Theagenes of Rhegium
|Born||c. 6th century BCE|
|Region||Ancient Greek philosophy|
Theagenes's writings are lost, the only information about his life or his doctrines must be reconstructed from summaries, fragments and characterizations of his work in later authors. Theagenes was one of the earliest proponents of the allegorical method of reading texts, defending the mythology of Homer from more rationalist attacks, possibly as a response to the criticisms of early Greek philosophers such as Xenophanes. It has also been argued that Pherecydes of Syros anticipated Theagenes.
In the Diels-Kranz numbering for testimony and fragments of Pre-Socratic philosophy, Theagenes of Rhegium is catalogued as number 8. The most recent edition of this catalogue is: Diels, Hermann; Kranz, Walther (1957). Plamböck, Gert (ed.). Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (in Ancient Greek, Latin, and German). Rowohlt. ISBN 5875607416..
- Brisson, Luc (15 November 2008). How Philosophers Saved Myths: Allegorical Interpretation and Classical Mythology. University of Chicago Press. pp. 35–36. ISBN 978-0-226-07538-9. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
Whatever his presuppositions may be, the author of this commentary on the Orphic theogony is clearly heir to an interpretive tradition pertaining primarily to the Iliad and the Odyssey. According to Porphyry, this interpretive tradition goes back to Theagenes of Rhegium.
- Cole, Thomas (1991). The Origins of Rhetoric in Ancient Greece. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-8018-4055-5. Retrieved 3 August 2023.
Nothing comparable survives from writers earlier than Protagoras and Parmenides. The earliest clear samples of allegorical narrative used rhetorically are thus later, by at least a generation, than allegorical interpretation itself (Theagenes) or rationalized and "corrected" mythological narrative (Stesichorus)
- Naddaf, Gerard (2 July 2010). "Allegory and the Origins of Philosophy". In Wians, William (ed.). Logos and Muthos: Philosophical Essays in Greek Literature. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-1-4384-2743-0. Retrieved 4 August 2023.</ref>
- Kennedy, George Alexander (12 August 1993) . The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: Volume 1, Classical Criticism. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-31717-7. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1870). "Theagenes". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
- Tate, J. (1927). "The Beginnings of Greek Allegory" (PDF). Classical Review. 41: 214–215. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
- Vernant, Jean-Pierre (1982). Mythe et société en Grèce ancienne (in French). F. Maspero. ISBN 978-2-7071-0679-7.