Interpretation and Classical Mythology$
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Luc Brisson

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780226075358

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226075389.001.0001

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Pythagoreanism and Platonism

Pythagoreanism and Platonism

(p.56) FIVE Pythagoreanism and Platonism
How Philosophers Saved Myths
University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on the elucidation of myth that was developed during the Roman Empire since the Platonic philosophers believed that Plato was inspired by Pythagoras. These philosophers tried to bring forth a level of reality in a philosophical truth that in some ways revealed truth that was rooted through the intermediary of myths being properly interpreted. Myths and mysteries were seen as two parallel paths leading human beings to the divine as two complementary means used by the divinity to reveal truth to religious souls. Texts pertaining to gods and daemons in the broad sense of the term are ciphered regardless of the genre to which they belong. This can thus be elucidated in a Pythagorean kind of Platonism and is based on the distinction of the sensible from the intelligible; the existence of principles that give an account of the intelligible; and the destiny of the human soul played out in the cycles of alternating separate existences.

Keywords:   myth, Roman Empire, Platonic philosophers, Plato, Pythagoras, Philosophical truth, texts, Platonism, Pythagorean

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