Diagoras - Encyclopedia




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DIAGORAS, of Melos, surnamed the Atheist, poet and sophist, flourished in the second half of the 5th century B.C. Religious in his youth and a writer of hymns and dithyrambs, he became an atheist because a great wrong done to him was left unpunished by the gods. In consequence of his blasphemous speeches, and especially his criticism of the Mysteries, he was condemned to death at Athens, and a price set upon his head (Aristoph. Clouds, 830; Birds, 1073 and Schol.). He fled to Corinth, where he is said to have died. His work on the Mysteries was called 'pirytot X6 yoL or 'A7roirvvyLSOvrES, in which he probably attacked the Phrygian divinities.

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