EMPEDOCLES AS PYTHAGOREAN
Timaeus in his ninth book, relates that he was a pupil of Pythagoras, saying that he was afterwards convicted of having divulged his doctrines, in the same way as Plato was, and that he was therefore henceforth forbidden for attending his school. It is said Pythagoras has him in mind when he said:
"And in that band there was a learned man
Of wondrous wisdom; on who of all men
Had the profoundest wealth of intellect."
But some say the philosopher was here referring to [Pytherides] Neanthes relates that until the time of Philolaus and Empedocles, the Pythagoreans used to admit into their school all persons indiscriminately; but when Empedocles, by means of his poems, then they made a law to admit no epic poet. They said that the same thing happened to Plato; for that he too was excluded from the school. Who was Empedocles's Pythagorean teacher in not mentioned; for, as the letter of Jelanges in which he is stated to have been a pupil of Hippasus and Brontinus, that is not worthy of belief. But Theophrastus says that he was an imitator and rival of Parmenides in his poems, for that he too has delivered his opinions on natural philosophy in Epic verse.
Hermippus however says that he was an imitator not of Parmenides, but of Xenophanes with whom he lived; and that he imitated his epic style, and that it was at a later period that he fell in with the Pythagoreans. But Alcimadas, in his Natural Philosophy, says that Zeno and Erapedodes were pupils of Parmenides, about the same time; and that they subsequently seceded from him. Zeno was said to have adapted a philosophical system peculiar to himself; but that Empedocles became a pupil of Anaxagoras and Pythagoras, and that he imitated the pompous demeanor and way of life and gestures of the one, and the system of Natural Philosophy of the other.