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Charles H. Kahn

Thales of Miletus, the most scientific member of the *Seven Sages, was credited in antiquity with the prediction of a solar *eclipse (Hdt. 1. 74. 2) that modern scholars have dated in 585 bce. He was reported to have advised the *Ionians to form a political union (Hdt. 1. 170. 3). Thales acquired legendary status as engineer, geometer, and astronomer; in Aristotle's view he was the first natural philosopher and cosmologist. Since Thales left no written work (with the dubious exception of a navigational handbook, a Nautical Astronomy in hexameter verse), it is impossible to know how much historical basis there is for the achievements attributed to him in the ancient tradition. These include various geometrical discoveries and feats of mensuration (e.g. calculating the height of the pyramids by the length of their shadow), the study of solstices and measurement of the astronomical seasons, and several physical theses: that the earth floats on water, that a magnetic stone has a *psychē since it makes things move, that all things are full of gods, and that *water is the archē, the beginning or first principle of all things (Arist.

Article

Theages  

William David Ross

Theages, pupil of *Socrates(1). *Plato(1) refers in the Republic (496b) to ‘the bridle of Theages’, the bad health which kept him out of politics and saved him for philosophy. On the basis of this reference an imitator of Plato wrote a Theages dealing with the relation between philosophy and politics, and this is included in the corpus of Plato's works.

Article

Theano  

Vicki Lynn Harper

Theano was probably the wife of *Pythagoras(1), possibly a daughter or disciple. She is said to have written a few things (Diog. Laert. 8. 43). Letters attributed to her and a fragment On Piety are of uncertain, though later, date. Texts in H. Thesleff, The Pythagorean Texts of the Hellenistic Period (1965).

Article

John Dillon

This work is anonymous in the manuscripts, but has been attributed to *Iamblichus(2), on the ground of his promise at the end of his On Nicomachus' Arithmetical Introduction (In Nic.) to write about the properties of the numbers within the decad. However, this is certainly not that work, but is a compilation of material, perhaps by a student, based on works of Anatolius and *Nicomachus(3).

Article

Theon (2) of *Smyrna (fl. c. 115–40 ce), Platonist (cf. plato(1)), author of an extant work, Aspects of Mathematics Useful for the Reading of Plato (Expos.), and of a lost commentary on the Republic. His treatise on the order of study of Plato's writings has recently been discovered in an Arabic translation. Aspects of Mathematics is an elementary work on arithmetic (especially on the types of numbers), the theory of musical harmony, and astronomy.

Article

Robert Sharples

Theophrastus of *Eresus in Lesbos, associate and successor of *Aristotle. In spite of a tradition that he had been a pupil of *Plato(1), it is probable that he first joined Aristotle when the latter was at *Assos. He became head of the Lyceum (see aristotle, §5) when Aristotle withdrew from Athens on the death of *Alexander (3) the Great. His most famous pupil was *Demetrius(3) of Phalerum, through whose influence he, though a *metic, was allowed to own property. He was also on friendly terms with *Cassander and *Ptolemy (1) I. He was succeeded as head of the school by *Straton(1).Theophrastus shared in, continued, and extended Aristotle's activity in every subject. His surviving works cover only a small part of the range of interests indicated by the lists of book-titles preserved in the biography by *Diogenes (6) Laertius (5.

Article

William David Ross and Simon Hornblower

Thrasymachus of Chalcedon (fl. c. 430–400 bce), *sophist and rhetorician, is best known for his defence, in *Plato(1)'s Republic, of the thesis that justice is the interest of the stronger. He played an important part in the development of Greek oratory, by his elaboration of the appeal to the emotions by means of elocution and ‘action’ (delivery), and in the development of prose style by his attention to rhythm and to the building up of periods (see prose-rhythm, greek). A surviving part of a work ‘on the constitution’ has, near the end, an interesting reference to *patrios politeia.

Article

thymos  

Douglas Cairns

Thymos (or thumos), cognate with Indo-European words meaning “smoke,” is one of a number of terms in Greek which associate psychological activity with air and breath. In the Homeric poems, thymos is one of a family of terms associated with internal psychological process of thought, emotion, volition, and motivation. Though the range of the term’s applications in Homer is wide, that in itself gives us a sense of the unity of cognitive, affective, and desiderative processes in Homeric psychology. No post-Homeric author can rival that range, but something of the richness of the Homeric conception of thymos as an interrelated set of motivations re-emerges in Plato’s conception of the tripartite soul in the Republic and the Phaedrus. Plato’s thymos represents a pared-down model of human agency typified by one central desire or aim in life but also exhibiting whatever further capacities of persons are necessary to enable it to pursue that aim in interaction with the other elements of the personality. As in Homer, the metaphorical agency of Plato’s thymos does not detract from the notion of the individual as the real centre of agency.

Article

In Italy, Pythagorean (see pythagoras(1)), the chief speaker in *Plato(1)'s Timaeus. We have no knowledge of him independent of this, and he may have been a fictitious character. The work in ps.-Doric dialect (see greek language, § 4) on the *soul, which passes under the name of Timaeus Locrus, is a late (probably 1st-cent.

Article

Compiled an extant brief lexicon of difficult words in *Plato(1).

Article

Timon (2) of Phlius (c. 320–230 bce), *Sceptic, follower of *Pyrrhon. After a period of poverty in his youth, when he earned a living as a dancer, he studied in *Megara with *Stilpon and then in *Elis with Pyrrhon, and later worked as a *sophist in Chalcedon. When he had enough money, he went to Athens, where he lived until his death. Only fragments of his numerous works survive. Of his tragedies, satyr-plays (see satyric drama), and ‘kinaidoi’ (see cinaedic poetry), not even the titles are given. Most fragments come from the Silloi (lampoons), in hexameters, a work in three books in which he ridiculed all philosophers, past and present, by contrast with Pyrrhon. Timon's*invectives against the conceit (τῦφος) of other philosophers, as well as his parodies (see parody, greek) of Homeric lines and scenes (see homer), have much in common with *Cynic writings and may have inspired *Lucian.

Article

Christopher Rowe

The belief that on death, some aspect of us—usually identified with the ‘*soul’ (ψυχή; see psychē)—survives to enter another body, is connected with the idea of immortality, supplying one possible destination for the disembodied soul. It is particularly associated with Pythagoreans (see pythagoras(1)), and later (?) with ‘Orphics’ (see orphism); in the 5th cent. it is attested in *Pindar (Ol. 2. 56–80), *Empedocles (DK 31 B115), and *Herodotus(1) (2. 123, which claims, probably wrongly, that Greeks borrowed it from Egypt). For Pythagoreans, the transmigrating entity retains its individual identity (DK 21 B7), but *Plato(1), who inherited the general idea from the Pythagoreans, specifies that souls do not remember previous bodily existences. ‘Transmigration’, or (in late sources) ‘metempsychosis’ (μετεμψύχωσις or μετενσωμάτωσις), is different from παλιγγενεσία (palingenesia), which strictly refers to the periodic recurrence of events in *Stoicism.

Article

Apart from the treatises on rhetoric, an important part of the Hellenistic philosophical curriculum (though see below), these fall into two parts:(a) the writings on political philosophy and statecraft of the years immediately preceding Cicero's governorship of Cilicia, and(b) the works on epistemology, ethics, and theology (standing in the place of physics) which were produced in the incredibly short period between February 45 and November 44. Cicero gives a list and account of his own philosophical writings at De divinatione 2. 1.In the De republica, a dialogue between P. *Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus , C. *Laelius(2) , and others, of which we have only parts of the six books (including the Somnium Scipionis, preserved as a whole by *Macrobius ), Cicero discusses the ideal state, always with an eye on the history of the Roman republic, and favours a constitution combining elements of all three main forms, monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy. His discussion reflects the political conditions of the time and looks to a wise counsellor (for which part Cicero may at one time have cast *Pompey ) as a remedy for Rome's political sickness.

Article

M. T. Griffin

A philosopher who accompanied *Brutus in his campaign against the triumvirs (see triumviri). He recorded, perhaps in a biography, prodigies (see portents) which preceded Brutus' last battle (Plut. Brut.48).

Article

Vicki Lynn Harper

Women in philosophy are recorded in antiquity, though extant writings are few, and there is controversy over dating and authorship of texts. Most of the women whom ancient sources identify as philosophers are associated with schools or societies that admitted women, or are related to philosophers who made education available to them. Women are reported as writing philosophical and mathematical works, and teaching in positions of authority in established schools.Pythagoreanism seems to have been hospitable to women from the start (see pythagoras(1)). This philosophical tradition, which held a doctrine of the *transmigration of *souls, began as a religious society at *Croton in the late 6th cent. bce. Pythagoras taught women as well as men, and many are associated with the society. *Iamblichus(2) names sixteen (Life of Pythagoras267), and other sources such as *Hermesianax (in Athenaeus 13), *Clement of Alexandria (Strom.

