Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers (English) (XML Header) [word count] [lemma count] [Diog. Laert.].
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Pythagoras had a wife, Theano by name, daughter of Brontinus of Croton, though some call her Brontinus's wife and Pythagoras's pupil. He had a daughter Damo, according to the letter of Lysis to Hippasus, which says of him, "I am told by many that you discourse publicly, a thing which Pythagoras deemed unworthy, for certain it is that, when he entrusted his daughter Damo with the custody of his memoirs, he solemnly charged her never to give them to anyone outside his house. And, although she could have sold the writings for a large sum of money, she would not, but reckoned poverty and her father's solemn injunctions more precious than gold, for all that she was a woman."


They also had a son Telauges, who succeeded his father and, according to some, was Empedocles' instructor. At all events Hippobotus makes Empedocles say note:

Telauges, famed

Son of Theano and Pythagoras.

Telauges wrote nothing, so far as we know, but his mother Theano wrote a few things. Further, a story is told that being asked how many days it was before a woman becomes pure after intercourse, she replied, "With her own husband at once, with another man never." And she advised a woman going in to her own husband to put off her shame with her clothes, and on leaving him to put it on again along with them. Asked "Put on what?" she replied, "What makes me to be called a woman."


To return to Pythagoras. According to Heraclides, the son of Serapion, he was eighty years old when he died, and this agrees with his own description of the life of man, though most authorities say he was ninety. And there are jesting lines of my own upon him as follows note:

Not thou alone from all things animate Didst keep, Pythagoras. All food is dead When boil'd and bak'd and salt-besprinkle-├Ęd;

For then it surely is inanimate.

Again note:

So wise was wise Pythagoras that he Would touch no meats, but called it impious, Bade others eat. Good wisdom : not for us

To do the wrong; let others impious be.


And again note:

If thou wouldst know the mind of old Pythagoras, Look on Euphorbus' buckler and its boss.

He says "I've lived before." If, when he says he was, He was not, he was no-one when he was.

And again, of the manner of his death note:

Woe! Woe! Whence, Pythagoras, this deep reverence for beans? Why did he fall in the midst of his disciples? A bean-field there was he durst not cross; sooner than trample on it, he endured to be slain at the cross-roads by the men of Acragas.

He flourished in the 60th Olympiad note and his school lasted until the ninth or tenth generation. 8.1.46 For the last of the Pythagoreans, whom Aristoxenus in his time saw, were Xenophilus from the Thracian Chalcidice, Phanton of Phlius, and Echecrates, Diocles and Polymnastus, also of Phlius, who were pupils of Philolaus and Eurytus of Tarentum.

There were four men of the name of Pythagoras living about the same time and at no great distance from one another : (1) of Croton, a man with tyrannical leanings ; (2) of Phlius, an athlete, some say a trainer ; (3) of Zacynthus ; (4) our subject, who discovered the secrets of philosophy [and taught them], and to whom was applied the phrase, "The Master said" (Ipse dixit), which passed into a proverb of ordinary life. 8.1.47 Some say there was also another Pythagoras, a sculptor of Rhegium, who is thought to have been the first to aim at rhythm and symmetry ; another a sculptor of Samos ; another a bad orator ; another a doctor who wrote on hernia and also compiled some things about Homer ; and yet another who, so we are told by Dionysius, wrote a history of the Dorian race. Eratosthenes says, according to what we learn from Favorinus in the eighth book of his Miscellaneous History, that the last-named was the first to box scientifically, in the 48th Olympiad, note keeping his hair long and wearing a purple robe ; and that when he was excluded with ridicule from the boys' contest, he went at once to the men's and won that ; 8.1.48 this is declared by Theaetetus's epigram note: Know'st one Pythagoras, long-haired Pythagoras,

The far-fam'd boxer of the Samians?

I am Pythagoras ; ask the Elians

What were my feats, thou'lt not believe the tale.

Favorinus says that our philosopher used definitions throughout the subject matter of mathematics ; their use was extended by Socrates and his disciples, and afterwards by Aristotle and the Stoics.

Further, we are told that he was the first to call the heaven the universe and the earth spherical, note though Theophrastus says it was Parmenides, and Zeno that it was Hesiod.

Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers (English) (XML Header) [word count] [lemma count] [Diog. Laert.].
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