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ABSTRACT: This paper discusses certain aspects of the philosophy of education developed by the second century Christian writer Clement of Alexandria. Special attention is given to the place of his philosophy in the context of both pagan and Christian philosophical and theological movements as they relate to the Neopythagorean tradition that was revived in the first century.

Introductory remarks

Tracing treks of specific philosophic schools in the mixture of different intellectual traditions of the first and second centuries AD is a kind of a task which both extremely rewarding and notoriously difficult. It is rewarding, for the treks if found contribute greatly to our understanding of philosophic paths of the individual figures, especially when direct evidence, and this is usually the case, is scarce and scattered all over different sources. But on the other hand, detective search for clues in order to highlight possible sources of a given author is a dangerous adventure which may easily lead to misunderstanding. For oblique clues and 'striking similarities' while (given limited amount of evidence) prove nothing, can turn search in a direction which brings the whole thing to the dead end. But e)a)n mh) e)/lphtai a)ne/lpiston, ou)k e)ceurh/sei, a)necereu/nhton e)o)n kai) a)/poron. (1)

Now, if we look upon the Pythagorean tradition as a part of the Classical heritage, transmitted to Late Antiquity, we will find it to be relatively well documented by the extant sources, fragments and testimonia, and much work has been recently done to clarify the subject matter. Clement of Alexandria as a 'Neopythagorean Philosopher' is relatively badly served, however. It will be useful therefor to collect various observations on this issue, which are scattered over different studies, in a single outline. Clement is not only a good source of the Pythagorean doctrines, which enhance our knowledge of the Pythagorean tradition. He also was one of the first Christian philosophers to adopt the ancient theory of symbolism and to replace it in the new Christian soil. In his works the conceptual system of the second-century Middle Platonists and Neopythagoreans and the method of allegorical exegesis of Philo of Alexandria were incorporated in the context of the Christian world view. His distinction of the fundamental belief (koine pistis) and the highest faith and this of the scientific knowledge (episteme) and gnosis became fundamental for the later Christian theory of knowledge. The highest faith and true gnosis were considered to be the final step to lead to Gnostic perfection, and symbolism played a central role in the process of its achievement. The process of education under the direction of a learned instructor requires time, ability to listen and understand, and a special disposition towards knowledge, fortified by faith that the real knowledge can be achieved. Clement believes that the student should be directed and educated according to a certain model (partially found, as I shall argue, in the Pythagorean tradition). In the process of paidei/a the student is gradually achieving a certain state of moral perfection, learning in a symbolic way things that he is unable to see clearly and exercising his analytical ability by means of the natural and precise sciences.

Let us turn to Clement's writings, looking everywhere for the Pythagorean elements in them, and if the reader perceives Pythagorean treks in Clement's thought and learns new things about this fascinating philosopher, I shall consider my task accomplished. (2)

What did Clement know about Pythagoras and the Pythagorean Tradition?

Pythagoras in Clement's eyes was an ancient sage and religious reformer, a God-inspired transmitter of the spiritual tradition, which itself ascends to the most antique times. The Pythagorean school from the very beginning functioned as a secret society and was shrouded in mystery.

Pythagoras from Samos, - says Clement, - was a son of Mnesiarchus, as Hippobotus says. But Aristoxenus in his book the Life of Pythagoras, as well as Aristarchus and Theopompus say that he came from Tyre, Neanthes from Syria or Tyre, so the majority agree that Pythagoras was of barbarian origin (Strom. I 62, 2-3).

He was a student of Pherecydes (3) and his floruit falls on the time of dictatorship of Polycrates, around the sixty-second Olympiad [ci. 532-529 BC]. (4) But the real teacher of his was certain Sonchis, the highest prophet of the Egyptians. (5) Pythagoras traveled a lot and even

underwent circumcision in order to enter in the Egyptian shrines to learn their philosophy. He communicated with the best among the Chaldaeans and the Magi. And his common table (to) o(makoei=on) symbolises (ai)ni/ttetai) that what is called the Church (Strom. I 66, 2).

Pythagoras was enthusiastic about Zoroaster, the Persian Magus, and the followers of Prodicus' heresy claim to have obtained secret books of this writer. Alexander, in his book On Pythagorean Symbols says, that Pythagoras was a student of an Assyrian, named Zaratus (...). In addition, he believes that Pythagoras has learnt many things from Gauls and Brahmans (Strom. I 69,6 -70, 1).

Clement is inclined to think that Pythagoras composed some writings himself, but gave them out as if they contained ancient wisdom, revealed to him. So did some of his students:

Ion of Chios (6) in his Treblings says, that Pythagoras attributed some of his works to Orpheus. Epigenes in his book On Poetry attributed to Orpheus says that the Descent into Hades and the Sacred Doctrine (7) are works of the Pythagorean Cercops and the Robe and the Physics of Brontinus (Strom. I 131, 4-5).

