Down to a juggler's level he sinks with his cheating devices, In like manner Numa's fiction was the love which a certain goddess or mountain nymph bore him, arid her secret meetings with him, as already mentioned,2 and his familiar converse with the Muses. For he ascribed the greater part of his oracular teachings to the Muses, and he taught the Romans to pay especial honours to one Muse in particular, whom he called Tacita, that is, the silent, or speechless one; thereby perhaps handing on and honouring the Pythagorean precept of silence.  Furthermore, his ordinances concerning images are altogether in harmony with the doctrines of Pythagoras. For that philosopher maintained that the first principle of being was beyond sense or feeling, was invisible and uncreated, and discernible only by the mind. And in like manner Numa forbade the Romans to revere an image of God which had the form of man or beast. Nor was there among them in this earlier time any painted or graven likeness of Deity,  but while for the first hundred and seventy years they were continually building temples and establishing sacred shrines, they made no statues in bodily form for them, convinced that it was impious to liken higher things to lower, and that it was impossible to apprehend Deity except by the intellect. Their sacrifices, too, were altogether appropriate to the Pythagorean worship; for most of them involved no bloodshed, but were made with flour, drink-offerings, and the least costly gifts.  And apart from these things, other external proofs are urged to show that the two men were acquainted with each other. One of these is that Pythagoras was enrolled as a citizen of Rome. This fact is recorded by Epicharmus the comic poet, in a certain treatise which he dedicated to Antenor; and Epicharmus was an ancient, and belonged to the school of Pythagoras. Another proof is that one of the four sons born to king Numa was named Mamercus, after the son of Pythagoras.  And from him they say that the patrician family of the Aemilii took its name, Aemilius being the endearing name which the king gave him for the grace and winsomeness of his speech. Moreover, I myself have heard many people at Rome recount how, when an oracle once commanded the Romans to erect in their city monuments to the wisest and the bravest of the Greeks, they set up in the forum two statues in bronze, one of Alcibiades, and one of Pythagoras.3 However, since the matter of Numa's acquaintance with Pythagoras is involved in much dispute, to discuss it at greater length, and to win belief for it, would savour of youthful contentiousness.
Laying his nets for men, Pythagoras, lover of bombast.
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