Sacred Precepts of Pythagoras

The Fraternity of Samus (TMRE 126) have a vow to follow the "Sacred Precepts of Pythagoras" and now I wonder whats this vow is exactly.
So fare I only found the Precepts of Pythagoras with 75 rules at this webpage: ... ythagoras/
But are the Sacred Precepts of Pythagoras the same and if so what interpretation is common anmongst the Fraternity of Samus?
(A search of Pythagoras on this forum sadly didnt give me any answear)

When I created a Verditius member of this Fraternity, I precisely used these observances. I used them out of a Penguin book on Pythagoras, Golden Verses of Pythagoras. It is very helpful for guiding the thought process of the character. Does the character follow them with devotion or does he pay them lip service? Does the young maga see within the Verses a higher enlightenment and meditates on them daily to find some mysterious gnosis within?

The book is truly easy to find and for about $2 on Amazon... though I say support your local used bookstore.

I used these verses as the foundation of the vow that you take, to do no harm, to not kill for food, and not eat green beans. :laughing:

It seems demons and foul ichor enter your body through green beans... heh heh

In our campaign we use this for the Precepts of Pythagoras to vow obedience to:
• Brotherhood: generous hospitality among members, equality of men and women within
• Discretion: about the brotherhood and its members
• Vegetarianism: do not eat meat, fish or eggs (milk and cheese are allowed)
• Do not eat green beans
• Observe general temperance
So players and storyguides can remember the vows. :slight_smile:

For the Pythagorean words of wisdom, we have the "chrysea epi" ( see ... Pythagoras ). They were attributed to Pythagoras in late antiquity, hence their adoption by Anaximander into the teachings of the Mystic Fraternity of Samos is very plausible.
But if your troupe likes Dacier's 'Analogical Truths' read as koans by Tyson, go for them. There is no Ars canon definition of "Sacred Precepts of Pythagoras" for you to stick to.


Thanks for the answears.
I agree with One Shot that the vow have to be brought down to such a simplification or it would have to much game effect for a minor flaw.
Bevore I speak with the head GM how we will handle this I will have to look trough the wiki link provided.
Sadly the book cost at my country $15 at Amazon (There even versions that cost $30 and up) only the kindle version is cheap with ~$3 but I dont have theyr reader.
Spending $15 just to research a minor flaw is a bit to much for me ^^.

A good place in the internet to start studying Pythagorean ethics and the related philology is .
Aristoxenus' Precepts of Pythagoras are treated in cp. 3.4 The Fourth Century: Aristoxenus, the Last of the Pythagoreans, and the Pythagorists there. Also the concluding bibliography is excellent and helps a lot, if you wish to go beyond the internet and start your own library research.


Wowzer One Shot... that is amazing well done and framed perfectly for such a character. Well done.

Adauli, while buying a book simply for game research, especially at $15 from Amazon, (( I am blessed by luck to have two very amazing used book stores within walking distance of my home here in Chicago )) I would like to say that the source, Golden Verses of Pythagoras, is a very nice work on philosophy and understanding Greek thought, as well as help the mind follow the progression of our species from cave paintings to the mind of genius.

But WOW.... I still can't believe how sleek the post by One Shot is, huzzah.

Many thanks for your appreciation indeed.

In our campaign we had last season the first initiation into the Fraternity of one player character by another. Of course, this was preceded by some research and practical adaptation, the results of which I could post here without much further thought.


Oh, please do, if that's not too much trouble. I'm sure it'd be quite an interesting read. :wink:

For my char I think I will use this defination how he see the vow:

Eat no meat (fish and animal products allowed)
Do not eat green beans, gurnard or fish with black tail
Be not Lazy, use the day
Pay homage to your God(s) but not the Infernal
Follow the Rhine Tribunal law of hospitality and be generous about this to Members of the Order
(GotF 20 ... Hospitality for a 1 Saison of work or a Gift wort at last 3 vis per year of stay)
Observe general temperance

Any thoughts on this?

That 'could' is past tense, not conditional. :slight_smile:
Also, what would be of general interest in this initiation, beyond the decision and research already posted?

We acknowledged the well known divergence between TMRE p. 14 handling of previous Ordeals and examples like TMRE 121 rightmost box, and resolved it in favor of the rule.
So we had to add a further +3 bonus to the script described on TMRE p.127 rightmost box. Adding to that script as in TMRE p.17 worked. So the initiate-to-be handed a very well written tractatus 'de arte maieutica' on Teaching over to the Fraternity, which counted as a +3 sympathy bonus to the script, and his initiation to Mathematicus could proceed.

The new Mathematicus effectively did spend 4 seasons for this:

  • one to learn Music 1;
  • one to learn Fraternity of Samos Lore 1 from a tractatus 'de dictis aureis' on Fraternity of Samos Lore;
  • one to write the tractatus 'de arte maieutica' on Teaching above;
  • and one to work with the Mystagogue, for the initiation.
    The Mystagogue spent two:
  • one to improve his Fraternity of Samos Lore from the tractatus 'de dictis aureis', so as to be able to perform the initiation;
  • and one to work with the initiate, for the initiation.

Looks reasonable to me. Make sure it is OK with your troupe.


(EDIT: Tried to improve overall readability.)

Sorry, my bad. :blush:

I thought there was some more additional research that you hadn't posted yet and, considering the quality of what you had already shared, I wanted to see the rest of it. Hadn't realized you were talking about your previous message.

Nice example, by the way. :slight_smile:

I find the idea great that the Initate have to write a Tractus spending 1 Saison to prove he have the knowledge and the Mystragon have to read it also spending 1 saison what together gives a +4 to the initation script.
But personal I think in the first 2-3 initations of the Fraternity of Samos it would be more like the Mystragon have to teach the Initate for 1 Saison resulting in +3 for the initation script.
We also can expect a Mystragon have usualy Pre+Cult Lore =>7 as only the inner Order apear to be teaching new Innitates because they have years in teaching requirment for theyr own next innitations.
So the innitationscripts for minor virtues are actual down to only +7 or +8. (actual it is mentioned in the sidebare that it is usualy +7)

Considering the vow is usualy in the first initation I think it would be the just the Tractus and the vow
Initate write Tractus in Artes Librares with Teacher study it afterwards (+4) and vow(3) for the Mathematicus.

Oops, that certainly wasn't our idea, or what we did. I now tried to improve the readability of the brief account of an initiation to Mathematicus above, without turning it into a tractatus itself. I hope this helps.

The Mystagogue in our case was not the ideal one postulated in TMRE p. 127 rightmost box (Presence 1, Mystery Lore 7), but a player character, who needed the tractatus 'de dictis aureis' on Fraternity of Samos Lore to reach a measly score of 3 in it.


You know with specific a single Tractus the Mystragon have to read and learn form for this initation can only be done once from a specific mystragon as he have to fullfill it for every initation new but cant do so as he already learned everything from the Tractus.
So bether replace it with +3 the Mystragon have to teach the initate.
Beside that learning Fraternity of Samos Lore cant be part of the things you can put into a initation script as as the Cult Lore is a extra requirment for all mystery cult that you must have fullfiled in addition to the script.

Reading the tractatus 'de dictis aureis' was not part of the initiation script for either Mystagogue or initiate-to-be. It was just plain necessary to bring both up to snuff, so the script could actually work.

For reference, here's the scripts we used:


Ohh I see, sorry that I did get it wrong ^^
Can someone point me where I can read how Potent Magic [Artes Librares & Philosophiae] work as I dont realy understand how this kind of Ability based Potent Magic is working.

The fields for Potent Magic need to be negotiated with the troupe, just like the fields for Foci. That said, this is a Virtue to initiate a Pythagorean Primus to - so IMO it should have considerable substance.

Looking over magic effects involved with

  • counting (TMRE p.93 Numbering the Flock etc.),
  • measuring (like MoH p.104 The Worldly Halysis and p.105 The Bodily Halysis),
  • Music (lots of Creo and Muto Imaginem),
  • Astronomy (like A&A p. 16 Hearing the Silent Chorus, p.72 The Genethlialogical Investigation, the effects in an Armillary Sphere (TMRE p.53), spells involved with Astrological Time (TMRE p.51), etc.),
  • Natural Philosophy (like those from A&A p. 70 replicating Formulae with Hermetic Magic),
    you will find many possible applications of Potent Magic [Artes Liberales & Philosophiae], which are of interest for a seasoned Pythagorean.

Especially geometry might also still hold some interesting effects not (yet?) in the book, like this little rote:
CrIm5 Geometric Visualization (R: Touch, D: Ring, T: Ind) – creates a two- or three-dimensional geometrical diagram which changes as you will it to, illustrating your arguments or lecture, helping with geometrical calculations, or generating circles for Hermetic Geometry spells


Geometric Visualization sounds like a nice rote with similiar use as the ReTe Scribe The Perfect Circle [TMRE 96] especial if the later got +1 Herbam so it also works on wood ^^.