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tion of the soul of man into the lower animals, he brought from India, and taught it as being possible and even probable. In his theological system, he declared that the universe was created from a shapeless mass of passive matter, by a being who was the soul of the world, and of his substance the souls of men were a portion.
Numbers were considered as an exponent of all things, and harmony, beauty, order, and their opposites, the necessary results of the action of nature. In his doctrine of morality he perceived in the mind propensities common to the brutes, and besides these and the passions of avarice and ambition, he recognized the noble quality of virtue. He believed the most perfect qualifications were to be found in the exercise of the moral and intellectual pleasures. He further believed that no enjoyment could be had where the mind was disturbed by guilt or fears of the future. He distinguished himself by his discoveries in Geometry, Astronomy, and Mathematics. It is to him that the world is indebted for the discovery that the three angles of a triangle are together equal to two right angles, and that in any right angled triangle, the square formed on the hypothenuse is equal to the sum of the squares formed on the two sides. This is the famous forty-seventh problem of Euclid, which was not demonstrated before his time. He was also the discoverer of many other problems.
According to his astronomy, the sun was the centre of the universe, and all the planets moved in an elliptical order around it. This was deemed impossible
by the philosophers of that time, but subsequent re searches of astronomers have proved that he was correct, and consequently far in advance of his contemporaries.
Many of the most wealthy and influential citizens having joined the "Brotherhood," it soon became the controlling power in the State; but from the zenith of their popularity and power the fall was sudden and tragical; as its extraordinary success rendered its members so proud that they became objects of jealousy and hatred to the people, which culminated in their being attacked, while holding one of their general meetings; their building was set on fire and great numbers perished in the flames, and according to one account, Pythagoras himself perished with his pupils, at that time; but others say he died at Metapontum, about 497, B. C.
The reaction at Crotona extended to adjoining countries, and many of his followers were killed, and others were driven into exile.
MYTHOLOGY, AND MYSTERIES OF THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS.
The first form of Initiation ever practised.-The
mysterious rites and ceremonies pertaining thereto.-The first ceremony of Initiation, the test by fire, water and air.-The second ceremony of Ini tiation, the Sacrifice.—The final ceremony, the Triumphal Procession.
THE religion of the Ancient Egyptians was a vast and complicated system of mythological ideas, and mysterious rites, and ceremonies.* Astronomy and mathematics were extensively used in its culture, and its creed was broad enough to admit people from every nation under the sun, and accessions were welcomed without question as to their origin, provided only that they believed in the God of Egypt. Eminent men from India, Syria, and other parts of the world, brought their contribution of creeds, ideas, rites, and ceremonies, all of which were given their proper place and consideration in the great whole, being grafted into the religious system of Egypt.
In the preparation of this chapter the following works have been consulted:-"Life and Work at the great Pyramid," by C. Piazzi Smyth. "The Ancient Egyptians," by Sir Gardner Wilkinson; also the works of Champollion, Baron Bunsen, and Colonel Howard Vyse.