Onatas (philosopher)

Onatas (Greek: Ὀνάτας; fl. c. 5th century BC) of Croton[1] or Tarentum[2] was a Pythagorean philosopher.[3] Nothing is known about his life, but a long passage from a work entitled On God and the Divine (Greek: Περὶ θεοῦ καὶ θείου) is preserved in Stobaeus.[4] The work probably dates from the 1st century BC or AD and is part of the pseudonymous Neo-Pythagorean literature.

The author ("Pseudo-Onatas") argues that God is a governing part of the universe,[5] although the universe itself is not God but only divine.[6] He argued against the belief in a single deity on the basis of the many "powers" in the universe; they must belong to different gods.[7] He also claimed that the earthy mixture of the body defiles the purity of the soul.[8]


  1. ^ Iamblichus, Vit. Pyth. 267
  2. ^ Joannes Laurentius Lydus, De Mens. 2. 12
  3. ^ Trevor Curnow, (2006), The philosophers of the ancient world: an A to Z guide, page 201
  4. ^ Stobaeus, i. 1. 39
  5. ^ Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale, (1999), Volume 10, page 3. Società internazionale per lo studio del Medioevo latino, Centro italiano di studi sull'alto Medioevo.
  6. ^ P. L. Reynolds, "The Essence, Power and Presence of God" in Édouard Jeauneau, Haijo Jan Westra, (1992), From Athens to Chartres: neoplatonism and medieval thought, page 355. BRILL
  7. ^ James M. Reese, (1970), Hellenistic influence on the Book of Wisdom and its consequences, page 56. Pontificium Institutum Biblicum
  8. ^ James M. Reese, (1970), Hellenistic influence on the Book of Wisdom and its consequences, page 87. Pontificium Institutum Biblicum

Categories: 5th-century BC Greek people | 5th-century BC philosophers | Ancient Crotonians | Pythagoreans of Magna Graecia

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