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Friends Hold All Things in CommonTradition, Intellectual Property, and the Adages of Erasmus$
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Kathy Eden

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780300087574

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300087574.001.0001

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Pythagoreans and Christians on Traditioning the Common Life

Pythagoreans and Christians on Traditioning the Common Life

(p.109) 5 Pythagoreans and Christians on Traditioning the Common Life
Friends Hold All Things in Common

Kathy Eden

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Erasmus's discovery of the central role played by property in ancient political theory. He also discovers the commonalities between the political philosophy traditionally associated with Pythagoras and his followers and the earliest forms of cenobitic monasticism. These commonalities must in turn have reinforced Erasmus's commitment to philosophia Christi; for they speak most eloquently to just those traditions shared by the ancients and early Christians. Not surprisingly, these commonalities also find their way back into his treatment of more than a few adages. Indeed, the opening adage on friendship and common property not only cites the very same works examined in the previous chapter but ends with the authority of Pythagoras, and more precisely, with an endorsement of Pythagorean cenobitism as forerunner of the most exalted Christian way of life.

Keywords:   central role, property, ancient political theory, political philosophy, Pythagoras, cenobitic monasticism

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