Woman philosopher of the Pythagorean school about human nature and upbringing

(Transl. from the ancient Greek by Vitalii Turenko)


  • Feano of Croton
  • Mia of Croton
  • Melissa
  • Fintis of Spartan
  • Esara of Lucan
  • Ptolemais of Cyrene




ancient woman philosophers, Pythagorean woman thinkers, human nature, upbringing, Theano of Crotone, Miya of Crotone, Melissa, Fintys of Sparta, Aesara of Lucania, Ptolemais of Cyrene


The article offers academic translation into Ukrainian of a number of works by Pythagorean woman philosophers, which reveal the problems of human nature and personality education. The focus is on such pseudo-epigraphs of ancient woman thinkers as two letters by Theano of Crotone, letters of Miya of Crotone and Melissa, as well as treatises by Fintys of Sparta "On a woman prudence", Aesara of Lucania "On human nature" and excerpts from Porphyry’s "Pythagorean music" which contain fragments of the works of Ptolemais of Cyrene. The main themes of the above works and letters are the education of the individual in general, and women in particular. Accordingly, the basis of education should be an element of restraint and prudence in everything. If the child is brought up on this basis, he will be able to be strong and resilient during certain life situations. In the treatises of the Pythagorean women-philosophers it is noted that through the study of our own human nature (namely, the human soul) we can understand the philosophical foundations of natural law and morality. Therefore, a woman should use in her life not fleeting emotions and reactions to a particular event, situation, but also be moderate and prudent. These texts are significant in the context of understanding gender issues in the Hellenistic era. Based on the translated works, we can say that, according to thinkers, a number of virtues are common to both sexes (courage, justice and wisdom), moderation or abstinence are more common in women. At the same time, the limitation of the social role of women reflects an understanding of the nature of the female soul. Accordingly, the normative principle of harmony must be implemented in the context of the specific social roles allowed to women. At the same time, the availability of these texts indicates that philosophy is possible for both men and women, thus emphasizing the importance of involving the latter in knowledge and scientific knowledge.


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How to Cite

Croton, F. of, Croton, M. of, Melissa, Spartan, F. of, Lucan, E. of, & Cyrene, P. of. (2021). Woman philosopher of the Pythagorean school about human nature and upbringing: (Transl. from the ancient Greek by Vitalii Turenko). Filosofiya Osvity. Philosophy of Education, 27(1), 239–260. https://doi.org/10.31874/2309-1606-2021-27-1-14






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