What are their powers?
The mentalists of antiquity were mostly philosophers but also learned men such as the Pythagorean, Zeno, Stoic, Pythagorean, Socrates and Philistines. They were thought to know the real nature of things, and thus, they lived their lives in the search for truth. They also believed in many magical arts, including many divination powers, divining rods and the like. The most famous of all the ancient mentalists was Zeno of Citium (c. 360 BC – c. 270 BC). Zeno was a philosopher born in Alexandria, Egypt in about 400 BC. After growing up into a young man, in his early manhood, he became a follower of the school of Aristotle (428–322 BC), who taught him about metaphysics. In this way, a philosopher would first study the nature and structure of the universe and the nature and essence of truth, and then by developing some of the other magical arts – from divination to astrology – he would find out if his theories were supported by any evidence.
Bacchylides, by Aristotle
Aristotle’s pupil, and brother-in-law, was Zeno of Citium. As far as is known, they became friends. In the beginning, however, Zeno was the only one who had a real chance to test the real nature of the universe – he was the one who was the best judge on the actual nature of matter and energy and thus, it comes to pass that his theories were right before the time of Pythagoras, since it was the Pythagoreans who invented these magic arts as well.
Philistines, Pythagoreans and Stoics used divinatory rods to help them study their surroundings. The Pythagoreans and Zeno also took an advantage of the fact that the stars always had their own special form and meaning – they knew these things by study and they used their knowledge in divinatory techniques with particular reference to their environment.
Bacchylides, by Democritus
The Stoics believed in the principle of “Meditation.” This principle can be summarized as follows: one should be very careful regarding one’s actions (that is, the decisions that one makes). It is this principle that makes Stoicism, the philosophy of no-self and self-control, so dangerous to all but a few people: it makes it practically impossible for people to make their own
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