On the tetrad

14 10 2009


If number is the form of all things, and the terms up to the tetrad are the roots and the elements, as it were, of number, then these terms would contain the aforementioned properties and the manifestations of the four mathematical sciences- the monad of arithmetic, the dyad of music, the triad of geometry and the tetrad of astronomy, just as in the text entitled On the Gods Pythagoras distinguishes them as follows: “Four are the foundations of wisdom- arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy- ordered 1,2,3,4.” And Cleinias of Tarentum says, “These things when at rest gave rise to arithmetic and geometry, and when moving to harmony and astronomy.”

-from The Theology of Arithmetic attributed to Iamblichus