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Democrates, from a model supplied by Hoskins and Grant, 1777-1780, by Josiah Wedgwood

Democrates (/dɪˈmɒkrəˌtz/; Greek: Δημοκράτης) was a Pythagorean philosopher about whom little is known. A collection of moral maxims, called the Golden Sentences (Greek: γνῶμαι χρυσαῖ) has come down to us under his name. They are written in the Ionic dialect, from which some writers have inferred, that they were written at a very early period, whereas others think it more probable that they are the production of the age of Julius Caesar. But nothing can be said with certainty, for want of both external and internal evidence. Some of these sentences are quoted by Stobaeus, and are found in some manuscripts under the name of Democritus. Apollonius of Tyana wrote at least one letter to a Democrates, Epistle 88.

It is possible that the sayings of Democrates all originate from an original collection of sayings of Democritus, but other scholars believe that there was a different unknown Democrates whose name became confused with the better-known Democritus: the Democrates sayings show little sign of Democritean technical vocabulary.[1]

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  1. ^ Taylor, C., The Atomists, Leucippus and Democritus: Fragments: a Text and Translation. Page 224-225. University of Toronto Press. (1999).


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