Daniel Galef

Bayus of Ephesus

June 13, 2020

NEOPLATONISM, NEOPYTHAGOREANISM, AND EUDOXUS’S THEORY OF PROPORTIONALITY AS METAPHYSICAL CALCULUS IN THE WRITINGS OF GEORG PHILIPP EDUARD HUSCHKE: REDISCOVERING A LOST PHILOSOPHER


ABSTRACT

This paper sets out to first establish the historicity of and then determine the biographical details regarding Bayus the Ephesian, a hitherto-unknown Presocratic philosopher of the Ionian school, a contemporary of Thales and of the earlier Greek poets, and a member of that class of metaphysicians whom Aristotle dubs the phusiologoi, who hypothesized the first radical scientific cosmologies and cosmogonies diverging from the mythological tradition.

As method and as map this paper uses the logical system developed by nineteenth-century German classicist Georg Philipp Eduard Huschke, a metaphysical extension of physical and mathematical principles first laid out by Euclid, Eudoxus, and perhaps the Pythagoreans. As this system has not been employed to this purpose since the lifetime of Huschke, the paper is necessarily extremely experimental in style and in substance, despite which its results are on even cursory examination wholly inarguable.

Should this experiment be deemed by scholarship at large a success, it may be retroactively classed as a prodromus for further historiological delving using this system, which although initially nameless might accurately called Algebraic Analogy.


PART I: THE HISTORICITY OF BAYUS THE EPHESIAN

PURE RATIONALISM AND ALGEBRAIC ANALOGY

The delicate balance between the two ancient schools of thought known as Empiricism and Rationalism has raged since antiquity across all disciplines of scholarship, through medicine, philosophy, mathematics, and the natural sciences. As described by Galen in his treatise On the Sects, Rationalists employ reason and logic in tandem with a working theory to determine the proper conclusions from presented facts; in contrast, the Empiricists rely on observation alone and resist any and all speculative hypotheses regarding mechanism, cause, or basis.

Given a set of symptoms, the Rationalist physician determines a reasonable root cause, such as excess of blood, and sets immediately to work remedying it; the Empiricist simply consults their records for what treatments have in the past been successful or unsuccessful in similar cases. This may save “lives,” but it is intellectually barren.

Traditionally, the historical and biographical sciences have relied heavily if not totally on the latter sect, condemned by Galen as the inferior doctrine. Few historians have the guts to lay aside the magnifying glass and attack the past on an intellectual front. And yet it is only Rationalism that possesses the power to build upon its own body of knowledge, and Rationalism has been at the root of countless modern developments.

Modern researchers are more likely to labor in the library than in the dirt—by identifying and combining information from multiple sources, new discoveries can come to light not because the information was locked away in a buried tomb or an untranslated tablet, but because it exists in the already-known corpus, simply broken into pieces and scattered throughout the library of all known facts, but waiting to be brought together like the clues in a mystery novel.

The groundwork in rationalistic reasoning that is the metaphysical basis of this paper was laid down by Georg Philipp Eduard Huschke, a nineteenth-century German jurist, ecclesiast, and brilliant legal mind who ventured into the realm of historical and metaphysical thought.

Few men put forward in one monograph an entire system of reasoning, not merely building on the work of those before them but overturning the whole of intellectual tradition to precede it. Wittgenstein, Galileo, and Plato were among those brave and genius souls who, to paraphrase Newton, stood on the shoulders of giants wearing platform shoes. It is even fewer, perhaps none at all in the canon, that develop such a system and then do not traitorously levy its muzzle at their own forbears, instead laying out a new map to enlightenment only to fold it up and slip it discreetly into the reader’s hand like a fixer bribing a morgue attendant. Have sufficient metaphors been mixed? It bears repeating, even though it has never been said in the first place, that Eduard Huschke was an unrecognized prophet.

In an 1838 monograph entitled Die Verfassung des Königs Servius Tullius als Grundlage zu einer Römis chen Verfassungsgeschichte (The Constitution of King Servius Tullius as a Basis for Roman Constitutional History), the lawyer who would later become one of the most celebrated legal minds of his generation casually constructed a hitherto-unknown species of domestic animal otherwise-without-support by inferring logical extensions of ancient roman law, using a method that might be called pure rationalism by building new facts not from observation but rather by recognizing patterns and filling gaps in already known facts via some logical system of axioms that might aptly be dubbed Algebraic Analogy.

Pythagoras, Plato, and the esoteric philosopher-mystics discussed by Borges in his 1932 essay “A Defense of the Kabbalah” studied the flower in the crannied wall and from it extrapolated the secrets of the universe. The kabbalists’ subject for intense study was the holy scripture, under the assumption that in a presumably verbatim perfect account of the word of the deity, no detail was of no significance, and any perceived pattern must hold and have import. Pythagoras and the later Gnostics’ view was similar, with the extension of the broadening of the scope of field to be the world, as itself the whole and perfect work of the deity. By the same logic, no detail of the world was without import, without its own symmetrical counterpart or continuation of pattern, significance, no perceived pattern illusory, and no mote so minute that from it cannot be extrapolated ritualistically and rationally the whole of creation. [1] In Philipp Eduard Huschke resonated these ancient, extinct and heretical ideas, and from them he drew esoteric knowledge not to be found in any other way.

Huschke introduces this revolutionary and groundbreaking new metaphysical concept in his 1838 monograph on Roman constitutional law, in which he observes the “quinär” (quinary or fivefold) nature of the Roman legal system and the glaringly quaternary set of four animals in a passage corresponding them with the five social castes. Coming to the obvious conclusion, he deduced the existence of a fifth unmentioned animal, the bovigus, and proceeded to similarly divine its attributes, function, and even its price in monkeys under the king Servius Tullius (Huschke, Chapter V: “Thierund Götter-Classen und der Calender,” pp. 245-340).

The bovigus, also called bos, was a fifth domestic creature in the legal category shared by the ox, the horse, the ass, and the mule. Like its fellows, the bovigus was an animal designed by God to relieve mankind of the primitive burden of labor, and each animal in the set took from its masters one of five fundamental types of labor, freeing humans to focus on art and philosophy. The horse carries man so that he needn’t walk; the ass transports goods so that they needn’t be carried; the mule transports humans and goods together. The ox pulls the plough, so that the field need not be cultivated by the ancient toil of hoe-tillage. The bovigus, then, drives the plough, being the last remaining labor: The ox cannot see behind to guide the ploughshare and hasn’t the intelligence to. According to Huschke, the bovigus would have been an animal similar in appearance to a goat, and tusked like an elephant, by which extremities it drove the stilts (handles).

Huschke posited that the bovigus became extinct before the dawn of civilization because he connected it with the Biblical Serpent and it and mankind were both punished for the Fall from Grace.

If this seems overreaching, then one need only consider any of the several instances of Anti-Empirical Reasoning and Algebraic Analogy ringing true: For example, the case of Mendeleev’s many rationalist predictions of unobserved and, in some cases, even nonexisting, elements, which he hypothesized the positions and properties of based only on those of the elements already known, and was proven correct to an astounding degree on every point.

Indeed, it is a principle tenet of some more recent schools of philosophy that all truths are in fact a priori truths, although it may be simpler to deduce them via the vulgar shortcuts of empiricism. In the one actual world, all truths are necessary by dint of clear determinism, and thus require only the knowledge of any one to incontrovertibly prove any other. The only downside is that unfortunately, this process may be slightly inconvenient for everyday use. Even Sherlock Holmes relied primarily on the weak and logically-inconsistent method of abduction, despite his boastings of “deductive” genius, a term used mostly in its conventional, rather than its technical, sense of divining necessary implications of accepted axiomatic arguments.

Anaxagoras said that everything is to be found in everything, and Douglas Adams wrote fictionally of extrapolating every particle in the universe from a slightly stale cupcake. The way of being of any one part of a system necessarily entails the way of being of the whole of the system. This is as true in a Newtonian universe as it is an Aristotelian one, and the greatest thinkers of our era have spent the past century railing against the suggestion that it may not hold in a Bornian one (recall Einstein: “Der nicht würfelt!” He does not play dice!).

Widely mocked in his time by contemporaries such as Ernst Fuchs, Ernst Immanuel Bekker, and possibly even people not named Ernst, modern Huschkean scholarship has been revived by the German legal scholar Hanjo Hamann of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn. Once derided as a “normative fallacy,” Huschke’s brilliant innovation of applying legal reasoning to naturalism itself was properly recognized by a few: In a personal letter to Jakob Grimm, Friedrich Carl von Savigny, possibly unsarcastically, attributed to Huschke “an even better understanding of the deep significance of historical phenomena than God almighty Himself.”

The success stories speak for themselves: the location of Tiktaalik fossils, the elemental properties of the hypothesized substance Eka Lead, the “missing” Anterolateral Ligament, &c. were all discovered first not by actually discovering them, but by deducing that they must exist, and only then confirming as much by further deducing where and how to find them. Certainly this doctrine has had its shortcomings, including the divinations of the mysterious Vegetable Lamb of Tartary, the nonexistent Slavic deity Bielobog, and Planet X, but these have without fail resulted from a misapplication of a sound and valid reasoning system.

Accepting the validity of pure rationalism and algebraic analogy as we must, it follows that we can apply axiomatic reasoning to reality and draw sound conclusions. Obvious gaps in knowledge such as that detected by the astute P. E. Huschke can be resolved in the same way, and we can logically divine the missing facts as simply and easily as we can predict the weather, the next fashion trend, or the future of the economy.

WE HAVE A HAMMER, LET’S NAIL SOMETHING

In the study of ancient philosophy, too, stands such a glaring omission as that of the evident bovigus to Huschke: There is a fundamental quaternary principle underlying (among countless other instances) the four Aristotelian/Empedoclean elements (originally rhizomata: ριζόματα, “roots,” by Empedocles, but later stoicheion: στοιχεῖον, “syllable” or “smallest division,” by Plato), metaphysical first principles (arche: ἀρχήν•) of a materially monist cosmos. In the order almost always listed, these are Earth (ge: γῆ­), Water (hudor: ὕδωρ), Air (aer: ἀήρ•), and Fire (pur: πῦρ). To these correspond the early cosmological philosophers (phusiologoi: Φυσιολόγοι) who each held that the actual element from which the universe was birthed was one of these four principles.

Hereclitus of Ephesus, also called “Heraclitus the Obscure” or “The Weeping Philosopher,” held all things to be born of and to pass away into fire. Both Plutarch and Clement of Alexandria (in his miscellaneous treatise Stromata, “The Patchwork”) record Heraclitus’ monistic declarations:

All things are an equal exchange for fire and fire for all things, as goods are for gold and gold for goods. The world neither any god nor any man made, but it always was and is and shall be: fire ever-living, kindling in measures and in measures being extinguished. [KRS 217–19 / DK B-30 & B90]

Anaximenes of Miletus, another preClassical Ionian of Greek blood, held instead that all is air. His views survive in the writings of Hippolytus and Theophrastus:

Infinite air is the principle from which the things that have been, and that are, and that shall be, and gods and things divine, all come into being, and the rest from its products. The form of air differs in its substantial nature by rarity and density. When it is dissolved into what is finer it becomes fire, while winds are air that is becoming condensed, and cloud is produced from air by felting. When it is condensed still more, water is produced; with a further degree of condensation earth is produced, and when condensed as far as possible, stones; and the rest come into being from these. [KRS 140–41]

Thales of Miletus, a teacher of or perhaps a teacher of a teacher of Anaximenes dubbed “The First Philosopher” and even “The First Rational Man,” was, in those days of undifferentiated scholarship, a poet, a mathematician, a statesman, an engineer, a soldier, a geometer, an astrologer, and of course a philosopher who took to heart the metaphysical problem of the arche. Thales, also one of the great Seven Sages of Greece, being the seven wisest people ever to have lived, never espoused the shortsighted and illthought-out metaphysical musings that All is fire or All is air. In his own intense study he determined that there could be but one answer: All is water.

Water is the principle of all things. For I see that matter is principally dispensed in moisture, and moisture in water; and it seems proper to make that the principle of things, in which the virtues and powers of beings, and especially the elements of their generations and restorations, are chiefly found. [DK 7 B1a]

Thus we have fire, air, water, and…that’s it. [2]  Three philosophers espousing three of the four elements as arche, in the precise order in which they are arranged, and a very clear, glaring gap: Along proven Huschkean lines of reasoning, there must have been a lost fourth philosopher, about which we (as yet) know nothing, who held the principle as Earth.

This, obviously, is not much to go on, but in the same way we determined this Lost Philosopher’s existence can we determine from context, from patterns and spaces in those patterns, the attributes of this philosopher, beginning, naturally enough, with basic biographical information. Huschke’s basic sketch of Algebraic Analogy:

1-AA, 2-AB, 1-AC, _-_ _

Most five-year-olds could probably intuit the missing figure as 2-AD, and with rationale simplistic to the point of innateness: elements universally shared (the second figure/first letter is always A) are obviously preserved; elements seemingly split into two pairs in a set of four (two figures begin with 1 and two with 2) retain their symmetry; elements that very clearly evidence a simple progression (the ultimate figure, the second letter grows by one for each term) continue that progression. Huschke holds that all things fill patterns, and thus all facts can be extrapolated from the shape of the gap they leave in our knowledge.

This system, or at least its mathematical formalization, is very clearly a thematical expansion ultimately derived from Euclid’s groundbreaking theory of proportionality, as outlined in Book V of Euclid’s Elements. As such, many of the same rules and relations apply, while some of the restrictions in form (such as necessitating that terms be commensurable magnitudes) are ignored, as they have been in modern mathematics following fuller understandings of irrational numbers and unit manipulations.

According to Heath, the scholiast (perhaps Proclus) on Book V records the rumor that the theory of proportionality derives from the work of Eudoxus, the teacher of Plato; indeed, similar theories predate even this and date back to Pythagoras. AlgAna itself is an extremely Platonic and Pythagorean concept, with its implicit metaphysical assumption that the universe follows ubiquitous, binding, and, most importantly, human-comprehensible patterns and basic logical structures. Thus, being of the same kind is irrelevant; the limitations of Euclid are cast aside (just as they were to a slightly lesser extent in modern mathematics, when a more comprehensive theory of irrationality allowed proportion and ratio to be observed and analysed among heterogeneous values), and incommensurate magnitudes make fine bedfellows, even as the term might conceivably apply to language, and, indeed, to any concrete or hypothetical concept. A basic example of the metaphysical law, which abstracts and generalizes Euclid’s propositions to describe and uncover relations not only among mono-variant values of similar types, but among anything at all, is shown below.

