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Xenophilus, depicted as a medieval scholar in the Nuremberg Chronicle.[1]

Xenophilus (Greek: Ξενόφιλος; 4th century BC) of Chalcidice,[2] was a Pythagorean philosopher and musician, who lived in the first half of the 4th century BC.[3] Aulus Gellius relates that Xenophilus was the intimate friend and teacher of Aristoxenus, and implies that Xenophilus taught him Pythagorean doctrine.[4] He was said to have belonged to the last generation of Pythagoreans, and he is the only Pythagorean known to have lived in Athens in the 4th century BC.[5] We learn from Diogenes Laërtius that Aristoxenus wrote that when Xenophilus was once asked by someone how he could best educate his son, Xenophilus replied, "By making him the citizen of a well-governed state."[6] According to Pseudo-Lucian, Aristoxenus is supposed to have said that Xenophilus lived 105 years.[7] Xenophilus enjoyed considerable fame in the Renaissance, apparently because of Pliny's claim that he lived 105 years without ever being sick.[8]


  1. ^ Die Schedelsche Weltchronik, 079
  2. ^ Pythagoreanism entry by Carl Huffman in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  3. ^ Kathleen Freeman, 1983, Ancilla to the pre-Socratic philosophers, page 81, Harvard University Press
  4. ^ Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, iv. 11
  5. ^ David E. Hahm, 1977, The origins of Stoic cosmology, page 225. Ohio State University Press
  6. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, viii. 15-16
  7. ^ Pseudo-Lucian, Macrobii, 18; cf. Valerius Maximus, viii. c. 13, Pliny, Naturalis Historia, vii. 50
  8. ^ Kevin Patrick Siena, Sins of the flesh: responding to sexual disease in early modern Europe, page 95. Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies.