Religion Past and Present

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(804 words)

[German Version]

In the broad sense, all who were influenced by Pythagoras were Pythagoreans, which would include even Empedocles. In the narrow sense, the term covers only the disciples of Pythagoras who belonged to his school or at least were associated with it, since full membership required a lengthy probationary period and a drastic change in lifestyle. In the first decades after the school was founded as an aristocratic secret society, it exercised substantial political influence – initially in Croton, but after c. 500 bce also in Metapontum and other towns in southern I…

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Hülser, Karlheinz, “Pythagoreans/Pythagoreanism”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 25 January 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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