Theano (fl. 6th c. BCE)

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Theano (fl. 6th c. bce)

Greek composer, poet, and philosopher. Name variations: Theano of Crotona. Flourished in the 6th century bce; married Pythagoras (c. 582–c. 500 bce, a Greek philosopher and mathematician who was devoted to the reformation of politics, morality, and society); children: daughters Arignote, Myia , and Damo; sons Telauges and Mnesarchus.

Although almost everyone knows about the Pythagorean theorem, created by Pythagoras, few realize the influence music had on this Greek mathematician's concepts. Pythagoras was married to Theano, who was a composer, poet, singer, and dancer. She taught him that the spheres and stars of heaven moved in eternal song and dance. She organized rites for her followers so that they could achieve inner harmony through movement to the music. This concept of natural harmonic movement was very influential in Greek thought. Other women flourished in the Pythagorean school, including Aristoclea , the teacher of Pythagoras at Delphi, Damo , Theano and Pythagoras' daughter, and Theoclea , who became a high priestess.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia