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Pythagoras: His Life and Teachings

A Compendium of Classical Sources

by Thomas Stanley

Preface by Manly P. Hall

Introduction by Dr. Henry L. Drake

Edited by James Wasserman and J. Daniel Gunther


Paperback: 416 pages, illustrations

Ibis Press   ISBN: 978-089254-160-7

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An invaluable compendium of ancient sources on the life and teachings of Pythagoras—the Father of Philosophy and Founder of the Western Esoteric Tradition.

• This is the most complete compendium on Pythagoras from ancient, classical sources

• The 1687 edition by Stanley edition has been updated and rendered into readable English with modern spelling and a dictionary of technical terms

• Full scholarly apparatus of all Greek references, with Greek and Latin passages corrected and sourced

• The Preface by Manly Palmer Hall places the importance of Stanley and Pythagoras in context

• Dr. Henry L. Drake's Introduction provides a coherent overview of Pythagorean philosophy

The timeless brilliance of this exhaustive survey of the best classical writers of antiquity on Pythagoras was first published in 1687 in Thomas Stanley's massive tome, The History of Philosophy. It remains as contemporary today as it was over three hundred years ago.

The text of the 1687 book has been reset and modernized to make it more accessible to the modern reader. Spelling has been regularized, obsolete words not found in a modern dictionary have been replaced, and contemporary conventions of punctuation have been used.

Biographical sketches of Thomas Stanley and Pythagoras by Manly Palmer Hall, founder of the Philosophical Research Society, have been included, along with a profound overview of Pythagorean philosophy by Platonic scholar Dr. Henry L. Drake.

The extensive Greek language references throughout the text have been corrected and contextualized, and reset in a modern Greek font. Each quotation has been verified with the source document in Greek. An extensive annotated appendix of these classical sources is included. A complete bibliography details all the reference works utilized, and a small Glossary defines a number of terms, especially those from musical theory, which may be unfamiliar to the non-technical reader.

Author Information

Thomas Stanley (1625–1678) was the first English historian of philosophy. He gained distinction during his own lifetime as a poet and a translator.

Manly P. Hall (1901–1990) founded the Philosophical Research Society in 1934. He was a prolific author and lecturer, and remains a primary exponent of the Western Mystery Tradition.

Dr. Henry L. Drake (1906–1978), a close and loyal friend of Mr. Hall, served as vice-president of the Society for nearly three decades, in addition to editing a collection of Plato's complete works.

James Wasserman is the author of several books on esotericism, and is the editor of Secret Societies: Illuminati, Freemasons, and the French Revolution.

J. Daniel Gunther is the author of Initiation in the Aeon of the Child: The Inward Journey.

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