), a priestess of Mantineia, and the reputed instructor of Socrates. Plato, in his Symposium (p. 201d.), introduces her opinions on the nature, origin, and objects of life, which in fact form the nucleus of that dialogue. Some critics believe, that the whole story of Diotima is a mere fiction of Plato's, while others are inclined to see in it at least some historical foundation, and to regard her as an historical personage. Later Greek writers call her a priestess of the Lycaean Zeus, and state, that she was a Pythagorean philosopher who resided for some time at Athens. (Lucian, Eunuch.
18; Max. Tyr. Dissert.
8 ; comp. Hermann, Gesch. u. System. d. Plat. Philos.
i. p. 523, note 591; Ast, Leben u. Schriften Platos,