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Pythagorean Women Philosophers: Between Belief and Suspicion

by: Dutsch, D.M.

Category: New Books
Code: 26854
ISBN-13: 9780198859031 / 978-0-19-885903-1
ISBN-10: 0198859031 / 0-19-885903-1
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2020
Publication Place: Oxford
Binding: Cloth
Pages: 304
Book Condition: New
Comments: Oxford Studies in Classical Literature and Gender Theory

Pythagorean Women Philosophers
Between Belief and Suspicion
Dorota M. Dutsch
Oxford Studies in Classical Literature and Gender Theory
Draws attention to the role of women intellectuals in the history of Ancient Greek philosophy
Features new translations and readings of texts attributed to women, including newly discovered Syriac sayings of Theano
Offers a new approach to the questions of the historicity of women philosophers and the importance of pseudepigraphic texts circulating under female names

Women played an important part in Pythagorean communities, so Greek sources from the Classical era to Byzantium consistently maintain. Pseudonymous philosophical texts by Theano, Pythagoras' disciple or wife, his daughter Myia, and other female Pythagoreans, circulated in Greek and Syriac. Far from being individual creations, these texts rework and revise a standard Pythagorean script.

What can we learn from this network of sayings, philosophical treatises, and letters about gender and knowledge in the Greek intellectual tradition? Can these writings represent the work of historical Pythagorean women? If so, can we find in them a critique of the dominant order or strategies of resistance?

In search of answers to these questions, Pythagorean Women Philosophers examines Plato's dialogues, fragmentary historians, and little-known testimonies to women's contributions to Pythagorean thought. Adopting Paul Ricoeur's hermeneutics, Dutsch approaches such testimonies with a mixture of suspicion and belief. This approach allows the reader to alternate critique of the epistemic regimes that produced ancient texts with a hopeful reading, one which recognizes female knowledge and agency. Dutsch contends that the value of the Pythagorean text-network lies not in what it may represent but in what it is — a fictionalized version of Greek intellectual history that makes place for women philosophers. The book traces this alternative history, challenging us to rethink our own account of the past.

Table of Contents
Part I. Portraits
Introduction to Part I: A Portrait of the Master as a Young Woman-An Imaginative Commentary
I:Between Utopia and History: Ten Snapshots from a Pythagorean Family Album
II:Pictures from an Exhibition: The Making of a Female Sage
Part II. Impersonations
Introduction to Part II: Women and the Living Script
III:Les Dames du Temps Jadis: Women and the Pseudepigraphic Time Machine
IV:Ipsa Dixit: Letters of Pythagorean Women
Epilogue: From Theano to Saint Macrina
Part III. Texts and Translations
Note on Text and Translations
Letters of Advice
Notes from Vaticanus Graecus 578
Theophylact Simocatta, Theano to Eurydice

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Pythagorean Women Philosophers: Between Belief and Suspicion

by: Dutsch, D.M.

  • ISBN-13: 9780198859031 / 978-0-19-885903-1
  • ISBN-03: 0198859031 / 0-19-885903-1
  • Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2020