APT Basilicata

APT Basilicata

Basilicata turistica

Ocello Lucano

a cura di Giovanni Caserta

In the Tavole Palatine of Metaponto, Era Temple, people say, in the VI century BC, Pitagora stopped here when he escaped from Crotone, where he was driven out from after a popular revolt against himself and his followers.In Metaponto he opened his school to the local youth, as he did in Crotone. So began the Metapontina “Pitagora school”. This school, by finding in the number the essence of real, built on number a system which was philosophical and religious, mathematical and mystic, moral and political.That school almost became a sect and young people attending it, were like priest. In that atmosphere of unity and love around science and contemplation of truth and universe, they became brothers or they do really were brothers. There was no distinction of class or sex, so in the name of mankind this was the first sensational case of equality between man and woman, because as in the hymn “Al Mar Ionio” the poet Nicola Sole sang: ”also the women,/ the gentle abandoned the feminine work,/ and they came austere to argue on the marble/ of your Lyceum! Pittagora! What an intellect,/what a very high intellect arrived at your level or so near/ looked at the sky?”.

In that school, among the women, shone Esara e Bindaice. Among the men, the brothers Ocello Lucano and Ocilo, Bindaice’s brothers, became famous. They were probably born in Grumento. But the greatest was Ocello, of whom we remember Della natura dell’universo, Del regno, Delle leggi e Della giustizia. Of such works, with meaningful titles, unfortunately we only have some fragments, which however are enough to testify a so new and modern idea that someone thinks Ocello lived in the years of the Christian era . As a matter of fact Ocello works are influenced by Plotino and neoplatonismo.

To introduce Ocello’s thought it is necessary to talk about infinity and eternity of world, which is called universe as it is the “all”. It has a round shape , it always goes back to itself, to its “totality” according to a “cyclic turn”. It hasn’t got a beginning and an end. The creatures on the other hand, are individually subjected to death, but not so their species which keeps on growing again. Love is the strength with which man takes part in the endless re-creation. So purpose of love is not pleasure, even if pleasure is part of it. Family must be based on love and only on love. Therefore people should not get married for money, family is a basic cell of society so if families are unhappy, unhappy will also be the society. Since woman inside the family has the educational role, she is the polis’ material and spiritual pillar because she grows up the son, the man and the citizen. And if family’s rule is love, society’s rule is law.

These ideas are of an exceptionally modernity and they would have permeate all Western European civilization aspects. So Vincenzo Cuoco seems to be right in “Platone in Italia” ,when he wrote about Ocello, and states that if Socrate transferred the philosophy from heaven at home, “the Pitagorici did it better since they called at home the philosophy of heaven and in heaven or at home it is always the same philosophy”.

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