Hermippus of Smyrna°

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HERMIPPUS OF SMYRNA°

HERMIPPUS OF SMYRNA ° (third century b.c.e.), peripatetic biographer. He is quoted by Josephus (Apion, 1:163–5) as recording in his work on *Pythagoras that the soul of one of the latter's disciples imparted to him certain precepts, notably, to avoid passing a spot where an ass had collapsed, to abstain from thirst-producing water, and to avoid calumny, in the practice of which Pythagoras "was imitating and appropriating the doctrines of the Jews and Thracians." *Origen cites another work of Hermippus in which he states categorically that Pythagoras derived his philosophy from the Jews (so also Antonius Diogenes and Aristobulus). Attempts to connect Greek philosophers with the Orient are common, however (cf., e.g., Megasthenes), and based apparently on romantic speculation.