Article

Xenarchus taught at Alexandria, Athens, and Rome, and his acquaintances included the geographer Strabo and the emperor Augustus. He is best known for his critique of Aristotle’s fifth element, which constitutes the material of the heavenly bodies according to the De caelo. Xenarchus targeted in particular Aristotle’s reliance on direct correspondences between simple bodies and simple motions and suggested that the ontologically privileged fire “in its natural place” could perform circular motion and was thus a plausible candidate for the material constituent of the heavens. He made further contributions in physics, psychology, and ethics, but he does not seem to have shown the same interest in the Categories as his Peripatetic contemporaries.

We are able to date Xenarchus’ activity to the 1st century bce, probably towards the latter half, thanks to Strabo’s testimony that he (Strabo) was his pupil (14.5.4). From Strabo we also learn that Xenarchus quickly left his native Seleucia in Cilicia to teach at Alexandria and Athens, and finally at Rome. He was held in great honour thanks to his friendship with Arius of Alexandria, Augustus’ court philosopher and political adviser, as well as with Augustus himself.

Article

Xenocrates (1) of Chalcedon, son of Agathenor, disciple of *Plato(1) and head of the *Academy from 339 to 314 bce. He is presented to us as a man of impressive personality, with a combination of austere dignity and kindliness which exercised a great influence on all who came in contact with him. He was generally respected in Athens and was employed by the citizens as ambassador to *Antipater (1) in 322 bce.His philosophical contributions, so far as we can reconstruct them from the scanty evidence, were less impressive. He seems, in general, to have attempted to reproduce Plato's thought in a stereotyped and formalized system, though on one or two points he probably preserved the correct tradition of interpretation as against Aristotle. He also interested himself in giving a systematic account of the nature of the gods and daemons and their relations to the heavenly bodies, in a way which foreshadowed the constructs of later *Neoplatonism.

Article

Xenophanes of Colophon, poet, theologian, and natural philosopher, left Ionia (see ionians) at the age of 25, probably after the Persian Conquest in 545 bce, and led a wandering life for 67 years, as he tells us himself in a preserved passage from an elegiac poem (DK 21 B 8). He lived in several cities in Sicily, and is reported to have composed an epic on the colonization of *Elea (see colonization, greek), but the tradition that he was the teacher of *Parmenides is doubtful. He is credited with being the first author of satirical verses (Silloi). The extant fragments, in various metres and genres, include two long elegiac passages on how to conduct a civilized *symposium and on the civic importance of his own work and wisdom (sophiē).A skilful poet in the tradition of *Tyrtaeus and *Solon, Xenophanes carried the Ionian intellectual enlightenment to *Magna Graecia.

Article

Zeno (1), of Elea is portrayed by *Plato(1) (Prm. 127b) as the pupil and friend of *Parmenides, and junior to him by 25 years. Their fictional meeting with a ‘very young’ *Socrates (ibid.) gives little basis for firm chronology. We may conclude only that Zeno was active in the early part of the 5th cent. bce. Whether the work from which Plato makes him read was his only book is uncertain.

The most famous of Zeno's arguments are the four paradoxes about motion paraphrased by *Aristotle (Ph. 6. 9), which have intrigued thinkers down to Bertrand Russell in our era. The Achilles paradox proposes that a quicker can never overtake a slower runner who starts ahead of him, since he must always first reach the place the slower has already occupied. His task is in truth an infinite sequence of tasks, and can therefore never be completed. The Arrow paradox argues that in the present a body in motion occupies a place just its own size, and is therefore at rest. But since it is in the present throughout its movement, it is always at rest. The Dichotomy raises the same issues about infinite divisibility as the Achilles; the Arrow and the Stadium (an obscure puzzle about the relative motion of bodies) are perhaps directed against the implicit assumption of indivisible minima.

Article

Zeno (2), of Citium (*Cyprus), (335–263 bce), founder of *Stoicism. He came to Athens in 313 and is said to have studied with or been influenced by various philosophers, notably *Crates (2) the Cynic, *Antisthenes(1) the Socratic, and the Academics *Xenocrates (1) and particularly *Polemon(2), who seems to have stressed the notion of nature. Zeno taught in the *Stoa Poecile (‘Painted Colonnade’) which gave its name to Stoicism. He was well respected at Athens, and in old age, around 276 bce, was invited by *Antigonus(2) Gonatas to go to his court, but, according to Diogenes Laertius 7.9, he did not go, but sent two students, *Persaeus and Philonides of Thebes, instead.Zeno's writings established Stoicism as a set of ideas articulated into three parts: *logic (and theory of knowledge), *physics (and metaphysics), and ethics. See the general account of Zeno's School and its doctrines under Stoicism. The early writings of Zeno stressed that even basic moral rules could have justified exceptions. In Zeno's Republic an ideal community, radically rejecting convention, was developed.