Diagorus, Testimonia

LCL 461: 334-335

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Greek Lyric


Testimonia Vitae Atque Artis

1 Sud. Δ 523 (ii 53 Adler)

Διαγόρας, Τηλεκλείδου ἢ Τηλεκλύτου, Μήλιος, φιλόσοφος καὶ ᾀσμάτων ποιητής· ὃν εὐφυᾶ θεασάμενος Δημόκριτος ὁ Ἀβδηρίτης ὠνήσατο αὐτὸν δοῦλον ὄντα μυρίων δραχμῶν καὶ μαθητὴν ἐποιήσατο. ὁ δὲ καὶ τῇ λυρικῇ ἐπέθετο, τοῖς χρόνοις ὢν μετὰ Πίνδαρον καὶ Βακχυλίδην, Μελανιππίδου δὲ πρεσβύτερος· ἤκμαζε τοίνυν οη΄ Ὀλυμπιάδι. καὶ ἐπεκλήθη Ἄθεος διότι τοῦτο ἐδόξαζεν, ἀφ᾿ οὗ τις ὁμότεχνος αἰτιαθεὶς ὑπ᾿ αὐτοῦ ὡς δὴ παιᾶνα ἀφελόμενος, ὃν αὐτὸς ἐπεποιήκει, ἐξωμόσατο μὴ κεκλοφέναι τοῦτον, μικρὸν δὲ ὕστερον ἐπιδειξάμενος αὐτὸν εὐημέρησεν. ἐντεῦθεν οὖν ὁ Διαγόρας λυπηθεὶς ἔγραψε τοὺς καλουμένους Ἀποπυργίζοντας λόγους, ἀναχώρησιν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔκπτωσιν ἔχοντας τῆς περὶ τὸ θεῖον δόξης. κατοικήσας δὲ Κόρινθον ὁ Διαγόρας αὐτόθι τὸν βίον κατέστρεψεν.

cf. [Hesych. Mil.] 17




1 Suda (1st notice)

Diagoras, son of Telecleides or Teleclytus, from Melos, philosopher and composer of songs; he was a slave, and Democritus2 of Abdera, noticing that he was talented, bought him for 10,000 drachmae and made him his pupil. He devoted himself to lyric poetry also, coming after Pindar and Bacchylides3 but before Melanippides. He flourished in the 78th Olympiad (468/464 b.c.).4 He was called ‘the atheist’, since this was his belief from the day when a fellow-poet, accused by him of stealing a paean which he had composed, denied the theft, but soon after produced the paean successfully as his own work. Diagoras, pained, wrote the so-called Tower-wrecking Discourses,5 which told of his apostasy and defection from his belief in God. He settled in Corinth and ended his days there.6

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.diagorus-testimonia.1992