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1. The most celebrated of the female philosophers of the Pythagorean school, appears to have been the wife of Pythagoras, and the mother by him of Telauges, Mnesarchus, Myia, and Arignote; but the accounts respecting her were various. Some made her a daughter of Pythonax of Crete, others of Brontinus of Croton, while, according to others, she was the wife of Brontinus, and the disciple of Pythagoras. Her traditional fame for wisdom and virtue was of the highest order, and some interesting sayings are ascribed to her by Diogenes Laertius, and by Clemens Alexandrinus (Strom. iv. p. 522). Diogenes also informs us that she left some writings, but he does not mention their titles. Suidas ascribes to her ὑπομνήματα φιλόσοφα καὶ ἀποφθέγματα καὶ ποίημά τι δἰ ἐπῶν.


Several interesting letters are still extant under her name; and though it is now universally admitted that they cannot be genuine, they are valuable remains of a period of considerable antiquity.


They were first edited in the Aldine collection of Greek Epistles, Venet. 1499, 4to.; then in the similar collection of Cujacius, Aurel. Allob. 1606, fol.; then in Gale's Opuscula Mythologica, pp. 84, foll. Cantab. 1671, Amst. 1688; then, far more accurately in Wolf's Mulierum Graecarum Fragmenta, pp. 162, foll. 1739, 4to.; and lastly in Io. Conrad Orelli's Socratis et Socraticorum, Pythagorae et Pythagoreorum, quae feruntur Epistolae, pp. 55, foll. Lips. 1815, 8vo.; the Greek text is also printed with Wieland's admirable translation of the letters, Leipz. 1791, 8vo. Wieland's translation is reprinted at the end of Orelli's work.

Further Information

D. L. 8.42, foil.; Suid. s.v. Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. i. pp. 687, 884; Orelli, ut sup. cit. p. 307. )

Theano of Metapontum

Suidas mentions another Theano, of Metapontum or Thurium, also a Pythagorean, the wife of Carystus or Croton or Brontinus; who wrote works on Pythagoras, on Virtue addressed to Hippodamus of Thurium, παραινέσεις γυναικείας, and ἀποφθέγματα Πυθαγορείων. It is pretty clear, however, that this is only another account, somewhat more confused, of the celebrated Theano. (Comp. Fabric. vol. i. p. 885.)

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