Phintys

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Phintys (or Phyntis, Greek: Φίντυς; 4th or 3rd century BC) was a Pythagorean philosopher. Nothing is known about her life, nor where she came from. She wrote a work on the correct behaviour of women, two extracts of which are preserved by Stobaeus.

Nothing is known about the life of Phintys. It is not even certain whether she wrote the work which bears her name. Stobaeus calls her the daughter of Callicrates;[1] and it has been suggested that she was the daughter of Callicratidas, the Spartan admiral who lived in the late 5th century BC,[2] but this is pure conjecture.[3] Two fragments of her work survive, written in the Doric dialect of the 4th or 3rd century BC.[3] Iamblichus lists a Philtys of Croton, daughter of Theophrius, in his catalogue of female Pythagoreans,[4] but apart from a similarity in names, there is no other reason to connect the two figures.

The two extracts of her work which survive are each about a page long. They focus on the need for a woman to be chaste, arguing that a woman wrongs the gods and natural law if she does not do so. She further states that a woman's greatest honour is to bear children which resemble their father, and that a woman must dress in moderation and not embellish her appearance. Although her arguments favour a traditional role for women, she does argue that it is important for a woman to practice philosophy because courage, justice, and intelligence are common to both men and women.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Stobaeus, iv. 23.11
  2. ^ Mary Ellen Waithe (1987)
  3. ^ a b Ian Plant (2004)
  4. ^ Iamblichus, Life of Pythagoras, 267

References[edit]

  • Plant, Ian (2004), Women Writers of Ancient Greece and Rome: An Anthology, Equinox, pp. 84–86, ISBN 1-904768-02-4 
  • Waithe, Mary Ellen (1987), A History of Women Philosophers: Volume I: Ancient Women Philosophers, 600 BC - 500 AD, Springer, ISBN 90-247-3368-5 

External links[edit]