itiates: "Clad in white robes I speed me from the genesis of mortal men, and never more approach the vase of death, for I have done with eating food that ever housed a soul." Such words could well be put into the mouth of a Br[=a]hman or Buddhist ascetic, eager to escape from the bonds of Sa[.m]s[=a]ra and such men cannot therefore justly be classed together indiscriminately with ribald revellers--the general mind-picture of a Bacchic company.
But, some one may say, Euripides and the Pythagoreans and Orphics are no evidence for the first century; whatever good there may have been in such schools and communities, it had ceased long before. On the contrary, the evidence is all against this objection. Philo, writing about 25 A.D., tells us that in his day numerous groups of men, who in all respects led this life of religion, who abandoned their property, retired from the world and devoted themselves entirely to the search for wisdom and the cultivation of virtue, were scattered far and wide throughout