Saturday, April 15, 2017

M for Myia: Female Scientists Before Our Time


As a Pythagorean philosopher and mathematician, you might say Myia fell into Pythagoreanism quite naturally. Her father, Pythagoras himself, founded the movement around 530 BC and her mother, Theano, was a devout pupil and follower.

As a girl, Myia led a seeming active life. She led a choir and one might suppose she loved to sing as well. As an adult, she was considered devoutly religious, but a remark by Lucian, a satirist known for his wit and cynicism, does not paint a picture of a quiet young woman. He claimed her history was known to everyone, which of course could mean half a dozen things. 


Myia went on to marry a famous athlete, Milo of Croton, a wrestler. It’s said he saved his father-in-law’s life when a pillar collapsed and he held up the roof so Pythagoras could escape to safety. Milo won many victories as a wrestler, including six times as an Olympiad athlete.
Milo of Croton, marble - Edme Dumont (1722–1775)
Myia perhaps led a quieter life back at home tending to family. A letter survives written by Myia, in which she advises a woman on the care of her baby. She suggested “moderation in all things” for the child - food, clothing, heating, etc., even the baby’s nurse. One of the dictates of Pythagoreanism for women was to “learn practical domestic skills” in addition to the philosophy.

Pythagorean philosophy in general was greatly influenced by mathematics and mysticism. Much of the teaching can be traced to different disciplines and peoples. From the Egyptians came geometry, the Phoenicians - arithmetic, the Chaldeans - astronomy, and the Magians - religion and practical dictates for conducting one’s life. 


Pythagoreans celebrate sunrise - Fyodor Bronnikov
Pythagoras and his followers also explored the fields of music, astronomy and medicine. “Pythagoreans distinguished three kinds of lives: Theoretic, Practical and Apolaustic.” [Apolausic defined - dedicated to enjoyment].




Source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myia; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milo_of_Croton; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagoreanism


18 comments:

  1. Myia was certainly a lady "Of Her Time" and probably influencened many who came after her time. Another Great Lady and Post.

    Yvonne:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She was born into an educated family, which certainly helped.

      Delete
  2. Nice to hear Pythagoras passed on the philosophy and maths to his daughter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it probably gave her certain advantages, as to her acceptance in society. She appears to have married well.

      Delete
  3. Very well researched and well written.
    A squared plus B squared equals C squared. (That's what I know best about her father's work.)
    The moderation in all things idea still exists today. She must have been very wise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. You know more about the math than I do :)

      Delete
  4. Sounds as if she was the success of both parents. Wonder what happened to her children?

    http://sagecoveredhills.blogspot.com/2017/04/m-is-for-meteors-and-mars.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No mention of children directly that I could find. Just a guess on my part.

      Delete
  5. Hi Sharon - fascinating information you've given us here ... I didn't know a lot of this - so it's great to be able to be back to remind myself. Myia - interesting practical scientist - mind you she came from good stock!!! Cheers and Happy Easter - Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/m-is-for-melton-mowbray-market-national.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fab - how interesting! I a also doing a similar theme - extraordinary women, of the past, many of them, but also of today. (I've just had a book published with Macmillan, poems on Extraordinary women and Girls, called reaching for the Stars, written with tow other poets). ~Liz

    http://www.lizbrowneepoet.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! I need to check your a-z too. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  7. Thanks Sharon, these women from times past continue to amaze and inspire. Thank you for your research into them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I draw inspiration writing about them!

      Delete
  8. I Hand it to her dad who was willing to teach her. She was another great mind and I am wondering where you found all the information on these great women??

    ReplyDelete
  9. She was fortunate no doubt there! Wikipedia is a good source, but you need to follow the links to verify info and to get a rounder view. I had to eliminate some choices for lack of enough information. Thanks Birgit!

    ReplyDelete

"Stay" is a charming word in a friend's vocabulary
(A.B. Alcott). Stay and visit awhile. Your comments mean a lot to me.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...