was that of metempsychosis, or the transmigration of souls:
“Clown. What is the opinion of Pythagoras concerning wild-fowl?
“Malvolio. That the soul of our grandam might haply inhabit a bird.”
These doctrines of the immortality of the soul came, no doubt, from the East, for Pythagoras is reported to have sojourned in Egypt and visited Babylon. He founded a great secret society, which lived on monastic (and of course vegetarian) principles. He had considerable influence on the mind of Plato. His followers, banded together by mystical rites of initiation, took to playing an important part in the politics of their country, and fell into disrepute in consequence.
When Sybaris was destroyed some of the survivors took refuge at Posidonium, her colony. Here, at the