His Early Education

* He had masters and associates the most advanced men of his time, being instructed by Creophilus, Pherecides, Thales and Anaximander. Thales seems to have most influenced him in the shaping of body and mind. According to Dacier and Diogenes, the Creophilus named was an ancestor of Hermodamas (or Hermodamante) who was the first teacher of Pythagoras…. Iamblichus says of Pythagoras:… At the age of eighteen, urged by Thales, and because of the political tyranny of Polycrates whose mandates threatened to interfere with his studies, Pythagoras left Samos and journeyed to Sidon, departing secretly at night with Hermodamas. [A Group of Students, Pythagoras: Greek Philosopher, Initiate Teacher, Founder of A Brotherhood at Crotona, p. 24-25]

* At Sidon he sought out Pherecides and Anaximander, the Phoenician hierophants, the prophets who descended from Mochus, the physiologist. Here he was initiated into the mysteries of Byblus and Tyre, during which time he lived mostly in seclusion in the temple on Mt. Carmelus. From here he often went to Miletus to visit Thales, who taught him most valuable lessons, exhorting him to abstain from meat and wine, and to eat and sleep little. [A Group of Students, Pythagoras: Greek Philosopher, Initiate Teacher, Founder of A Brotherhood at Crotona, p. 25]

* At the age of eighteen he had attended classes of Hermodamas of Samos, at twenty those of Pherecydes at Syros; he had even conferred with Thales and Anaximander at Miletus. These masters had opened out new horizons, though none had satisfied him. In their contradictory teachings he tried to discovery the bond and synthesis, the unity of the great whole. [Edouard Schure, Pythagoras and the Delphic Mysteries, p. 17.]

* Thales, knowing as he did the promise of the student, and determined that nothing should prevent his pupil seeing into the Arcana, or mysteries of the gods, advised him to sail to Egypt to receive direct teaching toward the divine life by the Memphian and Diospolitan priests, who had taught Thales himself. A Group of Students, Pythagoras: Greek Philosopher, Initiate Teacher, Founder of A Brotherhood at Crotona, p. 25-26]

* Then, in a wondrous vision, he saw pass before him the whole of his earlier years, and saw, as in his infancy, a white-bearded priest [at the Temple of Adonai in the vale of Lebanon], uttering over him the words, often repeated to him by his mother, “0 woman of Ionia, thy child shall be great in wisdom: but remember that, though the Greeks still possess the science of the gods, the knowledge of God can no longer be found elsewhere than in Egypt.” He determined to go at once to Egypt, and undergo initiation there, as advised. [Bernard H. Springett, Secret Sects of Syria and the Lebanon, Chapter XI: Pythagoras and His System, pp. 98-106]