Timycha

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Timycha of Sparta (Greek : Τιμύχα Λακεδαιμονία; early 4th century BC), [1] along with her husband Myllias of Croton (Μυλλίας Κροτωνιάτης), was a member of a group of Pythagorean pilgrims, who were attacked by Syracusian soldiers on their way to Metapontum, because they had rejected the friendship of the tyrant Dionysius the Elder. Although they had the option of running through a field of beans to escape, they would not, as this was a taboo to them. Instead they fought and died, with the exception of the pregnant Timycha and her husband, who were captured. Dionysius questioned her as to the reason for this taboo, but she refused to answer. Instead, she bit off her tongue and spat it at his feet in a gesture of defiance. [2]

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References

  1. The Philosophers of the Ancient World: An A-Z Guide By Trevor Curnow. p.273
  2. On the Pythagorean Life By Iamblichus p.82-84, translation with notes by Gillian Clark, 1989