Fire : Heraclitus : : Air : Anaximenes : : Water
: Thales : : Earth : ?

Besides the conceptual universalization, the same basic formal rules apply to Metaphysical Proportionality as do to its basic, scalar-value-based forebear:

1. Any terms that signify possess some relationship.

2. Any term is connected to another term by any relationship.

3. No term is connected to more than one term by one relationship.

(These are equivalent to basic vector operations in concept-space, as later formalised by the Analytic Philosophers, perfidious math-minded cretins though they may be.)

Obviously, certain simplistic traits shared by all three extant are also shared by this Lost Presocratic. He was a man, and Greek; further, an Ionian. He had a beard. His name (which we will derive in full later) concluded in a sigma. He formed views on the soul. Symmetry was a property hailed as universal and even divine by the ancients.

For this reason, in the cases of specific traits shared by two of the extant four with the remaining possessing a distinct property in the same category, the Lost Philosopher will share that type of trait with the remaining extant cosmologist, producing two symmetric pairs of two, similarly to how the elements are by Empedocles ordered into conflicting pairs of hot and cold, wet and dry, with the pairs being broken up in a different way for each type of attribute. Proclus’ own theories on the elements take the concept further, for twelve aspects of fundamental symmetry connecting all matter in a perfect and interconnected web of abstract properties. Thales and Anaximenes hail from Miletus, so Heraclitus and the Lost Philosopher hail from Ephesus (this is significant later). Anaximenes’ and Heraclitus’ names both possess ten letters (Ηράκλειτος;αναξιμενές), so Thales’ (Θαλής) and the Lost Philosopher’s contain five. Et cetera.

Gaps to be filled or patterns to be perceived and completed can take other forms than literal symmetry, however; progressions with conspicuous omissions may blatantly indicate the missing relatum, even without any two identical terms. We have Presocratics whose names’ syllables are two, four, and five: it follows that the Lost Presocratic’s name is of three. It is a pattern not unlike this one that allows us to place this nameless mind in time, as well as in space: as their preached arche is in the place of the progression of the elements, the philosophers are up to this point entirely consistent: “Earth, Water, Air, Fire” is the universally agreed-upon and universally cited order, in terms of rarefaction (for Anaximenes) or of natural location (for Aristotle). Attaching each philosopher to his element in time as it is in its ladder, then, we find that the Lost Cosmologist must have been the earliest of his quartet, although likely overlapping in lifespan with others. To garner more precise figures, we must begin from more precise data as well: a simple arithmetical progression of integers will give us the Lost Philosopher’s birth and death dates, as easily as it will give the fortieth from-last digit of π in base forty.

Reliable sources wanting, the best information available on the years of the Ionians has Heraclitus born c. 535 B.C.E. [3] Anaximenes c. 585, and Thales c. 635, each plainly and simply fifty years before the next, providing a rough date of c. 685 B.C.E. for the birth of the terrestrial monist. Similarly, we have recorded lifespans of precisely sixty years for both Heraclitus and Anaximenes, and a span of eighty years for Thales, and so, presumably, the Earth Man (The Lost Philosopher has several millennia worth of ungranted epithets to make up for). This indicates a death date of c. 605 B.C.E., following the pattern in that there exists at least minor overlap between the lives of all four philosophers.

These simple experiments in algebraic analogy prove its value and its strength in determining fact in the burgeoning field of a priori historical studies. But the method can be taken further.

THE LOST PHILOSOPHER WHO?

With regards to this mysterious thinker’s name, we recall that we have systematically divined the following information: It concludes in a sigma and contains five letters summing to three syllables. What more can we determine? To return to the first and simplest rule of inference in algebraic analogy, what do the names Thales, Anaximenes, and Heraclitus have in common? Most obviously, the first non primary vowel (the letter immediately following the first consonant) is in every case the alpha. And so it must stand in the name of the Lost Philosopher. More pressing, however, is that first consonant it follows. None of the other extants share an opening letter, so we must search for the pattern and complete it.

As we have observed so many corresponding pairs in traits of the Four Cosmologists, so we are not disappointed now: The first letters also neatly fall into adjacent pairs, Alpha with Beta and Eta with Theta. These two pairs are also precisely ten letters apart in the Greek alphabet as it stood in the pre-Classical era, another even symmetry that supports the existence of the Philosopher. We now have: B Α _ _ Σ, and the easiest gap to fill is the penultimate: two Philosophers’ (in the established quadruplet) names end in ης and one ends in ος, leading us to the inexorable conclusion that the fourth also ends ος: Β Α _ O Σ.

Some small trouble arises in that it is difficult to see how a three-syllable title can arise from this setup; we already had small inklings of doubt at the revelation of a name of only five letters. One thing we must not do is allow our intents to invade our detached reasoning; if we divine a consonant for the middle glyph, we cannot rethink but must resolve ourselves to admitting the entire endeavor as misguided and useless. However, if we do arrive at a perfect trisyllable through Alg. Ana. alone, then we have all the more reason to believe that we are on the correct path to truth.

To find this last letter, we look to the central letters of the other three, and try to determine if there is grounds to decide what the central lambda in Thales “turns into” in Ba_os: in the even-lettered names, the central pairs are ΛΕ and IM. Our luck has come through! There is an example of a lambda, and its corresponding letter in the other ten-letter name is an iota! This leaves us with the name BAIOS, and it is with this we can further delve. [4] 

The name is by no means without precedent: it is that of the pilot/helmsman/navigator on the anonymous black ship of Odysseus. Here accented Βαïος and commonly latinized as Baius or Bayus, the pilot Baios (not actually mentioned by name in Homer, but attested to later by Lycophron, Eratosthenes, Servius, and Strabo) drowned in Italian waters and ultimately gave his name to a mountain on the island of Cephallonia, as well as the Roman resort of Baiae (now Baia) on the Bay of Naples, where he is purported to be buried. [5]  The preexistence of this personal name allows us to accent the word with confidence; in fact, the central diaeresis is essential, as it does precisely what we needed: not only do the letters we divined correspond to a name, but it also unthinkably contains three syllables, even though a similar name might very well have no diaeresis and instead be a bisyllable with a diphthong.

(Also note most importantly of all that our own deductions unambiguously support each other: Our previously derived knowledge that Baios’ name contains three syllables did not in any way contribute to the independent process of spelling out his name letter by analogous letter—and yet it does, in fact, contain three syllables anyway, an unlikely feat if determined at random, and one which relies on the far fetched improbability of three vowels in the middle separated by no consonants, and one which just so happens to correspond exactly to an identical existing name which provides further proof of both the reality of the name Βαïος and the necessary diaeresis we introduced unknowingly to fit the pronunciation.)

To be certain, these names must be further triple-checked to ensure that they are in order when considered in the light of the numerological and arithmantic systems the Greek sages used. Do the names align isopsephically? [6]  Using this ancient form of magical calculation, similar in function to the Arabic abjad hawwaz and the earlier Babylonian/Assyrian/Hebrew gematria, Heraclitus, the latest Cosmologist, is assigned the value 744; Anaximenes, 425; and Thales, 248. Clearly, if Baios does not fit this descending pattern there has been some unthinkable flaw in our reasoning. But not to worry: isopsephically, Baios evaluates to the numeral 213, and all is right with the world.

Bayus of Ephesus (Βαïος ὁ Ἔφεσσιος) sounds now like a full picture – a selfconsistent image and a triumph of the revolutionary revived concept of algebraic analogy. However, before we accept its validity, we must check ourselves to avoid the scientific sin of overeager presumption, or worse, cognitive bias, or Bias.

It may be worth sacrificing some logical symmetry or perfectness for a numerically simpler and historically neater explanation that does not require the introduction of new people. In the interest of sating this reasonable line of thought, we shall examine a few extant candidates who may in one or more ways fit our established paradigm, before ultimately dismissing all cases.

POSSIBLE IDENTITY ASSIGNMENTS WITH EXTANT FIGURES

The chronologically earliest candidate and visually/orthographically closest person to Baïos would be Baïos, and so we should start our substitutive search there: with Baïos (or Boïos or Besbios), steersman of Odysseus. This is unlikely for a number of reasons: the time period is far receded from our main scope, we have no record whatsoever of any intellectual activity or indeed any action whatsoever besides navigating and holding wineskins, and the στοιχεῖον primarily associated with his life would have to be water. Also, he was fictional.

What if instead we begin by the Lost Philosopher’s relationships with his contemporaries? We have established that Baïos in some way influenced Heraclitus. However, the Ephesian famously claimed to have only “taught himself,” and rejects most previous thought. Nevertheless, we do have significant reason to cite two figures who almost certainly heavily influenced Heraclitus’ writings: Xenophanes (given by Sotion of Alexandria, via Diogenes) and Zoroaster (convincingly suggested by A. Gladisch: cf. Herakleitos und Zoroaster: Eine Historische Untersuchung (Leipzig 1859), P. IV). Anaximander is also known to have indirectly coloured his theories, which does not bear analysis here but will be vital later on. Xenophanes of Colophon is troublesome for reasons of chronology and geography, but ultimately may have directly or indirectly taught the Weeping Sage, which would make him the closest we have in the record of a definite influence on his thought.

However, the pattern ends there, as Xenophanes neither fits any of the several other pattern-sets we have established to build up the identity of what we have designate as Baïos, nor is he remembered to espouse any of the philosophical ideas the posited Lost Philosopher should have. A truer parallel would be that the LP was either a teacher of or a teacher of a teacher of Heraclitus, as we are not entirely certain of the intellectual relationship of Thales to Anaximenes, but we have no evidence at all to cite any particular sources for Xenophanes’ ideas, save the silent hills and the equally silent fishes therein.

Zoroaster is a more tantalizing pick, if only because the chronology checks out, he very blatantly influenced Heraclitus’ musings, and he is attributed with enough weighty yet nebulous pronouncements so as to be able to assign him almost any conceivable metaphysical worldview. But can we find any specific mention of an ontological monism, or the principle of such a monism being earth? The answer is no, and, unfortunately, he does not fit with the single and solitary tenet the Lost Philosopher was formulated to hold in the first place. In fact, one of the many points of Heraclitean philosophy directly traceable from the teachings of Zoroaster is his emphasis on fire, indicating that we must look elsewhere for our more Earthly Cosmologist.

It is almost certain that Baios was one of the Sages, and the fact that we have lists of them is no bar to this: The name “The Seven Sages” is wildly misleading, in the first part because, while it seemed universally agreed that there were seven of them, no two authorities could agree on which seven they were, and charitable biographers would list as many as possible. Over twenty candidates are recorded in total, with a handful that seem to crop up in every listing, but without a doubt Diogenes Laërtius is the definitive authority on the ancient philosophers and on the Sages, and so whom he lists in that chapter of Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers should tell us who was and wasn’t a Sage. He is generous to the various sides and gives considerably more than twelve, but only includes full chapters on those he believes to be serious possibilities for having been one of the Seven. What’s more, his chapters themselves tend to follow even, symmetrical patterns, mostly conforming to the ancient sacred unit of twelves (Weinreich, Th. “Zwölfgötten.” Roscher, W. H. Ausfurliches Lexikon der Griechischen und Römis[c]hen Mythologie vol. vi. col. 764-848. Drews, Robert. “Light from Anatolia on the Roman Fasces.” The American Journal of Philology 93.1 [January 1972]: pp. 40-51. [p. 43, note 10]). Elsewhere in the literature is even mentioned twelve main candidates for membership in the Seven Sages. So naturally it reads as might be expected, and Diogenes’ seminal work contains biographical chapters for all—eleven of them?

Returning to language and nomenclature, if Baios’ name was not Baios, perhaps it was something similar: at roughly the right time and place and actually commonly recognized as one of the Seven Sages is Bias of Priene. It is true that Bias of Priene is today remembered primarily as a philosopher of a legislative type, a sage and a lawmaker from before the era generally associated with the phusiologoi. However, the late and great Huschke, the author of the treatise that very loosely is the basis of this very paper, was a legal mind who expanded into metaphysical thought, and with tremendous success. If he could adapt himself from the dusty carrels of case files and volumes of precedent into the rarefied air of metaphysical discovery, so too could a thinker living in a time when the delineations between intellectual fields were yet shifting and uncertain.

There was one other Bias, however, one that not only was a philosopher, but who also hailed from Ephesus. This Bias of Ephesus is recorded by Philostratus to have been an academician and a sophist who appeared before the council of Athens during the Peloponnesian War to rally the Athenian slaves to fight for their homeland overseas. Bias (or Dias or Delius) would have been much too late to fit into our slot for the Earthy Guy, but bears serious consideration if only for the supreme chance of his name, profession, and origin, all of which impossibly fit our established paradigm very well.

But that is enough said about them; indeed, there is no shortage of Bias in this paper.

FURTHER NOMINAL INQUIRY

Another commonality between the names of the cosmologists is that they are not unique [7] : Thales of Miletus, Anaximenes of Miletus, and Heraclitus of Ephesus have respectively homonymous doppelgängers in all disparate fields. The First Rational Man shared his moniker with Thales of Crete, a.k.a. Thaletas, a possibly apocryphal poet, as well as with Thales of Sicyon, a painter. The airy student of Anaximander had Anaximenes of Lampsacus, a fourth century B.C.E. rhetorician and Homeric scholar and a pupil of Zoilus, plus a second Anaximenes of Lampsacus, the first (second) Anaximenes’ nephew, a historian. The Weeping Philosopher, Heraclitus the Obscure, counted among his eponyms any of several dozen various and sundry equally obscure Heraclituses (Heraclituses? Heracliti? Heraclitodes?) including another Homeric scholar, this of the first century C.E., a veritable coffeehouse of poets, the author of a lesser-known paradoxographical treatise, and an “author on stones.”

Indeed, this author, Heraclitus of Sicyon, provides us with another split pair of parallelisms from which to build up our knowledge of Baios of Ephesus: two of the extant three in our quartet of cosmologists, Thales and Heraclitus, have doubles from Sicyon; it follows that the remaining two, Anaximenes and Bayus, also share a hometown for their doubles. Since Anaximenes has only two doubles, both from Lampsacus, so too can we hypothesize Bayus’ assured double, some unknown Bayus of Lampsacus. As two of the extant three of these four doubles, Anaximenes and Heraclitus, are authors/writers, then the remaining two, Thales and Bayus, also share a profession: Bayus of Lampsacus was a painter.

[Figures, from top to bottom: Historical portraiture of Heraclitus (Donato Bramante fresco), Anaximenes (Pergamon bust), and Thales (Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum engraving), showing a progression of longer and longer beards. The last image is a ‘reconstruction’ of Bayus. We may from logical induction firmly conclude that Bayus had the longest beard of all.]

PART II: THE DOXOGRAPHY OF BAYUS THE EPHESIAN

We have now spent the better part of too many pages definitively proving first the existence of and then the details of a philosopher previously totally unknown to modern study; but we have not discovered what surely is the most important information about any thinker: his thoughts. We know one most central tenet of Baios’ cosmology, namely, the only piece of information we started with, All is Earth. [8]  But we do not know any other details. As we fleshed out Baios’ bio from those of his contemporaries and fellow Presocratics, so too can we analogically arrive at his beliefs from theirs and others’.

We know Baios viewed the principle as earth. We know he spoke on the soul, although we do not know precisely how. We also can with confidence assert that he was commonly attributed with one or more of the Delphic Maxims, as all of the uncountable Seven Sages were, and that this certainly included that first maxim Know thyself, as it is commonly put into the mouth of Thales (as in the Suda), but not into the respective mouths of Heraclitus or Anaximenes. Supporting this attribution is the fact that there are extantly eleven figures to whom the maxim is given, the very same incomplete dodecad as earlier, matching the twelve hours, the twelvemonths, and the twelve great cities of the Ionian Dodecapolis: Plato’s Protagoras lists seven jointly [9]  into which Pausanias substitutes Periander, Diogenes reports Antisthenes’ attribution to Phemonoe the ante-Homeric Delphic priestess-poetess, Pythagoras nominates himself, and it is most commonly today referred to as a tenet of Socrates.

However, the great wealth of information unearthed in the paragraphs above allow us to much more effectively seek out recorded information about Bayus of Ephesus, temporarily abandoning our hyperrationalist methodology and adopting the good old fashioned brush and trowel of the archaeologist.

LANGUAGE AND BIOLOGY

The philosophy of language is generally considered a very modern discipline, with most accounts beginning with Frege and Russell and the analytic crowd around the turn of the last century. Even to students of the ancient thinkers, Parmenides is usually cited as the first of the ancient philosophers to formulate anything like a comprehensive theory of language and meaning, and he barely said anything other than that he can’t say anything at all. In fact, the first known intellectual linguistic study (often regarded as the first scientific experiment of any sort, in that it was set up to answer a specific question and relied on observation and the removal of external influencing variables [10] ) was performed centuries earlier by the Egyptian king Psammetichus, who isolated a child from human communication in order to determine the natural or original tongue, which was revealed to be Phrygian instead of Egyptian when the child, who had been sent at birth to live alone and far from civilization with a single mute shepherd, spoke his first word, bekos, which is both Phrygian for bread and suspiciously similar to baa. Baios, who was studying with the Alexandrian geometers at the time, caught word of this landmark experiment but, despite his great admiration for the king and his pursuit of knowledge, drew different conclusions. In the absence of a control group or study blindness (the shepherd was deaf, but apparently that wasn’t enough), the same result may have any of a number of different meanings, and Baios took the child’s utterance as evidence not of Phrygian supremacy but of mankind’s having descended from sheep, as the aboriginal Ainu believed bears, Anaximander fish, and Darwin laughably claimed apes. Naturally, modern evolutionary biology has since confirmed Baios’ revolutionary discovery and discounted the others’ as fiction.

MORAL AND LEGAL THEORY

Most of the Seven Sages were lawgivers rather than true philosophers in the modern sense, and Baios was likely no exception. Governmental organization and legal theory was much less sophisticated during the Archaic Period in Hellenic history than it was during the later and more-studied Classical era of the polis (Hans Beck: A Companion to Ancient Greek Government), and a small dictatorial council of law-speakers presided over an informal legislature and ruled on many civil disputes.

Even within this relatively primitive hierarchy, Baios managed to use his position as a local elder and lawgiver to revolutionize the intellectual playing field with ideas well ahead of his time. The earliest fonts of justice far in the past, such as Urukagina, Ur-Nammu, and Hammurabi, offer no explicit legal or moral theory for their rulings, and the first more formal legal-philosophical minds yet to be born, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas, are the prime natural law theorists. The modern legal theory of Positivism was virtually unheard of before Hobbes, and yet its tenets can be plainly seen in the actions and words of this previously-unknown lawgiver and proto-philosopher-poet of the Ionian School, Bayus of Ephesus.

The concept that the law might stem only from human intention, guided by no more fundamental motivations than preference and circumstance, is beyond radical for the time, and yet, among those immortal maxims inscribed into the Delphic masonry and attributed to various historical and mythical ancient personages, we find Baios’ own contribution to the anthology, its location derivable via a lengthy geometric-metaphysical exercise which I shall for reasons of space omit:

διότι ἔλεξα

The fact that this sagacious maxim [12] alone is inscribed in red crayon between the prudent νομω πειθου and the reverent φεους σεβου must be assumed to be incidental. Bayus was similarly the first to formulate the enduring legal maxim now known as “possession is nine-tenths of the law.” At the time the adage was coined by Bayus, he asserted only that possession accounted for five-sixths of the law, but logological inflation over the years caused an increase of the percentage of the law covered by possession. It is projected that it will be in the year 3100 C.E. that possession will finally become all of the law. After that, modern legal scholars are divided as to whether this will be the final value, a period of deflation will begin, or possession will go on to actually total more than 100% of the law.

ASTRONOMY AND OPTICS

In contrast to the existing pre-Homeric idea that the sun and moon were much larger than they appeared to be and very far away (an obvious falsehood to later thinkers, as that sort of vast distance would require them to move very fast, extinguishing their illuminating fire), Bayus reasoned that they were in fact much smaller than they appear, but extremely close up, making them appear larger and far-off.

AlgAna avers once again: Thales and Anaximenes followed the boring theory of big-sun-far-away. Heraclitus however, is attested by Aetius as writing, regarding the dimensions of the sun, “It is the size of a man’s foot—and in width, yet.” It then follows from the basic laws of perspective that given the apparent angular radius of the sun in the field of vision, it is about a dozen feet away from the observer at any given time. “I could fire an arrow and hit it—well, I couldn’t, but probably someone else could.”

He backs up this claim, as was the antique orator’s wont, with a snippet of poetic narrative that would surely have been a familiar quotation to his audience, in this case, what is apparentlya paraphrase from the Myth of Hyacinthus and King Acrisius. Here Hyacinthus ponders the cyclical generation and corruption of the moon while he sports at quoits with his lover; meanwhile, the King plots to magically turn the youth into a crocus flower:

long I pondered how the diskôs, inanimate
stone
devoid of the living principle breathed into
man by Zeus
that warms the flesh and quickens the blood
could change its size so, untouched, hanging
in the air
then it hit me

Although preceding them by several millennia, this idea is essentially equivalent to the revolutionary conclusion arrived at by Galileo and Copernicus, at least insofar as the fact that they both involved the sun and were both derided in their time. History has vindicated the latter. Perhaps the time come to recognize the brilliance of the former, as well.

COSMOLOGY AND PEDAGOGY

Another partial quartet is the academic relationships among the four philosophers, all of whom closely either influenced or were influenced by others working at the same time and place. Specifically, it is clear that two of the four lived later than Anaximander and were heavily influenced or even instructed by him, and two lived prior to Anaximander, at least one of whom we know instructed him directly, and the other of which, it stands to reason (and reason alone), also influenced him, probably in a much lesser and possibly impersonal way, as Anaximander did Heraclitus.

But no actual record exists of Baios’ teachings or the actions of his students, and Anaximander’s major influence is usually limited to his master Thales in biographical literature. How then can we determine the extent and content of Baios’ impact on the life and beliefs of Anaximander? Luckily, several accounts of the lives of the philosophers contain various stories and personal accounts, from which may be drawn useful conclusions.

One anecdote exists to shed light on the nature of this pedagogical relationship: According to Diogenes, Anaximander as a child was digging circles in the dirt of the Ephesian agora when an old man who tripped over his sand castle snapped at him: “You stop that nonsense this instant or you’ll dig clear through the earth and fall through!” It is debatable how significantly this chastisement influenced the latter philosopher’s later sophisticated cosmological views of the structure and base of the earth.

At this time Baios would have been seventy-nine and a minor statesman of the Ephesian council, and Anaximander would have been five and unemployed. Doubtlessly Baios is the misanthropic passerby in Diogenes’ account, and equally doubtlessly this brief interaction is the key to completing the teacher-student crucifix connecting the four phusiologoi and cementing Baios’ position in philosophical history.

LOGIC AND METAPHYSICS

But no enumeration of Baios’ many contributions to intellectual history would be complete without the ouroboros-tail of his greatest achievement, the very revolutionary rationalistic concept by which Baios is known to modern study. It is both symmetrically necessary and conclusively provable that Baios of Ephesus invented the investigative method of Algebraic Analogy.

It is using the rationalising and eupheuistic philosophies of the Herakleitoi that this fact is uncovered, compounded with the Symmetrical Principle and a metainduction of the cosmological evolution of the phusiologoi. First, we look at themythological Baios: obviously the historical Baios’ eponym, although the causal directionality is very much open to interpretation. Although the events in the reported life of Baios, navigator to Odysseus, took place centuries before the life of Baios the Ephesian Philosopher, the earliest documentation of the myth is more than somewhat later. Greek names come from many sources, mythology being among the most common, so it is not unlikely that Baios was named for the Pseudo-Homeric seaman (occasionally dubbed Boios or Besbios [12] ).

However, even myths have an origin, and the eupheuistic mythographies and paradoxographies of the lesser Heraclitus relate dozens of cases of legends springing up based loosely on (misinterpretations or allegorical representations of) real figures and events. A Heraclitean explanation, were suitable similarities to exist between the two accounts, would be to suggest that the mythical Baios was based upon the historical Baios, possibly in some sort of metaphorical manner having to do with the real Baios’ ideas and positions.

And it is again in Heraclitus that we may find the clear allegorical explanation of Baios’ place in the Odyssey. In explaining the origin and meaning of the myth of the Cyclops (the episode in Odysseus’ journey in which his spurious navigator most prominently features and with which he is most frequently associated, e.g. in the statuary at Baiae), Heraclitus defines what is almost certainly the first ever identification of and analysis of the intellectual dichotomy of rationalism versus empiricism. Polyphemus, he says, represents a purely or largely empiricist view, in that the fact that he possesses only one eye is representative of the empiricist’s reliance on or even capability of employing only one “method of perception”: sensory input. [13]  In contrast, he argues, Odysseus relies more heavily on reason (his oft-cited “cunning”), and is thus able to best the giant, as reason, being the more specifically human and higher order form of perception, is a superior source of both knowledge and wisdom (cf. Aristotle’s distinction between the various disparate portions of the human soul in the Nichomachian Ethics).

But what is Baios’ role in the story of Odysseus and the Cyclops? This is evident not only from the accounts of his journeys in Strabo and Eratosthenes, but also in the beautifully lifelike and fantastically illustrative posings of the statuary recovered from the undersea ruins of the villae at Baiae. (Indeed, here, too, has hyperrationalism played a vital part – of the statues recovered, one, that of Polyphemus, was found to be missing and presumed destroyed; nevertheless, its scale and position were made plainly evident from the shape of the surrounding sea floor and those of the other statues, and a reconstruction was able to be created with a high degree of confidence in its accuracy.)

In his statue, the only known depiction of the character, Baios is holding the Maronian wineskin (mentioned in the Odyssey at Book IX) with which Odysseus will in a moment get his captor obscenely drunk as the first stage of his successful escape plan. In other words, Baios bears the responsibility for clouding the cyclops’ judgment at the fateful instant, judgment that has been clouded, Heraclitus tells us, by an over-reliance on sensory perception as a mode of deduction. That Baios causes this method to fail—that he is the antithesis of empiricism— leads us to the natural conclusion that Baios himself represents the Cyclops’ opposite, rationalism, which (whom) Odysseus relies upon to successfully complete his ploy. [14] 

The character of Baios allegorically representing rationalism and pointing out in a violent matter the flaws of empiricism should come as no surprise to anyone accepting Heraclitus’ general assertion of mythogenesis. Baios the steersman of Ulysses is not the source of or inspiration for Baios the Ephesian Philosopher’s name, but rather the much diluted and greatly exaggerated caricature of the thinker, and a rare, possibly unique window into exploring biographical information for an otherwise largely undocumented character.

PART III: THE DEATH OF BAYUS

The deaths of philosophers possess infinite allegorical significance. The execution by suicide of Socrates, the aborted apotheosis of Empedocles, the sparagmos of Pythagoras, and even the drowning of Hippasus serve as the final counter argument to the systems of belief formulated by these thinkers during their lifetimes. The ubiquitous meaning-making culture survives, is inescapable: Who could fail to see the manifested antithesis inherent in the death of Empedocles? Who could be blind to the morals encoded in the chemical castration of Alan Turing and the death by starvation of Kurt Gödel, or the skeletal rictus of Georg Cantor, schizophrenic and syphilitic, assailed by uncountably infinite imaginary spirits in a state asylum?

Berlin writes of the hedgehog and the fox; but the fox is merely the hedgehog writ large, whose private bailiwick is the entire cosmos, and still too narrow.

The life of a genius is a life of monomania, of being thrown headlong into problems the depth of which is unknown, to surface with one’s perfect solution or, as the Spartan mothers avow, on it. A great corpus is built up, consciously or un-, which no matter the nominal topics or pursuits describes more the author than the subjects, whatever they may be. The end of such a life is the final sentence in their corpus, and like the final sentence in a novelette of O. Henry, it has the power either to affirm and amplify all the preceding or to undercut them entirely, even turn them on their heads.

The manners of the deaths of the Cosmologists was also deeply linked to the Four Elements, a fact that did not go unnoticed by Byzantine biographer and doxographer Pseudo-Pseudolos in the Catalogue of Fantastic Deaths (Synagoge Thanatoi Paradoxii).

As Neanthes of Cyzicus and Hermippus of Smyrna record, as well as several others (only Hippobotus and Ariston speak otherwise), Heraclitus died of dropsy (a deadly surplus of moisture accumulating in the body), which he unsuccessfully attempted to treat by burying himself alive in a pit of manure, “expecting that the noxious damp humour would be drawn out of him by the warmth of the manure.” He was also devoured by wild dogs.

Anaximenes’ demise is recorded only in the Gnostic commentaries on Books VI and VII of Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita, in reference to the similar circumstances surrounding the death of the Roman soldier Marcus Curtius, who was swallowed up by the earth.

Thales, as the Chronika of Apollodorus of Athens relates, died of sunstroke while watching the Olympic Games.

The Austrian phrenologist and pickpocket Franz Wickmayer goes beyond merely correlating the cosmologists’ manners of deaths with the four elements, layering the additional pattern that each phusiologos’s death is brought about by the opposite element from that with which their life is connected. Thus Thales, whose life was characterized by the element water, was killed by the element fire in the form of the sun. Heraclitus, whose life centered around the study and veneration of fire, was killed by water (dropsy as described by the ancient physicians is identical with the modern ailment dubbed oedema or edema, a surfeit of water in the interstitial fluid choking the flesh). Anaximenes, who gave to air the prominent place in his physics, was killed by the earth, and Bayus, who gave to the earth the same, we are forced to conclude was somehow killed by air.

As unlikely as this may seem, the reader’s attention is drawn to a medieval manuscript of Guilielmus Xylander, recently rediscovered in the catalogue of the University of Heidelberg, titled On Digestion and the Ill Humours, which features, in a brief and enigmatic marginalium on the Pythagorean diet: “Pseudo-Diogenes and the anonymous scholiast of the Suda have considered the Elean system, most commonly associated with the theory of phrenic transmigration, to be informed by historical precedent. Some centuries before Pythagoras commanded his cultists to never eat legumes, a contrapositive regimen was adopted by one of the Ephesian lawgivers of the Old Temple. This wise man gave himself to repast entirely on boiled beans, in the belief that the fruit of this plant was magical. He later died in a great storm of wind.”

A FINAL GNAWING QUESTION

In this paper, we have posited and proven the existence a hugely influential figure previously totally unknown to history, all beginning with the innate need to fill a logical gap with a logical solution, in this case: Who Was the Fourth Man?

Of course, four is not a particularly significant number in much of Greek thought. Far more common (apart from twelve) is five, which was the nigh-obsessive (in the opinion of the authors of this paper) focus of Huschke’s own zoological investigations. Although Empedocles’ original formulations enumerated four elements, they are more commonly cited, including by Aristotle, as five, to include Aether (αἰθήρ). At the very capital of ancient thought and the Sages at Delphi was engraved the enigmatic cyclopean Epsilon which Plutarch tells us signified the numeral 5. In addition, the entire basis of Huschke’s own 1838 monograph rests on what he calls “quinariness,” which was later paraphrased as Malaclypse’s famous Principle of Fives.

The only conclusion: there must be yet another overlooked philosopher, later than Heraclitus and yet more obscure, which we have neglected to derive, who held that all is aether. This trivial exercise in AlgAna I will leave to my readers.

CONCLUSION

But let us not overlook the discovery we have already made. In these pages has been reconstructed an entire historical personage from the base elements of reason itself, without recourse to the lowly shortcuts of research. It is revolutionary not only for the discovery of in its own right, but also for the fact that it is a discovery of a new and unprecedented kind, with the exception only of Huschke’s discovery of the extinct bovigus and Bayus’ own lost workings in the field.

And with this discovery, it can definitively be said that we now know more about the life and work of the great philosopher Bayus of Ephesus than we do about a great many other early thinkers whose names come down to us threadbare, stripped of the meat of context and detail. We know that Bayus was an Ephesian of Greek blood whose beard was long, who was born in the year 685 BCE and lived to the age of eighty.

We know that he believed and taught that the earth is made of earth, that mankind is descended from sheep, that the sun and moon are floating balls the size of a fist and about ten feet off, and that a law holds because he damn well says so. Most importantly, we know that Bayus devised the logical system of inquiry only recently revived within the modern intellectual tradition by Philipp Eduard Huschke and dubbed Algebraic Analogy or Ultra-Rationalism. And from these things that we know, we know that Bayus of Ephesus was a thinker ahead of his time, a philosopher of every field who pondered the problems of law, of language, of evolution, and of cosmology and cosmogony, and is only now in a position to be appreciated and revered for these achievements.

Lastly, it must be assured that no part of this paper is a joke! Indeed, in the wake of early review we the authors have been forced humiliatingly to reiterate that the words of the Lost Philosopher are not our own, and no syllable of it has been fabricated for the purposes of self-promotion. Indeed, we say it aloud, and say it loudly, and encourage all who are reading this to do the same and proclaim our total lack of mendacity in this treatise: Everything written here is not by us, but, in fact, it is all one hundred percent Bayus.


NOTES

[1] Yet other prototypical instances of this astonishingly simple yet increasingly consequential line of thinking, not yet formalized by Huschke’s nineteenth-century geometer’s mind, are to be found in the medieval medical theory known as the Doctrine of Signatures, which dates back to Galen but was popularized by the philosopher and mystic Paracelsus. Under the Doctrine, remedies to natural ailments naturally resemble the ailments. Even closer temporally and eternally are Milton’s and others’ extrapolations of the now-obsolete Christian theological doctrine of Typology, in which a divine symmetry pervades the scripture and the world, causing many or even every person and event in the Old Testament reflect and prefigure one in the New. This itself is highly similar to any may have been influenced by the prime alchemical maxim supposedly inscribed on the mythical Tabula Smaragdina by the philosopher-god Mercurius Termaximus: “As above, so below.”

[2]  Of course, a few later thinkers also posited a single material substrate, with varying logic and motivations. One of these was the great enlightenment philosopher Spinoza, the inclusion of whom in this paper should go some way toward dissuading scurrilous assertions that the author is overzealously applying geometrical logic where it oughtn’t go. Who would ever do that?

[3] (Calculated by historians by assuming his floruit as defined by Diogenes Laërtius to the sixty-ninth Olympiad is to be placed roughly in the middle of his lifespan, given as sixty by the same.)

[4]  Of course, it’s simply strange coincidence and nothing at all more that the Ancient Greek word baios (βαιός V βαίος) denotes “little, insignificant” (Liddell & Scott), or, as the definition is given in one more nuanced source, “small, single, and without support” (Pinkerton, 40).

[5]  This interestingly puts Baios into the same elite category with Achaemenides and Gryllus as one of the very few crew members to survive the journey home to Ithaca, none of which are actually mentioned in Homer, where all perish on the trip: Achaemenides was according to Virgil rescued by Aeneas from Sicily, isle of cyclopes, where he had been marooned by his captain while fleeing Polyphemus; the pseudonymous Gryllus (“Grunter”) was one of the lot transformed by Circe into swine, but alone chose to remain in his new form on the witch’s island instead of rejoining his quest as a human, as related in Plutarch’s comic philosophical writing, “Dialogue of Odysseus with a Pig.”

[6] The magical cypher of Isopsephy was ubiquitous in the Classical and Preclassical world, and was notably lauded by Galen, already featured in this paper as proponent of a distinct but equally prescient system of metaphysical calculation, the Doctrine of Signatures. It is Galen’s father, the poet and architect Aelius Nicon of Pergamon, who was said to be the unrivaled master of isopsephic composition and manipulation.

