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Headword: Φερεκύδης
Adler number: phi,214
Translated headword: Pherekydes, Pherecydes
Vetting Status: high
Son of Babys; a Syrian; Syra[1] is one of the Cyclades islands, near to Delos. He lived in the time of Alyattes, king of [the] Lydians,[2] thus contemporary with the Seven Sages, and was born in about the forty-fifth Olympiad.[3] There is a story that Pythagoras[4] was taught by him, but that he had no instructor and instead trained himself after acquiring the secret books of the Phoenicians. Some record that he was the first to publish a composition in prose (although others attribute this to Kadmos of Miletos)[5] and that he introduced the first account of the migration of souls. He was jealous of the reputation of Thales[6] and died from an infestation of lice. This is a complete list of what he wrote: Seven Gulfs or Divine Mixture or Birth of the Gods. There is also a Story of the Gods in ten books, containing the birth and successors[7] of the gods.
Greek Original:
Φερεκύδης, Βάβυος, Σύριος: ἔστι δὲ νῆσος μία τῶν Κυκλάδων ἡ Σύρα, πλησίον Δήλου. γέγονε δὲ κατὰ τὸν Λυδῶν βασιλέα Ἀλυάττην, ὡς συγχρονεῖν τοῖς ζ# σοφοῖς: καὶ τετέχθαι περὶ τὴν με# Ὀλυμπιάδα. διδαχθῆναι δὲ ὑπ' αὐτοῦ Πυθαγόραν λόγος: αὐτὸν δὲ οὐκ ἐσχηκέναι καθηγητήν, ἀλλ' ἑαυτὸν ἀσκῆσαι, κτησάμενον τὰ Φοινίκων ἀπόκρυφα βιβλία. πρῶτον δὲ συγγραφὴν ἐξενεγκεῖν πεζῷ λόγῳ τινὲς ἱστοροῦσιν, ἑτέρων τοῦτο εἰς Κάδμον τὸν Μιλήσιον φερόντων, καὶ πρῶτον τὸν περὶ τῆς μετεμψυχώσεως λόγον εἰσηγήσασθαι. ἐζηλοτύπει δὲ τὴν Θάλητος δόξαν. καὶ τελευτᾷ ὑπὸ πλήθους φθειρῶν. ἔστι δὲ ἅπαντα ἃ συνέγραψε, ταῦτα: Ἑπτάμυχος ἤτοι Θεοκρασία ἢ Θεογονία. ἔστι δὲ θεολογία ἐν βιβλίοις δέκα, ἔχουσα θεῶν γένεσιν καὶ διαδόχους.
OCD(4) s.v. Pherecydes(1); FGrH 3 T1. See also phi 216 and phi 217 (Pherekydes of Athens and Pherekydes of Leros) There is much confusion between the three in the sources: see Jacoby ad loc., as well as Schibli, Toye and Fowler, for differing opinions.
[1] More usually, then as now, called Syros; Barrington Atlas map 57 grid C4.
[2] alpha 1423.
[3] 600-597; Jacoby emends to 'forty-ninth' (584-581), citing Diogenes Laertius 1.121.
[4] pi 3120, etc.
[5] kappa 22, etc.
[6] theta 17, etc.
[7] Or, by a likely emendation proposed by Preller, 'successions' (διαδοχάς vs. διαδόχους ).
H.S. Schibli, Pherekydes of Syros (Oxford, 1990)
D.L.S. Toye, Pherekydes (Diss: Univ. of California Santa Barbara, 1991)
R.L. Fowler, "The Authors Named Pherecydes." Mnemosyne 52 (1997) 1-15
Keywords: biography; chronology; geography; historiography; history; medicine; mythology; philosophy; religion; zoology
Translated by: William Hutton on 21 February 2001@15:40:34.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented bibliography) on 22 February 2001@03:27:49.
William Hutton (Added to bibliography) on 24 February 2001@10:58:52.
David Whitehead (expanded n.1; tweaka and cosmetics) on 13 July 2009@07:41:55.
David Whitehead (more x-refs; tweaking) on 5 December 2013@06:42:02.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 6 August 2014@10:39:57.


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