|© 1998 Bernard SUZANNE||Last updated December 13, 1998|
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This page is part of the "tools" section of a site, Plato and his dialogues, dedicated to developing a new interpretation of Plato's dialogues. The "tools" section provides historical and geographical context (chronology, maps, entries on characters and locations) for Socrates, Plato and their time. By clicking on the minimap at the beginning of the entry, you can go to a full size map in which the city or location appears. For more information on the structure of entries and links available from them, read the notice at the beginning of the index of persons and locations.
Greek colony in Cyrenaica, a province of northeastern
Libya, along the African shores of the Mediterranean
The city of Cyrene was founded by Mynians, descendants of the Argonauts who had migrated to Lemnos and then to Sparta, and, from there, had followed Theras to the island of Thera. Obeying an oracle from the Pythoness of Delphi, they moved from Thera to Lybia under the leadership of Battus, a descendant of the Argonaut Euphemus (Herodotus, IV, 145-158).
Cyrene is the birthplace of Theodorus, the mathematician staged in the Theætetus, Sophist and Statesman (Theætetus, 143d). We don't know much about this Theodorus, except for what we can derive from Plato's above mentioned dialogues. Diogenes Lærtius (Lives, II, 103) says that Plato attended lectures by him, but this may be a late deduction from the dialogues. Cyrene was also the birthplace of another Socratic philosopher, Aristippus , whose hedonistic school took the name "Cyrenaic" as a result.