PD: Eight hundred years? Th at would be like my sitting down and writing a biography of Dante!

DP: Right. And this kind of thing is done every day of the year. PD: I wonder how Ronald Reagan will come across 800 years from now. DP: Hah! PD: So where did Iamblichus get his info? DP: Th ere was lots of material around. Diogenes Laertius. Apollonius of

Tyana. Other guys. Th ey all wrote bits and pieces about Pythagoras. Now speaking of Apollonius, there was a fruitcake if ever there was. You should get

onto him. PD: Will do. But where’s Tyana? DP: In Cappadocia. PD: Ah, so. [I pretended I knew where

Cappadocia was.] And what’s in Iamblichus? DP: Nothing, really, about math in his vi-

tae. A bit about his life, and mostly about the rules he set up for his society. Th e way to live properly and decently. Take care of both your body and your mind. While you’re at it, take a look at his De Communi Mathematica Scientia (On the General Principles of Mathematics). More stuff there.Iamblichus

PD: Will do. I remember that Bertrand Russell wrote that Pythagoras founded his society on the basis of the transmigration of souls and forbidding his followers to eat beans. Beans!