Brontinus (Greek: Βροντῖνος; fl. 6th century BCE), or Brotinus of Metapontum, was a Pythagorean philosopher, and a friend and disciple of Pythagoras himself. Alcmaeon dedicated his works to Brontinus as well as to Leon and Bathyllus.[1] Accounts vary as to whether he was the father or the husband of Theano.[2]

Some Orphic poems were ascribed to Brontinus. One was a poem On Nature (Physika),[3] another was a poem called The Robe and the Net[3] which was also ascribed to Zopyrus of Heraclea.[4]

His fame was sufficient for a spurious work to be ascribed to him in the Neopythagorean literature. Syrianus (5th century CE) refers to "Brotinus"[5] as an author of the view that the monad, or first cause, "transcends all kinds of reason and essence in power and dignity,"[6] whereby an attempt was made to insert an element of Platonism into Pythagoreanism,[7] which probably refers to Neoplatonism.

See also


  1. Diogenes Laërtius, viii. 83
  2. Diogenes Laërtius, viii. 42; Suda, Theanô; Iamblichus, Vit. Pyth. § 267.
  3. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, i. 131; Suda, Orpheus
  4. Kathleen Freeman, (1959), The pre-Socratic philosophers: a companion to Diels, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, page 6.
  5. Syrianus, In Metaph. 166
  6. Philip Merlan, (1963) Monopsychism mysticism metaconsciousness: Problems of the soul in the neoaristotelian and neoplatonic tradition, page 8. Nijhoff
  7. Elisabeth Gellert, Jelena O. Krstovic, (2001), Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism: Excerpts from Criticism of the Works of World Authors from Classical Antiquity Through the Fourteenth Century, page 236. Gale/Cengage Learning. ISBN 0-7876-5155-9
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