The man who knows more than I do is my father.
He who knows less is my son,
and the man who knows as much as I know, is my brother.
Reviewed by Arthur Kompolt
The initial idea of producing a congress of Pythagorean organizations was first initiated by Colonel Hobart Huson, the Director General of the Pythagorean Order in the United States. Hobart approached Ronald Strong, President of the Pythagorean Society of Great Britain, and Leslie Ralph, organizer of the Pythagorean Societies in South and East Africa. Discussions were held regarding the possible formation of the first Pythagorean conclave since the suppression of Plato’s Academy in the 6th century, A.D.
The First World Congress of Pythagorean Organizations met in Brussels on July 25-27, 1955, under the presidency of Dr. Jean Malinger, Imperator of the Pythagorean Order in Europe. Pythagorean Organizations were represented from Greece, Great Britain, United States, Brazil, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Israel, India, Sweden, Switzerland, and South Africa. There were more than 132 delegates. Subsequent meetings were held in three locations: Athens, Samos, and Brussels from July through August, 1955, concluding with an official ceremony and celebration for the 2500th anniversary of the founding of the Pythagoras School in Samos.
The First World Congress produced resolutions which were adopted and have constituted the framework for all succeeding Congresses. The Congress also petitioned the H.M. King of Hellas (Greece) to become the Patron of the Pythagorean Order.
The following adapted resolutions were to become the Patron of the Pythagorean Order.
- The following adapted resolutions were to become the founding declarations of The International Pythagorean Association (IAPA):
- The Athens Congress was to elect officers of The International Pythagorean Association with Dr. Jean Mallinger as Chairman.
- A Corpus Pythagoricum was to be collected, compiled and published.
- A committee was to be appointed to consider funding an International Learned Society, that is, a Pythagorean Academy.
- The School of Pythagoras in Kroton, Italy, circa 531-529 B.C. was to be re-founded, with a standing sponsoring committee with plenary powers from each country to make arrangements for a suitable commemoration.
- The World Association of Pythagoreans was to be formed with officers, board members, and conventions held every three years.
- The Pythagorean Quarterly Review was be produced to keep members of the Association informed as to events, and expound points of current interest in Pythagorean Teachings.
Opening session at Athens University
The opening ceremony was held at the University of Athens on the morning of 15 August, 1955. During the afternoon the delegates were the honored guests of the Royal Greek Government.
Tours included Plato’s Academy, the Acropolis and a special ceremony at the Parthenon, with recital of The Golden Verses of Pythagoras, in Greek, French, and English and Kerameikos.
Delegates reciting the golden verses on the East side of Parthenon.
Delegates tour of Kerameikos.
The Tomb stone on the bottom left of the photo shown above was believed to be the historic grave of Pythagoras in Kerameikos, the Sacred Way, by the Eridanos River. The tall marble stele at the left side of the photo “marks the grave of a foreigner (non-Athenian) named Pythagoras, son of Dionysius, from Selymbria.” An inscription on the stele (mid-5th century B.C.) tells us that the Athenians buried Pythagoras at state expense in honor of the service he provided.
During the Congress, several pilgrimages were taken to Eleusis, Megara, Mycenae and Epidarius as well as Thebes, Lavadeia and Delphi. And finally, a pilgrimage to Samos where 10 to 15 thousand people welcomed the delegates. They toured old Samos, Heraeon and the Eupalinon tunnel. The sessions concluded with formal ceremonies and a Royal Decree to change the name of Tigani (the birthplace of Pythagoras) to Pythagorieon.
The titles of the reports and names of the speakers that presented at these sessions are listed below to provide a glimpse of the excellent broad and specialized topics of Pythagorean interest:
- The Pythagorean Educational System and its Perennial Value (G. Sakellariou),
- The Story of Pythagoras School on Samos (Huson),
- Pythagoras the Humanist (K. Huson Maxwell),
- Woman’s Debt to Pythagoras (M. M. Gasque),
- Pythagorean Women (A. Triantafyllides),
- The Pythagorean Mathematical Disciplines (M. E. Gale),
- Pythagorean Metaphysics and Eschatology (Hobart Huson),
- IL Contributor Pitagoricco alla scienza (V. Capparelli),
- The Pythagorean Bios (R. Schott-Laender),
- Pythagoras and Atomic Energy (N.P. Paraschis),
- The Counter-Earth (G. Burch),
- L’application de la loi des nombres dans l’‚ducation (F‚e Helles),
- Pythagoreanism the Objectivit‚ of Thought (A. E. Avy),
- Pythagore et la Musique (S. d’Olivera),
- Essai de Reconstitution de la Science Pythagorienne des Nombres (C. Muller),
- Pythagore et l’arithm‚tique – ParallŠle entre Pythagore et Descartes (C. Guyard),
- An Enigma Resolved (J. Van Der Meulen),
- The Formula of Truth (C. Constantopoulos),
- Scandinavian Poetry about the Hyperboreans (A. Englestoft-Schmit)
- The Pythagorean Teachings (J. H. Manas*).
[*Manas founded the Pythagorean Society in 1932 in New York City as a philosophical organization for the promulgation of the true ancient Greek teachings of beauty, culture, and wisdom. During the New York Worlds Fair of 1939 and 1940, he organized the Pythagorean Ceremonies and the Pythagorean & Hellenic Days. He has delivered more than one thousand lectures and has written four philosophical books.]
In conclusion, on August 20, 1955, four Greek postage stamps were issued to commemorate the Congress and the 2500th anniversary of the founding of the first school of philosophy by Pythagoras. The issuance of the stamps commemorated the Pythagorean School at Samos with stamp cancellations under the name of post office of Pythagoreion.
Stamp Nos. 582 – 585
Pythagoras (569-475 BC)
If you have any further information on any of the reports presented at the Congress, and/or any information that would be of interest to our readers, please contact or AKompolt@comcast.net.