Pythagoras in no means was a mere transmitter, he himself was a sage, prophet and the founder of a philosophic school:

The great Pythagoras applied himself ceaselessly to acquiring knowledge of the future (Strom. I 133, 2). The Italian Pythagorean school of Philosophy, which settled in Metapontum, lasted here for a long time (I 63,1). (8)

Imagine now, that we are students at Clement's Catechetical School and listen to his lectures. What shall we learn about Pythagoras (given that Clement is the only source of our knowledge)?

Clement would tell us that Pythagoras was a perfect example of righteousness among the Greeks which worth following. But the road which leads to perfection is full of labor that everybody has to overcome personally:

Pythagoras used to say, that it is reasonable to help a man to lift a burden up, but there is no obligation to help him down. (9)

Pythagoras instructed to clean one's body and soul before entering the road by means of strictly drawn dietary regulations. (10) One of the reasons for this is that the burden of food prevents soul from 'rising to higher levels of reality', a condition which, after certain exercise, could be reached during sleep or meditation. Maintaining self-control and a right balance in everything is therefor absolutely necessary for everybody entering the path of knowledge:

'A false balance (zuga) do/lia) is an abomination in the Lord's eye, but a just weight is acceptable to him.' (Prov. 11.1) It is on the basis of this that Pythagoras warns people 'Step not over a balance (zugo)n mh) u(perbai/nein)'. (11)

It is said that the Pythagoreans abstain from sex. My own view, on the contrary, is that they married to produce children, and kept sexual pleasure under control thereafter. This is why they place a mystic on eating beans, not because they lead to belching, indigestion, and bad dreams, or because a bean has the shape of a human head, as in the line

To eat beans is like eating your parents' heads(Orphica, fr. 291 Kern), -

but rather because eating beans produces sterility in women. (12)

Pythagoras advised us to take more pleasure in the Muses than in the Sirens, teaching the practice of all form of wisdom without pleasure. (13)

The goal of the Pythagoreans consists therefor not in abstaining from doing certain important things, but rather in practicing of abstinentia from harmful and useless things in order to attain to a better performance in those which are really vital. As in the case with marriage (above), Clement generally disagrees with those who put too much force on self-restriction. He has a good reason for doing this, as we shall see later whilst analyzing Clement's critique of some Gnostic ideas that are closely connected with the Pythagorean problematic. Pythagorean abstinentia should be based on reason and judgment rather than tradition or a rite. Koinwni/a kai) sugge/neia unites not only all mankind, but also all living beings with the gods. (14) This alone is a sufficient reason for abstinence from flesh meat.

I think that it was a splendid statement of Hippodamus the Pythagorean: 'Friendships are of three kinds, one group arising from knowledge of the gods, one from the service of human beings, and one from animal pleasures.' These are respectively the friendships enjoyed by philosophers, ordinary men and animals (Strom. II 102, 1).


The goal of human life is also expressed in the terms of a balance:

Heraclides of Pontus records that Pythagoras taught that happiness is the scientific knowledge of the perfection of the numbers of the soul. (15)

Students underwent serious tests and exams before entering the School. And even having been accepted they had remained for many years only 'listeners', or acusmatici, those who heard the voice of the master, but he himself remained hidden behind a curtain. Only after many years of preliminary studies did they become initiated or «learned enough» (mathematici) and accorded a privilege of seeing the Master himself. (16) If a candidate was rejected or accused of a bad deed a burial mound was erected in commemoration of his 'death'.

'They say that Hipparchus the Pythagorean was expelled from the school, on the ground that he had published the Pythagorean theories. And a mound was erected for him as if he had already been dead. (17)

This is exactly what the Christians do with those who have proven to be untrue, lamenting over them as if they were already dead, adds Clement.

Now, as we have seen, among the sources of his information Clement acknowledges Aristoxenus, Aristarchus, Hippobotus, Theopompus, Neanthes, Heraclides, Alexander, Epigenes, Didymus, and some other authors. He does not fail to mention almost all the authors (18) known to have written on the Pythagoreans.

I believe that we know virtually nothing about the nature of Pythagorean works by Aristarchus (19) , slightly more about these by Neanthes of Cyzicus (20) , Hippobotus (21) , Theopompus of Chios (22) , Epigenes (23) and Heraclides Ponticus. (24)

Aristoxenus' Life of Pythagoras, (25) Didymus' On the Pythagorean Philosophy (26) and Alexander the Polyhistor's On Pythagorean Symbols (27) (all of them no longer extant) are known to be used by Diogenes Laertius, Porphyry and Jamblichus in their works on Pythagoras. The Pythagorean Androcydes (mentioned in Strom. V 45, 2) had also written a book on the Pythagorean symbols, which was among the principal sources of the later tradition. (28)

