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HIPPASUS OF METAPONTUM

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Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 516 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HIPPASUS OF METAPONTUM, Pythagorean philosopher, was one of the earliest of the disciples of Pythagoras. He is mentioned both by Diogenes Laertius and by Iamblichus, but nothing is known of his life. Diogenes says that he left no writings, but other authorities make him the author of a ,uva71KOs AOyos directed against the Pythagoreans. According to Aristotle (Metaphysica, i. 3), he was an adherent of the Heraclitean fire-doctrine, whereas the Pythagoreans maintained the theory that number is the principle of everything. He seems to have regarded the soul as composed of igneous matter, and so approximates the orthodox Pythagorean doctrine of the central fire, or Hestia. to the more detailed theories of Heraclitus. In spite of this divergence, Hippasus is always regarded as a Pythagorean. See Diogenes viii. 84; Brandis, History of Greek and Roman Philosophy; also PYTHAGORAS.
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