Secret Musical Message Found in Plato

Philosopher was closet supporter of Pythagoras

By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 7, 2010 4:26 AM CDT | Updated Jul 7, 2010 4:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Plato embedded in his writings secret messages that would have earned him execution for heresy, says a scholar who claims to have found a hidden code in the original scroll form of the ancient Greek philosopher's writings. Exactly once every 12 lines Plato refers to music—a message, says scholar Jay Kennedy, that Plato was a closet follower of Pythagoras, who believed mathematics and music were the key to the order underlying the world.

In Plato's day, Pythagoreans were persecuted as a threat to traditional religion. "Simply put, they were threatening to overthrow the gods on Olympus, and put numbers and mathematics in their place," Kennedy told NPR. "Prior to Socrates being executed, a number of other philosophers were banished or fled because of threats." So far Kennedy thinks Plato's message was that music and mathematics were linked—a show of solidarity with Pythagoreans—but he suspects there may be more to find, even an entire hidden melody or score.

Plato statue in Athens, Greece.
Plato statue in Athens, Greece.   (Shutter Stock)
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