In order to get the information Clement gives us, one can, I guess, simply consult an anthology or a doxogaphy without undertaking actual studies of more extensive Pythagorean works. (29) Judging from the variety of the sources used, I am inclined to think that in the majority of cases the opinions of the Pythagoreans (along with these of many other thinkers) had traveled in the pages of Clement's works directly from various collections current in his time. This seems to mean that in Clement time the history of Pythagorean school and the life-story of Pythagoras became already an established legend and (probably, though not necessary) the original sources were no longer available. He must have known some sort of the Vita of Pythagoras, that ascends to Aristoxenus, if not the work of the famous student of Aristotle himself. But given the keen interest of Clement in Pythagoreanism, we shall assume that he carried out some study himself and consulted more specialized books.

I shall restrict myself to these notes, since the full account of Clement's sources will lead us far beyond the scope of the present study. (30)

What did Clement make of the Pythagorean Ideas

The texts above, combined with some others, quite numerous, instances, where Clement makes use of traditional Pythagorean wisdom, signal clearly that these ideas mean for him something more than just accidental references. Although sometimes Clement almost automatically copies from doxographies (as in Strom. II 127, 1ff. where Pythagorean views on happiness, reported by Heraclides Ponticus, occur in a list of opinions on the same subject matter of such philosophers like Epicurus, Hieronymus the Peripatetic, Zeno the Stoic, Anaxagoras, Critolaus, etc.), in the majority of cases, the Pythagoreans seem to supply him with necessary means to state his own point of view in a more conventional way. Let us outline now certain Clementine ideas, which reveal traces of the Pythagorean coloring.

The Pythagorean community with its specific regime (walks alone (kata) mo/naj), common table and temple, ascetic practice, abstinence, e)xemuqi/a, a)pa/qeia, meta/noia, (31) e)gkra/teia, etc.) resembles greatly the Christian monastic ideal, definitely known to Clement. (32) He adds a great deal of Pythagorean colors, depicting a portrait of his true Gnostic. Clement's is not unique in his interest to Pythagoreanism. Quite possible that it was inherited from Philo (The best example is a community of the Pythagorean type, described by Philo in his De vita contemplativa.) Moreover, the process went in either directions: Philo, Clement (and the Christians) as well as such Platonists like Porphyry and Jamblichus created an image that agreed with the best expectations and ideals of the epoch. As a result, Clement's Pythagoras resembles the true Gnostic, while, as it was observed, the Vitae of Pythagoras are often written in the genre of Christian Gospels. (33)

Clement has managed to mention the whole bunch of the 'Pythagoreans'. Namely, he refer to and quote from Cercops, (34) Brontius (Strom. I 131,1 above), Theano (I 80,4; IV 44,2; 121, 2) (35) , Philolaus (III 17,1) (36) , Zamolxis (IV 58,13) (37) , Hippodamus (II 102,1) (38) , Theodotus (IV 56,1) (39) , Hipparchus (V 57, 3) (40) , Timaeus Locrus (Strom. V 115,4) (41) and some other ancient and later Pythagoreans, the Neopythagorean philosopher Numenius (I 71,1), but also Numa, king of the Romans (42) (I 71,1; V 8,4), Pindar (V 102,2) (43) , Isidore the Gnostic (II 114,1), Philo of Alexandria (I 72,4; II 100,3) and even a literary personage: the 'Pythagorean' of Plato's Statesman!

Such a diversity requires explanation. What made Clement affiliate all of them with Pythagoreanism? Clement states his approach quite plain:

I do not speak of Stoic, Platonic, Epicurean or Aristotelian philosophy, but apply the term philosophy to all that is rightly affirmed by members of each of these schools concerning righteousness in accordance with sacred (eu)sebou=j) science. All this I call, in eclectic way, philosophy (tou=to su/mpan to) e)klektiko)j filosofi/an fhmi/) (Strom. I 37, 6).

Clement appears to have no intention to bother his listeners by sharp distinction between schools and their theories. Quite on the contrary, he is much concerned to show that essentially they all are the same, that is to say, ultimately go back to the same tradition. Mia=j toi/nun ou)/shj th=j a)lhqei/aj, but the philosophic sects, like Menads that scatter the limbs of Pentheus around, claim individual opinions to be the whole truth (Strom. I 57, 1). They have forgotten, says Clement, that there is the only originator and cultivator of the soil (44) and there is the only one way of truth, but many paths, leading from different places, join it (Strom. I 129,1).

To sum up, education requires a certain technique of teaching and should start from a preliminary level. (45) Then it gradually proceeds towards special instructions directed to those of students who are more gifted by nature in comparison with the rest, 'inclined to virtue' and, consequently, are able to make better progress. (46) Finally, only those who 'struck by thyrsus', with great effort, attain to 'epoptic' knowledge. (47) For those who have approached this highest knowledge, school-distinction is not needed any longer, because they have already seen a glimpse of the true doctrine.

