Philosopher, Deceased Person

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Who is Themistoclea?

Themistoclea was a priestess at Delphi. According to surviving sources she was Pythagoras’ teacher.

In his biography of Pythagoras in his Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, Diogenes Laërtius cites the statement of Aristoxenus that Themistoclea taught Pythagoras his moral doctrines:

Aristoxenus says that Pythagoras got most of his moral doctrines from the Delphic priestess Themistoclea.

Porphyry calls her Aristoclea, although there is little doubt that he is referring to the same person. Porphyry repeats the claim that she was the teacher of Pythagoras:

He taught much else, which he claimed to have learned from Aristoclea at Delphi.

The 10th-century Suda encyclopedia calls her Theoclea and states that she was the sister of Pythagoras, but this information probably arises from a corruption and misunderstanding of the passage in Diogenes Laertius.

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Also known as
  • Aristoclea

on July 23, 2013


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