The Sentences of Sextus the Pythagorean


Translated by Thomas Taylor

Read by Dan Attrell

[From Wikipedia:] “The Sentences of Sextus (not to be confused with Sextus Empiricus) is a Hellenistic Pythagorean text, modified to reflect a Christian viewpoint which was popular among Christians. The earliest mention of the Sentences is in the mid 3rd century by Origen… While previously known from other versions, a partial Coptic translation appears in one of the books of the New Testament apocrypha recovered in the Nag Hammadi library. The work is similar to the sayings gospels called the Gospel of Phillip and the Gospel of Thomas in that it is purely a collection of sayings, with no bridging framework. Unlike the Christian sayings gospels, the wisdom comes from a man named Sextus rather than Jesus. Sextus appears to have been a Pythagorean. One possible author of the Sentences is Quintus Sextius, a Roman philosopher who combined Stoicism with Pythagoreanism, and who lived in the 1st century BC. By the time that Rufinus translated the Sentences into Latin (c. 400), the work had become attributed to Pope Sixtus II,[6] in early times one of the most venerated of all church figures. It is unlikely that he authored the text (partly as he wasn’t Pythagorean). Such attribution to important figures, which frequently happened in the apocrypha, was usually an attempt to give them more authority.”

View All