Clement was well aware of school controversies of his own time, and probably knew the difference between, say, Platonic and Pythagorean styles of thinking much better then we do now. At least, he certainly was much better informed. Interestingly enough that whilst speaking about the Peripatetics, Stoics or Pythagoreans, Clement never uses term the Platonist applied to a specific philosopher. Moreover the names of all platonizing contemporaries are entirely missing from the pages of Clement's works. This means, I think, that he either felt that Platonic school does not exists any longer. Or can it mean that, for some reasons, Clement did not like his platonizing contemporaries and preferred to seek support in Plato himself. The only Neopythagorean Platonic philosopher, he refers to, but not necessarily approves of, is Numenius. The epithet Pythagorean is perfectly in place here. Clement is quite moderate in his tone and certainly does not appeal to authority of the ancient sage, giving Numenius the epithet Pythagorean. Implied meaning, something like, '[Even] Numenius the Pythagorean philosopher has (or is willing) to admit that Pla/twn Mwush=j a)ttiki/zwn' (48) gives the argument its force here. Numenius, in the same way as Aristobulus, is quoted to support the idea favored by Clement.

Clement does not fail to mention ancient Pythagoreans always by their title (but the references are short and, probably, he knows not much about them). The epithet Pythagorean applied to Numa was presumably traditional already. Most probably, Clement borrowed it from the same source as Plutarch did, if not from the man himself. (49) To call an italian stranger in Plato's dialogue a Pythagorean instead of Eleatic, as it is traditionally taken, is an understandable mistake. (50)

The remaining two instances however pose problem. To call Isidore and Philo the Pythagoreans is certainly quite ingenious. Philo's 'Pythagoreanism' has recently been discussed. (51) David Runia's point here is that (1) the epithet Pythagorean, applied to Philo twice (52) is a sign of Clement's favor or a compliment towards his Jewish predecessor, rather than an attempt to conceal his Jewishness, as it was sometimes suggested and (2) in general, Clement qualifies thinkers on the ground of 'affinity of mind', rather than any actual 'membership in' or 'affiliation with' this or that school. (53) Indeed, while Philo's Jewishness is more or less obvious, various numerological speculations and some other elements of his thought betray clearly their 'Pythagorean' origin. The words of Clement quoted just above (Strom. I 37, 6) perfectly agree with the latter assumption, and, given the context in which epithet is used, the former one also appears to be quite justified. So, basically I find myself in agreement with D. Runia. To give Clement justice one can remember, that he acknowledges his debt to Philo, since his name is expressly mentioned in the beginning of three of the four long sequences of borrowings which constitute (as A. van den Hoek has calculated) aproximately 38% of all real quotations (54) (and the majority of disconnected 'citations' where O. Stählin suspected Philo's influence were in fact nothing more than reminiscences or literary commonplaces, which nobody would expressly acknowledge). Since Clement considers Philo as belonging to the same exegetical tradition, he probably thinks that acknowledgment of a friendly source is not so important. On the contrary, as the text shows, he always gives the exact reference in cases of polemics. Clement's attitude towards the material and ideas borrowed from his Jewish predecessor is very 'creative': normally, he appears to use several Philo's treatises simultaneously and always extends his interpretations beyond Philo's exegetical limits, offering at least one new simile with expressly Christian meaning.

Isidore the Gnostic's 'affinity of thought' with the Pythagoreans points in quite a different direction. Isidore uses Pythagoras badly, but nonetheless he has a good reason for doing this: «Isidore postulated two souls within us, like the Pythagoreans» (Strom. II 114, 1). It is the Pythagoreans who should be blamed for propagation of the two-soul theory, therefor. Clement thinks that the Pythagorean doctrine, especially in the form it is taken over by Isidore, must be abandoned, as well as the Pythagorean 'isonomia', appropriated by some Gnostics. Lack of criticism and bad will brought these theories forth:

It is strange, that the zelots (zhlwta/j) of Pythagoras of Samos, when called for [positive] demonstration of the objects of their investigation, found ground for faith in Ipse dixit, holding that in that words there was enough to establish all that they had heard (Strom II 24, 3).

Pythagorizing Gnostics subjected to severe critique in several other places of the Stromateis. I restrict myself to two instances. First, the Pythagorean ideas of the Monad and 'community spirit', understood badly, are found among the source of Carpocratian heresy. The founder of this heresy, says Clement, taught his «son» Epiphanes «the knowledge of Monad». In a tract On Righteousness (otherwise unknown) by this Epiphanes quoted by Clement in some length it is said that God in his 'righteousness' treats everybody equally, all men as well as irrational animals. Consequently, if God created everything in common and brings the female to male in common and joins all animals in a similar way, why should human beings be an exception to this rule and do not hold wives in common? - argues the «son» of Carpocrates (Strom. III 5,1 ff.). While the idea of 'isonomia' itself is dear to Clement (cf. Strom. II 92, 1), the conclusions derived by Epiphanes are rejected. In this particular case it is not so difficult indeed, because the argument of Epiphanes is based on such obvious confusion of the terms common and equal that it rejects itself.

Now let us consider a second example. Clement says, that Marcion and his followers derived their doctrine that birth is evil from Plato and the Pythagoreans. They hold the view that the soul is punished in the body and transmigrate (III 12, 1ff; 13, 1-3) in accordance with Philolaus:

The follower of Pythagoras says: "The theologians and the wise man of old witness that the soul is yoked to the body to undergo acts of punishment and is buried in it as in a grave" (Strom. III 17,1= Philolaus. fr. B 44 DK).

Again Clement is apt to fight for the authority and good name of the ancient sage. Philolaus, by the way, is quoted once more in the Stromateis, but this time with obvious approval. The number seven is called by the Pythagoreans a)mh/twr, says Clement, which is perfectly correct and even corresponds with Lc. 20: 35. (55) The same idea is repeated once more in Strom. V 126, 1.


Importance of the Pythagorean tradition for Clement of Alexandria's philosophic development has recently been stressed by several researchers of Medioplatonic and early Christian doctrine. But as it was justly noticed some time ago by M. Tardieu, Pythagoreanism of Clement, both in his theoretical and moral philosophy, is still a terra incognita. (56) Thorough examination of Clement's use of Philo of Alexandria, recently undertaken by Annewies van den Hoek (57) and David Runia (58) are particularly illuminating for the purpose of analysis of the Neopythagorean and Medioplatonic elements in Clement's writings.

The questions I put in the present paper were (1) what at all did Clement know about the Pythagoreans and (2) how and to which extend did he make use of them in his own philosophic contemplation and theological speculations? Both of this question are difficult to answer due to (1) paucity of evidence about the intellectual climate of Clement's time and (2) controversial and pioneering nature of Clement thought. And while the former cannot be helped, the latter is in our hand, as long as we are able to perceive clouds of Clement's thought revealed in his own words. An analysis of the Pythagorean elements in Clement, combined with ad hoc observations of textual parallelism, found in Clement and Neopythagorean writings, constituted the goal, in which the present study was intended to aim. Now, in the present stage of research I do not claim to have the questions, complicated as they are, answered in full details. But still the pages of Clement's thought already unfolded, have given us certain hints and led us to some results to be summarized as following.

Basic elements of Clement's theology reveal unmistakably that the influence of so-called Neopythagorean tradition penetrates throughout the whole structure of Clement's thought and certain elements of the peculiarly Pythagorean teaching are visible both in his practical and theoretical philosophy. Various textual evidences and observations, collected and analyzed together, do not leave any doubt about that. This ideas found their way in Clement's variant of the Christian theology, having impregnated and greatly enriched it. We have seen, however, that certain instances of inconsistent and interchangeable usage of terminology, that belongs to quite different types of thought, show how the working hypotheses, uncritically accepted by Clement, work together but, occasionally, contradict each other.

Aesthetic and symbolic education is the part of educational process that primarily concerns Clement. The full consciousness of this fact is to certain extend a novelty, introduced by Clement and as such is one of the most interesting and valuable of his contributions to Christian philosophy. The process of «symbolic education» requires practicing, as the literary style of the Stromateis itself suggests us. (59) Not all the nuts are equally good, (60) but all of them are worth trying, as Clement would put it, for in order to find out which are the best, one is left with no other choice, but to try them all. This practice, however, can lead unskillful student astray. For this reason an instructor is needed, who has already known and personally passed through all the perils of the way and is able to lead per aspera, indeed, ad astra, as far as Clement accepts and employs in his thought all the traditional cosmic imaginary. Since there is the only instructor, there must be the only tradition of gnosis, although split by the 'matter' and found among different people, Christian, Jews and Gentiles. Consequently, Clement undertakes to find out the traces of it everywhere, and in the domain of the Hellenic culture, as we have seen, his attention is naturally attracted to the legendary founder of the Pythagorean school. Fortunately, the soil has already been prepared and the answer readily found in the revived Pythagoreanism of Clement's time. Moreover, the idea of a cultural synthesis was already current. Open-minded as he was, Clement immediately perceived the value of the Pythagorean heritage as well as moral force and theoretical significance of the 'Pythagorean way of life' and their methods of education. He recognized latent possibilities and power of consolidation which the traditions, having copulated with each other will bring forth. The impact of Clement's argument forces his students to share his excitement, induced by feeling of being admitted to the world of the secret yet open knowledge. The book is open, everything that has been hidden 'from the beginning of the world' is now revealed, being expressed in the most wonderful and harmonious symbolic manner. Read..., if you are able.


