We don't know anything
for sure about the life of Timaeus the philosopher,
and the few information we have are taken directly from
the texts in which the philosopher is mentioned. He
probably lived in the IV century b.C.
and died at a good old age after having been in
charge of high government offices in the polis of Locri
Epizephyrii for a long time. It is, also, supposed that he
has been the author of
many books of science and philosophy; texts that, unfortunately,
have all been lost over the centuries.
Except for one of the theories, developed by the
philosopher, which has been handed down by
the historical tradition in a pseudepigraph work entitled
"Περὶ φύσιος κόσμω καὶ ψυχᾶς"
("On the nature of the world and the soul"); a text
that is nothing but a sort of summary of what Timaeus argues in the
dialogue "Τίμαιος" ("Timaeus") to him dedicated by Plato.
In the same dialogue, Socrates, speaking about the Locrian philosopher, says:
"Our friend Timaeus is a native of a most well-governed State,
Italian Locris, where he is inferior to none of its citizens
either in property or in rank; and not only he has occupied
the highest law offices of his State, but he has also attained,
in my opinion, the highest eminence in all branches of philosophy.
(Plato, Timaeus, II)
Also Dante, the Great poet, mentions Timaeus speaking about his
theory on the soul, in the IV canto of the Paradiso:
"Quel che Timeo dell'anime argomenta
non è simile a ciò che qua si vede
però che, come si dice, par che senta".
"That which Timaeus argues of the soul
do not resemble that which here is seen
because it seems that, as it's said, he thinks".
(Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy - Paradiso, canto IV, 49-51)
It is also supposed that, thanks to Timaeus, Locri
thriving philosophical school that instructed many capable philosophers,
legislators and also doctors such as, for instance, Philistion.
Euthymus is the first of a long series of Locrians
athletes (such as
Hagesidamus, of whom it's speak later on, Euthycles
and Keton, of whom we have very few information) who, for a
long period, took the lead in the Olympic games.
Euthymus, son of Astikles, won the Olympic games for three
times in a row in boxing competition, the first time in 484
b.C.; he enjoyed an exceptional reputation not only in his
native land, and his undoubted bravery was recognized by
many ancient writers such as Elianus, Pliny, Pausania and
Strabo. Of the last one, Strabo, we reproduce here his words
which remember the legend that tells how Euthymus defeated the
monster of Temesa, freeing the town from the yearly tribute
of a girl, chosen amongst the most beautiful, which the town
had to pay to the monster to avoid his rage:
(It is said that), when the Epizephyrian Locrians captured the city,
Euthymus the pugilist faced the monster, defeated him in the fight
and forced him to release the natives from the tribute.
(Strabo, Geography VI, 5)
Quite apart from the legends which grew themselves
around his name, the fame and the bravery of Euthymus are
confirmed by the tradition which handed down that, after his
death, occurred in tragic circumstances, he was mourned not
only in his own homeland, Locri Epizephyrii, but in the whole Greek world.
Exactly as Euthymus,
Hagesidamus, son of Archestratus, took his fame from the victory in the Olympic games (476 b.C.) in boxing competition.
But, unlike Euthymus, his exploits
were handed down by Pindar who dedicated to Hagesidamus two of his Olympian Odes,
of which here you can read some fragments:
The highest Law rules
and Calliope and bronze-armored Ares are honored there.
The superior strength of Heracles even won the battle with Cycnus;
let Hagesidamus, in boxing victorious at Olympia,
offer thanks to Ilas, just as Patroclus did to Achilles
But on you (Hagesidamus)
the soft-singing lyre and the sweet flute
scatter grace and the Pierian
daughters of Zeus nurture your wide fame.
While I, earnestly lending my hand, have embraced
ancestry of the Locrians,
showering with honey the city of
and I praised the lovely son of Archestratus,
whom I saw at that time
beside the Olympic altar,
winning victory with the valour of his hands beautiful in form,
and blended with that youthful bloom which once
kept Ganymede from shameless death, with the help of Cyprian
And now know, Hagesidamus son of Archestratus,
for the sake of your boxing victory, that
I shall loudly sing, on your garland of golden olive,
a sweet song, adorned by
the honouring of the race of the Western Locrians.
(All) go There! And to the Muses
I shall pledge my word that they will find there a race
that does not repel the stranger, or is inexperienced in fine deeds,
but one that is wise and warlike too.
(Pindar, Olympian Odes XI, 10-19)
Thanks to the Odes (from which these fragments are taken) written by
Pindar, the name and the exploits of Hagesidamus reached our age.
We have few and fragmentary information about Senocrito,
musico and lyric poet of the ancient Locri who probably
lived in the second half of the seventh century b.C.; his
art was exalted in the De Musica, where he is placed
amongst the greatest musici of ancient Greece and reckoned
as one of the main representatives (along with
the likes of Thaletas of Crete) of the musical school of
Sparta, the most flourishing of antiquity (Pseudo-Plutarch, De Musica 9-10, 1134b-e).
Back in Locri, Senocrito founded a school of music and poetry (which was
attended by the likes of the poet Teano, Erasippo and
Mnaseas) in which he introduced the Spartan novelties, and
in particular, those concerning the introduction of
Dionysian elements in choral chants.
This school had to be very successful and made Locri
Epizephyrii one of the main centres of antiquity regarding
the art of music and hymnody and Senocrito one of the most
popular musici of his age; in fact Callimachus (Uncertain Fragmenta, 161  ),
referring to Senocrito, recalls him as:
Ὃς Ἰταλὴν ἐφράσαθ' ἁρμονίην.
"the one who invented the Italic harmony"
And even Pindar showed an extraordinary admiration for
him, professing himself his imitator and follower,
as in this fragment (of which this part is the more
readable) taken from one of the Papyri of Oxyrhynchus (Fr. 140b Snell-Maehler):
Amongst the renowned historical figures which Locri had
in the ancient ages, there was a cithara-bard, Eunomus, who
enjoyed a lot of fame.
And in Locri Epizephyrii, in that age, there was a statue
which depicted Eunomus with, in his hand, a cithara on which
were seated a cicada. Of this statue speaks Strabo who,
mentioning as source Timaeus, describes us the reason of the
presence of the cicada on the cithara of Eunomus' statue:
[…] Some time ago it was showed off in Locri a
statue of the cithara-bard Eunomus with a cicada
seated on the cithara. Timaeus affirms that Eunomus and
Ariston of Rhegium were once contesting with each
other at the Pythian games to gain the victory. […]
Ariston was none the less held in favour and hoped for
the victory, and yet Eunomus gained the victory and
set up the aforesaid statue in (his) native land,
because during the contest, when one of the chords
broke, a cicada lit on his cithara and supplied the
(Strabo, Geography VI, 9)
And so that's the reason for which on the statue dedicated to Eunomus
there was a cicada seated on the cithara-bard's cithara.
If we know very few things about the other renowned historical figures of the ancient
Locri Epizephyrii, of Teano we know even less.
Teano was a lyric poetess, probably contemporary of Stesichor (second
half of the seventh century b.C.). The
tradition handed down very few information about her; she
was instructed by Senocrito himself and attended the
thriving Locrian school of music and poetry. According to
scholars, her lyrics had as primary subjects the narration
and the glorification of the peculiarities and of the
vicissitudes of her own homeland, of her own city.
Her name is recorded in the Suda with a brief
note that allows to distinguish her from Teano, Pythagorean philosopher: