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Perictione

and PERICTYONE (Περικτιόνη, Περικτυόνη, the former being the more common form), is said to have been the mother of Plato, who was born B. C. 429. Diogenes Laertius (7.1) and Suidas (s.v. Πλάτων) call her also Potone, which was the name of Plato's sister. (Suid. s. v. Ποτώνη.) Through Perictione, Plato was descended from Solon, (see pe-digree of GLAUCON,) though Olympiodorus in his life of Plato traces his descent from Solon through his father, and from Codrus through his mother, reversing the statements of Diogenes Laiertius (l.c.) and Apuleius (de Dogm. Plta.). It is a shrewd conjecture of Bentley's (Diss. on Phalaris, vol. i. p. 421, ed. 1836), that, as it was thought "a point of decorum to make even the female kindred of philosophers copy after the men," certain passages bearing the name of Perictione, and quoted by Stobaeus (Florileg. 1.62, 63, 79.50, 85.19), are spurious, and, for the reason above given, received the name of Plato's mother. This is strengthened by the fact, stated by Bentley, that Iambilichus mentions no such name in his copious list of Pythagorean women. Besides, the first two extracts are in the Doric, and the last two (not one, as Bentley, through oversight, says) are in the Ionic dialect. "And why should she write philosophy in two dialects ?" We have no other trace of this last Perictione, if indeed there was such a woman, save in the extracts given by Stobaeus; and the two last fragments are undoubtedly spurious, whatever be determined regarding those in the Doric dialect.

[W.M.G]

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429 BC (1)
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