(1) Heraclitus fr. 18 DK ap. Clement, Strom. II 17, 4 Stählin.

(2) The works of Clement are extracted according to Otto Stählin edition. The Stromateis I-III are quoted according to J. Ferguson's translation, occasionally altered; translations of the rest of Clement's text are mine.

(3) Strom. I 62,4. Cf. Diog. Laert. I 12 and VIII 2.

(4) Strom. I 65, 2. Polycrates was dictator of Samos.

(5) Strom. I 69, 1. Actually, Clement makes almost all the Greek philosophers the Egyptians, and even Homer 'as the majority agreed' was of Egyptian origin (Strom. I 66,1). So, Homer was a local man, while Plato, Pythagoras, Thales and many others, though from the other place, studied there. Apparently, the idea that he lived in a historic and intellectual center of the world was dear to Clement's heart.

(6) Ion of Chios was a tragic poet (circa 490-422 BC). On the fragment of Ion see: Kirk - Raven - Schofield, The Presocratic Philosophers, p.53.

(7) o( i(ero)j lo/goj. Cf. i(ro)j lo/goj in Herodotus, II, 81. The historian says here that it was Pythagoras, not Orpheus who borrowed the sacred rites from the Egyptians and introduced them to the Greeks.

(8) For how long time? How later Neopythagoreanism relates to the hypothetical original archetype of the Pythagorean School is a problem that admits no single solution. Cf. somewhat 'chaotic' survey of still more chaotic variety of opinions on the Pythagoreans in David L. Blanch's 'Neopythagorean Moralists and the New Testament Household Codes', ANRW II 26.1 382-392. On the subject see: C. de Vogel, Pythagoras and Early Pythagoreanism (Assen, 1966); H. Thesleff, An Introduction to the Phythagorean Writings of the Hellenistic Period (Abo, 1961) and The Pythagorean Texts of the Hellenistic Period (Abo, 1965); W. Burkert, Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism, translated by E. Minar (Cambridge, MA, 1972).

(9) Strom. I 10, 3; the very first reference to Pythagoras in the Stromateis.

(10) Strom. II 92, 1. For detailed account of the dietary regulations and philosophy beyond them see now D.A. Dombrovsky, 'Porphyry and Vegetarianism: A Contemporary Philosophical Approach', ANRW II 36.2 774-791.

(11) Strom. II 79, 2 and V 30,1.

(12) Strom. III 24, 1-2. Cf. M. West, The Orphic Poems (Oxford, 1983) p. 14.

(13) Strom. I 48,1. Cf. the beginning of the last chapter of the Protreptikos. In order to clean and harmonize the soul the Pytagoreans had a habit to play lyre before going to sleep, the fact also attested in Plutarch, De Iside et Osirides, 384a; Cp. Jamblichus, De vita pyth. 25, 110-115.

(14) 'I personally think that Pythagoras derived his gentle attitude to irrational animals from the Law. For example, he declared that people should refrain from taking new births out of their flocks of sheep or goats or herds of cattle for immediate profit or by reason of sacrifice' (Strom. II 92, 1). The doctrine of reincarnation is certainly known to Clement, but he definitely prefers another, more practical explanation here. The reason for this, I believe, is that Pythagoras is taken here as a good example, opposed to certain Gnostics, who also claim to derive their views from the ancient sage, but in Clement's opinion misuse and misinterpret them.

(15) Strom.II 130, 1. The whole passage II 131, 2 - 133,7 is obviously taken from a doxography, which records various 'opinions of the philosophers about happiness'. Clement even indicates where he has finished copying, saying 'so much of that' at the end of the extract.

(16) Strom. V 59, 1 (cf. V 67, 3). A notorious fact is that this distinction between acusmatici and mathematici was regarded also as an indication of two different schools within Pythagoreanism. Jamblichus (Comm. math. scient. 76,16 - 77,2 Festa) says that a certain schism took place within the school. The first group of the Pythagoreans, acusmatici, considered themselves true followers of Pythagoras, while the second, mathematici, with all their intellectual pursuit, were but followers of Hippasus (or Hipparchus 'the Apostat' - see the note below). This is curious especially because, historically speaking, they could have been right, since Pythagoras himself hardly was the originator of the theory of numbers that emerged in later Pythagoreanism. For details cf.: W. Burkert, Lore and Science, pp. 192-217. Clement however does not want to know about any schism: Two-level education is considered by him a well designed technique, which gradually leads the students to the highest knowledge. Moreover, he argues, that this kind of teaching was commonly accepted by all ancient philosophic schools, including Stoic and Epicurean ones (Strom. V 58 ff.).

