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Pythagoras Character Analysis

Pythagoras is a famous philosopher, mathematician, and theologian who lives in Croton and delivers speeches to audiences. Numa attends one of Pythagoras’s speeches in which Pythagoras urges people not to eat meat as animals are often incarnations of humans. Pythagoras also asserts that the universe is always in a state of change, and that nothing in the world maintains its form for long.

Pythagoras Quotes in Metamorphoses

The Metamorphoses quotes below are all either spoken by Pythagoras or refer to Pythagoras . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
Book 15: Pythagoras Quotes

The earth supplies nourishing food in lavish
abundance; she offers you feasts that demand no slaughter or bloodshed.
Here is the wondrous wealth which the earth, the kindest of mothers,
produces; and yet you are happy to bite cruel wounds in your victims,
chomping them up with your teeth in the grisly style of the cyclops.
You have no way of relieving the hunger-pangs of your greedy,
uncivilized bellies except by destroying the life of another.

Related Characters: Pythagoras (speaker), The Cyclops
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:

All is subject to change and nothing to death. The spirit
in each of us wanders from place to place; it enters whatever
body it pleases, crossing over from beast to man,
and back again to a beast. It never perishes wholly.
As pliable wax is easily stamped with a new impression
and never remains as it was nor preserves one single shape,
but still is the selfsame wax, so I say that our souls are always
the same, though they move from home to home in different bodies.

Related Characters: Pythagoras (speaker)
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:

I rejoice that the walls of my kinsmen
are rising so fast, that the Greeks won a war for the good of the Trojans.

Related Characters: Pythagoras (speaker)
Page Number: 451
Explanation and Analysis:
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Pythagoras Character Timeline in Metamorphoses

The timeline below shows where the character Pythagoras appears in Metamorphoses. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 15: Pythagoras
Humanity vs. Nature  Theme Icon
Pythagoras was born on an island ruled by tyrants and fled to Croton. He likes to... (full context)
Humanity vs. Nature  Theme Icon
Pythagoras points out that, during the Golden Age, humans never ate meat. During that time, birds,... (full context)
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
After this speech, Pythagoras says he will unveil the heavens, expose the errors of mortals, and correct them by... (full context)
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Pythagoras says that nothing in the universe remains unchanged. Like a river that can never stand... (full context)
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Humanity vs. Nature  Theme Icon
Pythagoras says that he has seen evidence that places also change. He has seen land erode... (full context)
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Pythagoras says that water both affects and undergoes change. A certain spring is hot and cold... (full context)
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Pythagoras says that volcanoes are evidence of change. Volcanoes might suggest that a living creature lurks... (full context)
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Pythagoras says time and decay turn material into animals. If a person digs a ditch and... (full context)
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Pythagoras says that there is not enough time in the day for him to recount all... (full context)
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Pythagoras stops himself from straying too far off topic. He says that everything in the universe... (full context)
Book 15: Egeria and Hippolytus
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Numa listens to the wise teachings of Pythagoras in Croton and then goes back to Rome to start his rule. He steers Rome... (full context)