Cleinias of Tarentum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Cleinias of Tarentum (Greek: Κλεινίας; fl. 4th-century BCE) was a Pythagorean philosopher,[1] and a contemporary and friend of Plato, as appears from the story (perhaps otherwise worthless) which Diogenes Laërtius gives on the authority of Aristoxenus, to the effect that Plato wished to burn all the writings of Democritus which he could collect, but was prevented by Cleinias and Amyclus of Heraclea.[2] In his practice, Cleinias was a true Pythagorean. Thus we hear that he used to assuage his anger by playing on his harp; and, when Prorus of Cyrene had lost all his fortune through a political revolution, Cleinias, who knew nothing of him except that he was a Pythagorean, took on himself the risk of a voyage to Cyrene, and supplied him with money to the full extent of his loss.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

A text written by Cleinias exists among some other Pythagorean philosophers' at the end of Iamblichus' "Life of Pythagoras" in the referenced edition, where his name is spelled "Clinias".[10]


  1. ^ Elder, Edward (1867). "Cleinias". In William Smith. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. p. 782.
  2. ^ Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers (ed. R.D. Hicks)ix. 40
  3. ^ comp. Thrige, Res Cyrenensium, § 48
  4. ^ Iamblichus of Chalcis, Vit. Pyth. 27, 31, 33
  5. ^ Claudius Aelianus, Varia Historia xiv. 23
  6. ^ Perizon. ad loc.
  7. ^ Chamael. Pont. ap. Athenaeus xiv. 623, ff.
  8. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Fragm. lib. x.
  9. ^ Johann Albert Fabricius, Bibl. Graec. i. pp. 840, 886
  10. ^ Iamblichus: Pythagorean Life, translated by Thomas Taylor, London J.M.Watkins 1818, (page 167 of the pdf version)