A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

(Ἀρήτη), daughter of Aristippus, the founder of the Cyrenaic school of philosophy. She was instructed by him in the principles of his system, which she transmitted to her son, Aristippus μητροδίδακτος, to whom Ritter (Gesch. der Phil. 7.1. 3) ascribes the formal completion of the earlier Cyrenaic doctrine. We are told by Diogenes Laertius (2.72), that her father taught her contentment and moderation, both by precept and practice, and the same duties are insisted on in an epistle now extant, said to be addressed to her by him. This letter is certainly spurious [ARISTIPPUS], although Laertius mentions among the writings of Aristippus an ἐπιστολὴ πρὸς Ἀρήτην τὴν Δυγατέρα. Whether the letter to which he refers was the same as that which we possess, is uncertain ; but the fact that it was extant in his time would not prove its authenticity. Aelian (Ael. NA 3.40) calls Arete the sister of Aristippus, but this assertion is opposed to the statement of all other writers; and, besides, the passage which contains it is corrupt. (D. L. 2.72, 86; Brucker, Hist. Crit. Phil. 2.2, 3.)