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Pythias /ˈpɪθiəs/ (Greek: Πυθιάς, romanizedPūthiás), also known as Pythias the Elder, was a Greek biologist and embryologist.[1][clarification needed] She was the adoptive daughter of Hermias of Atarneus, as well as Aristotle's first wife.[2]

Personal life and family[edit]

Whilst Pythias' date of birth is unclear, her work flourished around 330 BC[1] and she died in Athens sometime after 355 BC whilst Aristotle, one of her husbands was in Athens.[citation needed]. Aristotle and Pythias had a daughter, Pythias the Younger.

Pythias the Younger[edit]

Pythias the Younger married three times, but is also said to have predeceased her father. Her first husband was Nicanor, Aristotle's nephew by his sister Arimneste. According to Aristotle's will, Nicanor was to manage the family affairs until his son, Nicomachus came of age. Pythias' second husband was Procles of Sparta. Pythias' third husband was Metrodorus, a physician.

Work in biology[edit]

Pythias supposedly worked with her husband, Aristotle, on an encyclopedia from the material they gathered on their honeymoon on Mytilene. She is reputed to have collected a range of specimens of living things. Kate Campbell Hurd-Mead suggests that the couple collaborated in the study of generation.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie; Joy Dorothy Harvey (2000). The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science: L-Z. Taylor & Francis. p. 1062. ISBN 978-0-415-92040-7. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  2. ^ Smith, William (1849). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. p. 627.