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

(Δαμώ), a daughter of Pythagoras and Theano, who is mentioned By Iamblichus (Vit. Pythag. 100.28), but chiefly known to us from an epistle of Lysis, a Pythagorean, to one Hippasus or Hipparchus, quoted by Diogenes Laertius (8.42). In this we read that Pythagoras entrusted his writings to the care of Damo, and strictly forbad her to give them to any one. This command she strictly observed, although she was in extreme poverty, and received many requests to sell them; "for," he adds, " she thought her father's precepts more precious than gold: and this she did although a woman." But the genuineness of this last ungallant appendage is denied by Menage. (Historia Mulierum Philosopharum, 100.94.) The above command of Pythagoras was delivered to her in writing, and this document she gave when dying to her daughter Bistalia.