Pythagorean Women: Their History and Writings by Sarah B. Pomeroy

By Sarah B. Pomeroy

In Pythagorean Women, classical pupil Sarah B. Pomeroy discusses the groundbreaking rules that Pythagoras confirmed for relatives lifestyles in Archaic Greece, similar to constituting a unmarried general of sexual behavior for girls and males. one of the Pythagoreans, girls performed a major function and took part actively within the philosophical existence. whereas Pythagoras inspired girls to be submissive to males, his reasoning was once according to the need to maintain concord in the house.

Pythagorean Women presents English translations of all of the earliest extant examples of literary Greek prose by way of Neopythagorean ladies, laying off gentle on their attitudes approximately marriage, the house, song, and the cosmos. Pomeroy units the Pythagorean and Neopythagorean girls vividly of their historic, ecological, and highbrow contexts, illustrated with unique pictures of websites and artifacts recognized to those women.

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Philtys, daughter of Theophris of Croton, is cited as a sister of Byndacus, though neither her father nor her brother is included in the catalog of male Pythagoreans. Cleachma is identified as a sister of the Lacedaemonian Autocharidas, who is also listed separately among the men. These women may have converted their brothers to Pythagoreanism or they may have been drawn to this philosophy through a brother’s enthusiasm. Similarly, in the second half of the fourth century BC, following her brother Metrocles, Hipparchia became a disciple of the Cynic Crates (Diog.

16 Porphyry (VPyth. 19) relates that Pythagoras attracted not only men as disciples but also women, among whom was Theano. Didymus (ca. 17 She became famous even among the neighboring barbarians, kings, and rulers. Theano also wrote some work (Diog. Laert. 43). Some undatable quotations and philosophical works attributed to an author named “Theano” may in fact be traceable to the original Theano (see chaps. 4 and 5). In other words, she became a famous wise woman, like the priestess at Delphi who had been Pythagoras’s teacher.

15 The women of Croton were reputed to be beautiful. 16 Helen was Dorian, and many of the known Pythagorean women also came from Sparta, Laconia, and the Spartan colony of Tarentum. Helen was beautiful; the women of Croton were therefore appropriate models for Helen’s portrait (fig. 2). 17 Furthermore, Pythagoras stated that a husband records his contract with his wife in their children (Iambl. VP 47). Pythagorean men were to abstain from intercourse with anyone except their own Wives, Mothers, Sisters, Daughters 23 lawful wife not only because the wives demanded it but also because a husband’s intercourse with a courtesan, or a slave, or with another man’s wife was merely to satisfy lust and not to produce children.

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