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Acque e anime nell’escatologia orfico-pitagorica

Abstract : In the “Mnemosyne” series of the Orphic golden lamellae, the presence of two waters, krēnē and limnē, different as regards denomination and quality, and with opposing effects, suggests a form of antithesis, which can be traced back to Pythagoras : souls drinking at the forbidden krēnē go back into the cycle of existences, while those that drink at Mynemosyne’s limnē proceed “glorious” along the sacred path. The antithesis bears analogies with the Platonic idea of the crossroads, and especially with the Pythagoraean decadic chart. At the same time, the white-dark ethical-chromatic dichotomy ascribed to the two rivers crossing the Sibaris area, Cratis (clear water) and Sibaris (dark water), reflects the chromatic antithesis of Pythagorean tradition. The influence is clearer if one considers that the waters of the two rivers from Megale Hellas, as a consequence of the anti-sybaritic attitude of the Pythagorean tradition, are inversely connoted compared to the homonymous rivers that cross Arcadia and Achaea. Shifting the opposition of waters from territory to the imagery, the golden lamellae confirm the strict connection between historical traditions and religious inspiration, especially of Pythagorean ancestry.
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Contributor : Agnès Tapin <>
Submitted on : Monday, April 15, 2019 - 4:07:15 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 1:12:51 AM




Marisa Tortorelli Ghidini. Acque e anime nell’escatologia orfico-pitagorica. Mètis - Anthropologie des mondes grecs anciens, Daedalus/EHESS, 2014, N.S.12, pp.225-236. ⟨10.4000/books.editionsehess.3207⟩. ⟨halshs-02100188⟩



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