Old Calabria By Norman Douglas

 -  Such things have been known to happen, in foggy

Was Greece so very legendary, in those times? Why, on - Page 470
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Such Things Have Been Known To Happen, In Foggy Weather.

Was Greece so very legendary, in those times?

Why, on the contrary, it was full of real personages, of true sages to whom it seemed as if no secrets of heaven or earth were past fathoming; far from being legendary, the countryhad never attained a higher plane of intellectual curiosity than when Pythagoras made his appearance. And it cannot be gainsaid that he and his disciples gave the impetus away from these wise and beneficial researches into the arid regions of metaphysics. It is so much more gentlemanly (and so much easier) to talk bland balderdash about soul-migrations than to calculate an eclipse of the moon or bother about the circulation of the blood.

That a man of his speculative vigour, knowing so many extra-Hellenic races, should have hit upon one or two good things adventitiously is only to be expected. But they were mere by-products. One might as well praise John Knox for creating the commons of Scotland with a view to the future prosperity of that country - a consummation which his black fanaticism assuredly never foresaw.

The chief practical doctrine of Pythagoras, that mankind are to be governed on the principle of a community of eastern monks, makes for the disintegration of rational civic life.

And his chief theoretical doctrines, of metempsychosis and the reduction of everything to a system of numbers [Footnote: Vincenzo Dorsa, an Albanian, has written two pamphlets on the survival of Greco-Roman traditions in Calabria.

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