), a Scythian of princely rank, according to Herodotus (4.76
), the son of Gnurus, and brother of Saulius, king of Thrace; according to Lucian (Scytha
) the son of Daucetas.
He left his native country to travel in pursuit of knowledge, and came to Athens just at the time that Solon was occupied with his legislative measures.
He became acquainted with Solon, and by the simplicity of his way of living, his talents, and his acute observations on the institutions and usages of the Greeks, he excited general attention and admiration.
The fame of his wisdom was such, that he was even reckoned by some among the seven sages. Some writers affirmed, that after having been honoured with the Athenian franchise, he was initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries.
According to the account in Herodotus, on his return to Thrace, he was killed by his brother Saulius, while celebrating the orgies of Cybele at Hylaca. Diogenes Laertius gives a somewhat different version--that he was killed by his brother while hunting.
He is said to have written a metrical work on legislation and the art of war. Cicero (Tusc. Disp.
5.32) quotes from one of his letters, of which several, though of doubtful authenticity, are still extant. Various sayings of his have been preserved by Diogenes and Athenaeus. (Hdt. 4.46
; Plut. Sol. 5
, Conviv. Sept. Sapient. ; D. L. 1.101
, &c.; Strab. vii. p.303
; Lucian, Scytha
and Anacharsis; Athen. 4.159
, x. pp. 428, 437, xiv. p. 613; Aelian, V.H.