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SYLLA the Carthaginian, upon my return to Rome after a long absence, gave me a welcoming supper, as the Romans call it, and invited some few other friends, and among the rest, one Lucius an Etrurian, the scholar of Moderatus the Pythagorean. He seeing my friend Philinus ate no flesh, began (as the opportunity was fair) to talk of Phythagoras; and affirmed that he was a Tuscan, not because his father, as others have said, was one, but because he himself was born, bred, and taught in Tuscany. To confirm this, he brought considerable arguments from such symbols as these:—As soon as you are risen, ruffle the bedclothes; leave not the print of the pot in the ashes; [p. 420] receive not a swallow into your house; never step over a besom; nor keep in your house creatures that have hooked claws. For these precepts of the. Pythagoreans the Tuscans only, as he said, carefully observe.
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