Book fifteen of the metamorphoses begins with The Succession of Numa, and the Story of Myescelus, which describes the founding of the city Croton by Myscelus, who was inspired by the deity Hercules. Croton was the city in which Pythagoras founded his school, which originated the pythagorean cult. The pythagorean cult, pictured above worshipping the sunrise, was a group of philosophers and mathematicians in the 6th century BC. They held many odd beliefs and customs, some of which Ovid describes in the second story of book fifteen, The Teachings of Pythagoras. The story describes an unnamed traveling teacher who spreads his knowledge of pythagoreanism in various cities. The two excerpts that I chose to translate are from quoted speeches that the pythagorean teacher gives. The first speech is about the injustice of consuming animals when there are plenty of plants to eat, and I have translated its central argument. The historical accuracy of the pythagorean diet is debated, but it is believed that they were vegetarians, and also curiously avoided the consumption of beans. Between this excerpt and the second, the speaker challenges the fear of death, and explains how the seasons and nature are constantly changing. He continues this theme by describing how the human body also changes perpetually, and I have translated this part of the speech also. The story continues with the speaker re-iterating his point of the impermanence of the universe through many examples, and also arguing against the consumption of flesh for various reasons, the most interesting of which is the pythagorean belief that the human spirit could travel after death and be housed by a plant or animal. They even believed that the soul could travel from the earth up through the hollow stem of a fava bean plant, and reside in the bean itself. This clearly fits with the central theme of the Metamorphoses, and as a part of the book’s closing chapter, does well to summarize the nature of all things to change and morph. Pythagoreanism is now hardly remembered in Western culture, but the word is familiar mostly because of the pythagorean theorem, which was named after Pythagoras, who supposedly recorded a proof for it.