Myson of Chenae

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Myson of Chenae (/ˈmsən, ˈmsɒn/; Greek: Μύσων ὁ Χηνεύς; fl. 6th-century BC), also called "of Chen", was, according to Plato, one of the Seven Sages of Greece. He is not to be confused with the Myson of 5th-century Athens who ran a pottery and inspired, and taught, many of the Mannerists including the Pan Painter.


According to Sosicrates, who quoted Hermippus, Myson was the son of Strymon, a tyrant of his country.[1] All sources agree that Myson was a plain farmer, though they differ as to his place of birth and residence. He is said to have lived in the village of Chen, though this is variously located in Laconia or Crete. He is also said to be "of Oeta", which seems to be a reference to Mount Oeta; but the reference is sometimes read as "Etea" instead, which again may have been in Laconia or else in Crete.[2] He died at the age of 97.[1]

In his Protagoras, Plato lists Myson of Chen as one of the Seven Sages of Greece, instead of Periander, who was claimed as one by Stobaeus, citing Demetrius of Phaleron as his authority. Eudoxus also lists Myson, but omits Cleobulus instead.

The Oracle of Delphi proclaimed Myson the wisest of all men when Anacharsis consulted it:

Myson of Chen in Oeta; this is he
Who for wiseheartedness surpasses thee;[1]


"We should not investigate facts by the light of arguments, but arguments by the light of facts."[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Diogenes Laërtius. Lives of the Eminent Philosophers. Translated by Robert Drew Hicks. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Volume 1. 1982. Page 113
  2. ^ Diogenes Laërtius 1.106-108; see also James Adam, Platonis Protagoras, page 159. Cambridge University Press 1893; Diodorus Siculus, de Virt. et Vit. p. 551; Pausanias, X 24.1; Clement of Alexandria Stromata. i. p. 299.; Stephen of Byzantium, χην and ητια.


  • Wikisource-logo.svg Laërtius, Diogenes (1925). "The Seven Sages: Myson" . Lives of the Eminent Philosophers. Vol. 1:1. Translated by Hicks, Robert Drew (Two volume ed.). Loeb Classical Library.