[7] While on the subject of homonymy, it may be said that Eduard Huschke had his own contemporary reflection in Emil Huschke (1797 1858) (no relation), an embryologist, anatomist, and taxonomist who also dabbled in philosophy, postulating on the physical connection of the brain and soul (Hirn und Seele), which he, like Descartes (no relation), believed were discreet and independent entities which communicated via epiphysial signals through the conarium cerebri near the epithalamus.

Immanuel Gottlieb Huschke (1761–1828) (also no relation) was another intellectual of the gens. Also at Göttingen and also of a queer and archaic mentality, Huschke was a classical philologist and literary scholar who translated for the first time several verses of the ancient lyric poets, including one poem cycle until then attributed to Archilochus (c. 680 – c. 645) in the Anthologia Graeca which he determined were more likely written by a contemporary hailing from Ionia or Aeolia.

Also of the surname were Adolf Huschke, Richard Huschke, Gerhard Huschke, Thomas Huschke, and Fritz Huschke von Hanstein, all of whom labored over the same cycle.

[8] Scholarly study of seventh-century BCE Ephesus is sparse, but the most notable event believed to have occurred when Baios would have been in his formative years was the first cataclysmic flooding of the Temple of Artemis, then not yet the Wonder of the Ancient World, but only a wooden structure featuring the famous many-breasted statue of Artemis/Cybele. This is known today because it was not the water of the flood that destroyed the temple, nor the flames of H*r*str*t*s that would one day raze the second temple, nor the wind that blew down the third temple as recorded in the apocryphal scripture the Acts of John, but earth: The river carried with it immense tides of silt which it deposited as its course shifted, a seemingly miraculous example of earth borne from another element of apparently greater rarefaction. It may be impossible to determine ancient thinkers’ thought processes with any great confidence, but this seems like a likely spark of inspiration for a man living in what was largely a pre-philosophical, pre-scientific time.

[9] Thales of Miletus, Pittacus of Mytilene, Bias of Priene, Solon of Athens, Cleobulus of Lindus, Myson of Chen, and Chilon of Sparta: one traditional enumeration/permutation of the Seven Sages.

[10] Also in that it had a preestablished point to prove, misinterpreted its results, was woefully underfunded, and was charged an obscene sum to have it peer-reviewed by a local quarterly papyrus, only to unknowingly forfeit the copyright in the publication contract.

[11]  This hypothesis has existed from antiquity, but was popularized by the prominent medieval judge William of Middlesex, who famously ruled a local cooper innocent of murdering a Welshman on the legal basis that he had smuggled a crossbow into the courtroom. Unusual for a verdict of innocence, however, and unprecedentedly unusual for a sitting judge, William himself later appealed his own earlier decision by means of a matchlock musket.

Certain modern scholars have contended that William of Middlesex did not exist, and was only later invented by the editors of biographical dictionaries as a copyright trap to detect later plagiarism. Indeed, it is a popular modern opinion that the “Bill of Middlesex” was a legal fiction.

[12] In various manuscripts of Strabo’s Geographies, the name of Odysseus’ steersman is variously given as Besbios or Boios, but primarily Baios.

Interestingly, it is elsewhere in the same opus of Strabo (Geographica 1.2.18) that we find the coincidental asserted etymology of the deadly peak Vesuvius: It is descended from the Greek besbios or besubios, meaning “fire.” This is a heterodoxical term not found in Liddell & Scott. According to the consensus cited by the Rev. Hayter in the nineteenth century, Besbios is the name of an autochthonous fire goddess ultimately derived from the Hebrew Hesh. This would ring truly with known contemporary linguistic laws, by which the Greek tongue adapts alien aspirants with a beta, while Latin transforms the same into Vs (The Herculaneum Manuscripts, 1811).

Although absent from all consulted modern dictionaries, this etymological hypothesis is corroborated by the monumental 1723 monograph by Joannes Georgius Graevius titled Thesavrvs Antiqvitatvm et Historiarvm Italiae, Neapolis, Sicilae, Sardiniae, Corsicae, Melitae, atqve Adjacentivm Terrarrvm Insvlarvmqve, in which the word Besbios is plainly listed as an extant and recorded archaic synonym for Vesuvius.

Boïos, too, is elsewhere attested. The name, complete with identical diaeresis and Latinized as Boeus, was a Greek mythographer of indeterminate era and provenance. Aemilius Macer translated a (now lost) poem supposedly by Boios, titled Ornithogonia (The Generation of Birds), on the subject of fabled transformations of humans into birds. It is no accident that Macer was a close colleague of Ovid, the authority on such metamorphoses. Neither the original work nor Macer’s Latin survive, but, two or three centuries later, a few passages are paraphrased in a treatise by the grammarian Antoninus Liberalis. His text, the Metamorphoseon Synagoge (Collection of Transformations), existed only in a single ninth century papyrus until it was discovered in the Palatine Library at Heidelberg and finally published in 1598 by Guilielmus Xylander, a German logician of vicious habits and a scholar of the unknown paradoxographers. This is today the only source for what little information exists on Boios the Mythographer.

(The name was also applied by the geographer Pausanias to the legendary founder of a village in Lacedaemon and a descendent of Herakles.)

It can plainly be found in these heteronymic homonyms of the Lost Philosopher a dim negative echo, a reaffirmation of the significance and veracity of his identity. Three semimythical personages, each bearing one of the three names which come together in Strabo, and each of whose lives strongly and immediately displays a fundamental connection with one of the four arche—each arche, in fact, that is not the one that is the intellectual domain of the Lost Philosopher.

Boios the Mythographer’s entire life produced one known work, on the subject of birds, more than justification to associate him with the air. Baios, helmsman of the Black Ship who spent the better part of ten years on the open sea before drowning to death, could not be a more perfect example of a life lived in intimate connection to water. Besbios is cited not only as a deity of fire, but even as a word whose very definition is fire.

Surely, at this point, no further affirmation of the bizarre metaphysical power of reasoning wielded by Huschke’s shockingly simplistic system would be required by even the most skeptical (or cynical) reader, but, should any lingering doubt remain after the sorites and sorites of other evidence has been catalogued, this perfect fourfold of nominal variants must prove the final nail in the coffin of conventional empirical reasoning, and perhaps even reason as a whole.

[13] This interpretation is corroborated by Heraclitus the Homeric commentator (no relation, but there are definitely far to many Heraclitus-es running around) in his treatise The Homeric Allegories, where he identifies the cyclops as the bestial spirit of man devoid of higher reasoning and relying thus solely on immediate perception, similar to the modern imagining of the character in James Joyce’s Ulysses.

The involvement and support of so innumerably many Heraclitus-es simply serves as further bond of Truth by Symmetry. It is to be expected that the comic poems, Macedonian history, and “treatise on stones” of other Heraclituses would be further proof yet, were it but for the fact that these have all been lost for some none too few centuries.

[14]  The only other reasonable option would be to interpret Baios as more directly representing the clouding of judgment and the muddling of perception by gullibility leading to false convictions and false leaps of reason, but this is obviously absurd and in no way relates to the subject or composition of this paper.


Daniel Galef (1781–1871) was an obscure poet and philosopher now chiefly remembered for a series of obscene sonnets lampooning the British gentry, for whose publication he was condemned to Canada. These were later (without permission) adapted into the feature film Citizen Kane. His other posthumous writings can be found in Philosophy Now, the Café Irreal, the American Bystander, the Asses of Parnassus, the Journal of Irreproducible Results, the Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and forthcoming in the 2020 Best Small Fictions Anthology.