Thales, Testimonia, Part 1: Person (P)

LCL 525: 212-213

Go To Section
Go To Section


Origins and Family (P2)

P2 (< A1) Diog. Laert. 1.22

ἦν τοίνυν ὁ Θαλῆς, ὡς μὲν ῾Ηρόδοτος [cf. 1.170] καὶ Δοῦρις [FGrHist 76 F74] καὶ Δημόκριτός [cf. ATOM. P23–P26] φασι, πατρὸς μὲν ᾽Εξαμύου, μητρὸς δὲ Κλεοβουλίνης, ἐκ τῶν Θηλιδῶν,1 οἵ εἰσι Φοίνικες, εὐγενέστατοι τῶν ἀπὸ Κάδμου καὶ ᾽Αγήνορος. [. . .] ἐπολιτογραφήθη δὲ ἐν Μιλήτῳ, ὅτε ἦλθε σὺν Νείλεῳ2 ἐκπεσόντι Φοινίκης· ὡς δ᾽ οἱ πλείους φασίν, ἰθαγενὴς Μιλήσιος ἦν καὶ γένους λαμπροῦ.

Alleged Education in Egypt (P3–P5)

P3 (< A1) Diog. Laert. 1.27

οὐδεὶς δὲ αὐτοῦ καθηγήσατο, πλὴν ὅτι εἰς Αἴγυπτον ἐλθὼν τοῖς ἱερεῦσι συνδιέτριψεν.

P4 (A11) Aët. 1.3.1 (Ps.-Plut.) [περὶ ἀρχῶν τί εἰσιν]

φιλοσοφήσας ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ ἦλθεν εἰς Μίλητον πρεσβύτερος.

P5 (A11) Iambl. VP 12

[. . .] προτρέψατο εἰς Αἴγυπτον διαπλεῦσαι καὶ τοῖς ἐν Μέμφιδι καὶ Διοσπόλει μάλιστα συμβαλεῖν ἱερεῦσι·



Origins and Family (P2)

P2 (< A1) Diogenes Laertius

Thales, as Herodotus, Duris, and Democritus [cf. R1] report, had as father Examuas and as mother Cleobuline, of the family of the Thelides, who are Phoenicians, the most noble of the descendants of Cadmus and Agenor. [. . .] He became a citizen of Miletus when he went there with Neileus, who had been exiled from Phoenicia. But according to what most authors report, he was of genuine Milesian lineage and belonged to an illustrious family.

Alleged Education in Egypt (P3–P5)

P3 (< A1) Diogenes Laertius

No one showed him the way, except that he went to Egypt and spent time with the priests.

P4 (A11) Aëtius

After he had practiced philosophy in Egypt, he came to Miletus as an old man.

P5 (A11) Iamblichus, Life of Pythagoras

[. . .] he exhorted him [i.e. Pythagoras] to sail to Egypt and to spend time above all with the priests of Memphis and

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.thales-person.2016