(17) Strom. V 57, 3. Cf. Proclus, In primum Euclidis lib. comm. I 44, where it is said that he was accused of disclosing the mystery of irrational numbers. Jamblichus says that if this kind of problem happened at any time after the surrender of goods by a student, he received the double of what he had brought to the community (De vita pyth. 118). It seems that Clement's statement here is based on the Letter of Lysius to Hipparchus, which he quotes with minor changes just before the passage above (V 57, 2; cf. Jambl., VP 75).

(18) In order to see the context the reader is encouraged to refer back to the passages cited above.

(19) Unless this in fact is a reference to Aristotle, as O. Stählin suggests (cf. Arist. fr. 190 Rose). Certain Aristarchus of Samothrace was Alexandrian librarian (the second century BC).

(20) A historian, the third century BC. Cf. Kirk-Raven-Schofield, p.4. Fragments cf. in FGrHist 84.

(21) A historian of philosophy, the third century BC.

(22) An important historian from the fourth century BC. For fragments cf. FGrHist 115. Cf.: Michael A. Flower, Theopompus of Chios: History and Rhetoric in the Fourth Century BC (Oxford, 1994).

(23) This Epigenes was a grammarian of the Hellenistic period, whom Clement also quotes in Strom. V 49, 3 and again in relation with the Pythagoreans.

(24) Fragments are collected in Wehrli, Die Schule des Aristoteles (Basel, 1944-1959), Bd. 8.

(25) Aristoxenus from Tarentum was a student of Aristotle, who is reported to have known the 'last generation' of the Pythagoreans (Diog. Laert. VIII 46; Jambl., VP 251). Clement refers to him again when he discusses musical styles (Strom. VI 88, 1). For Aristoxenus' fragments cf. Wehrli, Die Schule des Aristoteles, Bd.2. Aristoxenus' Elementa Rhytmica is edited and translated by L. Pearson (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1990). A useful collection of evidence about the life of Pythgoras is R.C. Melloni's Ricerche sul Pitagorismo I: Biografia di Pitagora (Bologna, 1969).

(26) (Arius) Didymus is also used by Stobaeus, Eusebius and Diogenes Laert. Hermann Diels has identified him with the Stoic philosopher and confidant of Augustus, Arius of Alexandria (around 70 - 5 BC). 'During the last 15 years there has been a gradual recognition that the hypothesis has its shaky aspects, but no direct challenge was mounted', - note J. Mansfeld and D. Runia in their Aetiana (Leiden, 1997) p. 240; esp. on Clement cf.: p. 239 ftnt 129 of this work.

(27) The first century BC historian Alexander has also written the Succession of Philosophers, from which Diogenes Laert. (VIII, 25) derives his famous account of the Pythagorean doctrine.

(28) Androcydes lived in the 3rd century, or later, as W. Burkert suggests: Lore and Science, p.176, 174.

(29) Indeed he refers to a certain collection of biographies by Neanthes. Some list of philosophical successions must have also been used (a long account of philosophic schools in Strom. I 59 - 65 is a perfect example of that sort).

(30) On Clement's sources in general see: Vol. 4 (Indices) in Stählin edition of Clement's works. Also there is a book by J. Gabrielsson, Ueber die Quellen des Clemens Alexandrinus (Uppsala, 1906-9) in two vols.

(31) Cf. e.g. Strom. V 67, 1. This 'repentance' recalls from memory Plato's periagwgh) (Rep. VII 518 d 4).

(32) On the Pythagorean way of life and Christian monasticism see, e.g. R.M.Grant, 'Early Alexandrian Christianity', Church History 40 (1971) 133-144 and 'Dietary Laws among Pythagoreans, Jews and Christians', Harvard Theological Review 73 (1980) 299-310; M.L. Lagrange, 'Les légendes pythagoriciennes et l'Évangile', Revue Biblique (1936) 481-511 and (1937) 5-28. Isidore Lévy, La légende de Pythagore de Grèce et Palestine (Paris, 1927) and Johannes Schattenmann , 'Jesus and Pythagoras', Kairos 21 (1979) 215-220. P. Jordan in his 'Pythagoras and Monachism' (Traditio 17 (1961) 432-441, p. 438 says: "At any point we meet parallels which would suggest a certain affinity in concept between Pythagoras and early Christian monachism".

(33) M.Hadas and M.Smith, Heroes and Gods. Spiritual Biographies in Antiquity (New York, 1965). Cf. Jamblichus, De Vita Pyth. 2, 12, where Thales is said to proclaim 'good news'. J. Dillon and J. Hershbell rightly suspect a Christian influence here.

(34) This Cercops, as presented in Arist. fr. 75 and Diog. Laert. II 46, appears to be a legendary rival of Hesiod. So he was made a Pythagorean later and no doubts on the ground that Orphica and ancient cosmogony became an integral part of the Pythagorean doctrine. Cf. Burkert, Lore and Science, p. 130 ftnt 60-61.

(35) Brontinus was the father or husband of the Pythagorean Theano (Kirk-Raven-Schofield, The Presocratic philosophers, 221). Theano is also mentioned by Clement: 'Didymus in his work On Pythagorean Philosophy records that Theano of Croton was the first woman, who wrote philosophic and poetic works' (Strom. I 80, 4). Cf. also Strom IV 44,2 and 121,2 where Clement cites from some 'works' of Theano. Diogen. Laert. (VIII 42) reports two alternative tradition concerning Theano: she was either daughter of Bro(n)tinus and wife of Pythagoras, or wife of Brontinus and student of Pythagoras.

(36) On Philolaus now cf. C. Huffman, Philolaus of Croton (Cambridge University Press, 1993).

(37) The servant of Pythagoras. Cf. Diog. Laert. VIII 2; Both Clement (expressly) and Diogenes ascend here to Herodotus, IV, 93.

(38) A Pythagorean of the fifth century BC (?).

(39) I do not know who he was.

(40) A legendary founder of the 'mathematic' branch of ancient Pythagoreanism (cf. above). Cf. M. Tardieu, 'La Lettre à Hipparque et les réminiscences pythagoriciennes de Clément d'Alexandria', Vigiliae Christianae 28 (1974) p. 244.

(41) A Neopythagorean philosopher. The text of his De natura mundi et animae is edited and translated by Walter Marg (Leiden, 1972).

(42) Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome (715-673) was indeed a religious reformer. It is almost certain that Plutharch's Numa, 8 is Clement's source here.

(43) He quotes the beginning of the Nem. 6 here: "eán a)ndrw=n, eán qew=n ge/noj, e)k mia=j de) matro)j pne/omen a)/mfw", and adds: «;i.e. th=j u(/lhj». This indeed may be rendered in Pythagorean sense.

(44) Strom I 34,1 and again 37, 2: 'the only cultivator of the soil who from the beginning of the universe has been sowing the seeds and who sends rain when it is needed in the form of his sovereign Logos'. Compare with Numenius, fr. 13 Des Places.

(45) Strom. I 45,1 and 32, 4ff.

(46) Strom. I 34, 3ff.

(47) Strom. I 14, 1 and I 5,1.

(48) Cf. Strom. 150, 4 = fr. 8 Des Places.

(49) Cf. Plutarch, Numa, 8. One must suspect direct or indirect influence of Plutarch on Clement, judging from close parallelism, observed in such places like, e.g. Strom. I 70, 4 (just before the passage in question on Numa!) ~ Plutarch, The Oracles at Delphi (Moralia, 397c-d).

(50) I mean Strom. I 48, 2 where Clement says: 'The Pythagorean in Plato's Statesman, etc.' (and a quote from the Statesman, 261e is following).

(51) D. Runia, 'Why does Clement of Alexandria call Philo 'the Pythagorean'?', Vigiliae Christianae 49 (1995) 1-21.

(52) Strom. I 72,4 and II 103,1. Philo is mentioned by name only two more times in Strom. I 31,1 and I 152,2, though the extend to which he is really used by Clement is much greater.

(53) Cf. id. p.18.

(54) Annewies van den Hoek, 'Technique of quotations in Clement of Alexandria', Vigiliae Christianae 50 (1996) 223-243, esp. 232.

(55) Strom. 140, 1; Philolaus, fr. B 20 DK; cf. Cf. also C. Huffman, Philolaus of Croton (Cambridge, 1993), p. 334 ff. This information Clement borrowed from Philo (De opifficio mundi, 100; Legum alleg. I 15; Quis rerum div. heres, 170).

(56) 'La Lettre à Hipparque et les réminiscences pythagoriciennes de Clément d'Alexandria', Vigiliae Christianae 28 (1974) p. 244. I shall add here that as far as the sources of Clement's Pythagoreanism are concerned, app. crit. and indices of Stählin-Früchtel-Treu's edition of Clement are still far from being complete.

(57) Cf. her book: 'Clement of Alexandria and His Use of Philo in the Stromateis (Leiden, 1988) and a number of articles: 'Techniques of quotation in Clement of Alexandria: A view of Ancient Literary Methods', Vigiliae Christianae 50 (1996) 223-243; 'The 'Catechetical' School of Early Alexandria and its Philonic heritage', Harvard Theologival Review 90 (1997) 56-87, and some others.

(58) Cf. Philo in Early Christian Literature (Assen, Van Gorcum, 1993).

(59) Clement very often discusses his style in various parts of the Stromateis. Cf.: I 11, 1-2; I 15, 1-2; I 55, 2-3; VI 4, 4,2-3; VI 22,1-4. Cf. A.Méhat, Étude sur les Stromates de Clément d' Alexandrie (Paris, 1966) p. 212 ff. and L. Robert, 'The literary form of the Stromateis', The Second Century 7 (1989) 211-220.

(60) Strom I, 7, 1.