Bias of Priene - Encyclopedia


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BIAS of Priene in Ionia, one of the so-called Seven Sages of Greece, son of Teutamus, flourished about 570 B.C. He was famous for his patriotism, the nobility of his character and his eloquence. A number of gnomes or aphorisms are attributed to him, which may be found collected in F. W. A. Mullach, Fragmenta Philosophorum Graecorum (1860). He is said to have written a poem on the best means of making Ionia prosperous. His advice to its inhabitants, at the time of the Persian invasion, to migrate to Sardinia and there found a single pan-Ionic city (Herodotus i. 170), has generally been regarded as historical. One much-quoted saying of his may be mentioned. When his native town was besieged by the enemy, the inhabitants resolved to escape with their most valuable belongings. One of them seeing Bias without anything, advised him to follow the example of the rest. "I am doing so," said he, "for I carry all my belongings with me" (omnia mea mecum porto). He was honoured with a splendid funeral, and a sanctuary called Teutamium was dedicated to him.

See Bohren, De Septem Sapientibus (1860).

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