Ellopion (Greek: Ελλοπίων) of Peparithos is referred as one among the many Greek philosophers who owed their knowledge to Egyptian teachers(1). He is noted to be a Socratic philosopher who is mentioned only by Plutarch in his works(2). He followed Plato to his travel in Egypt. There, he accompanied him and Simmias in philosophical discussions with Chonuphis of Memphis(3). But who was really Ellopion? He was born in the island of Peparithos (today Skopelos), in the North Sporades complex of islands, an agricultural society and a significant point of commerce. During the era of classical Greece, Peparithos geographically belonged to the Cyclades Island complex, a natural bridge for transition from southern Greece to the North and from the Eastern Hellenic mainland to Asia Minor(4). Cretans firstly colonized the island. During the Mycenaean period, Peparithos was already an island of three main cities and one big and unique harbor that unusually faced the north winds(5). Culture and religion prospered and one of the most significant Asclepieia of Greece existed there(6). All aspects of Ellopion’s life seemed great for him to further desire to explore and expand his abilities. He left Peparithos to be trained as a philosopher. Simmias of Thebes (Greek: Σιμμίας Θηβαῖος; ca 5th-4th century BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher, a beloved disciple of Socrates. Xenophon, in his work Memorabilia, includes him in the inner circle of Socrates’ followers(7). Plato (Greek: Πλάτων, 428/427 or 424/423-348/347 BC) was a central figure of the classical era Hellenic philosophy and the most prestigious pupil of Socrates. Plato was the teacher of Aristotle(8). Ellopion was the third of a small group of men who travelled to Egypt. Thus, he lived around late-5th century to mid-4th century BC, and almost certainly was Socrates’ pupil2-3. Most philosophers had been trained to medicine, as the art of medicine was taught inside the philosophical schools. The Socratics accepted the tripartite division of the soul, which when present gives life to the human body. The located parts of the soul within the human body are i) reason, which is in the head, ii) spirit, in the top third of the torso and iii) the appetite, in the middle third of the torso. The Hippocratic School of Medicine was adopted by the Socratics due to its ethics, scientific approach, holistic care, and logic approach(9). Ellopion (as a name) is absent from any other written sources of the Hellenic antiquity and from inscriptions of the era too. The fact alone that three pupils of Socrates travelled together and two of them were Simmias and Plato, signifies that Ellopion was also an important figure of the school(10). Although some greatness enlightens his person, his life remains a mystery and data concerning this Peparithean philosopher should be considered lost.
Conflict of interest:
“The author declares no conflict of interest regarding this article”
Address for correspondence:
History of Medicine and Medical Deontology Department, Medical School,
University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece