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Book 15: The Doctrines of Pythagoras Notes from Metamorphoses

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Metamorphoses Book 15: The Doctrines of Pythagoras

Pythagoras was a Samian living in Rome in a self-imposed exile. He was a great thinker, and he taught that eating meat was wrong because of the principles of transmigration of souls, or reincarnation. He believed that because souls were immortal, they changed form over and over, and by eating meat, men could be eating a relative. He also believed that death should not be feared because it was just a process of change from one life form to another. "There is no death -- no death, but only change / And innovation; what men call birth / Is but a different new beginning; death / Is but to cease to be the same." Book 15--The Doctrines of Pythagoras, line 72-5

Death even sometimes created life, as with the phoenix that rises from the ashes of its father.

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