Bolus of Mendes (Greek: Βῶλος ὁ Μενδήσιος, Bōlos ho Mendēsios; fl. 3rd century BC) was a Hellenized Egyptian philosopher,[1][2] a neopythagorean writer of works of esoterica and medicine, in Ptolemaic Egypt.[3] Both the Suda,[4] and a later work mistakenly attributed to Eudokia MakrembolitissaἸωνιά; Bed of Violets,[5] probably a 16th-century forgery[6] by Constantine Paleocappa—write of a Pythagorean philosopher of Mendes in Egypt. He is described as one who wrote on marvels, potent remedies, and astronomical phenomena.[7] The Suda, however, also describes a separate Bolus who was a philosopher of the school of Democritus,[8] who wrote Inquiry, and Medical Art, containing "natural medical remedies from some resources of nature." However, from a passage of Columella,[9] it appears that Bolos of Mendes and this other Bolus, follower of Democritus, were one and the same person.[7] He seems to have lived following the time of Theophrastus, whose work Historia Plantarum ('On Plants'), Bolus appears to have known.[10]


  1. ^ Ogden, Daniel; Ogden, Professor of Ancient History Daniel (2002). Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Sourcebook. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-515123-7.
  2. ^ Campbell, Gordon Lindsay (2014-08-28). The Oxford Handbook of Animals in Classical Thought and Life. OUP Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-103515-9.
  3. ^ Paul Kroh, ed. Lexikon der Antiken Autoren, (Stuttgart) 1972:111; Max Wellmann in Paulys Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, vol. 3.1, (Stuttgart) 1897:676–677, s.v. "Bolos 3".
  4. ^ Suda, Bolus, β482; cf. Eudocia
  5. ^ Public Domain Smith, William, ed. (1870), "Eudocia Augusta Macrembolis", Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. 2, pp. 80–81 via Tufts
  6. ^ Dorandi, Tiziano (2013). "Introduction". Diogenes Laertius: Lives of Eminent Philosophers. Cambridge University Press. pp. 7–9. ISBN 978-0521886819.
  7. ^ a b Smith 1870.
  8. ^ Suda, Bolus, β481
  9. ^ Columella, vii. 5; cf. Stobaeus, Serm. 51
  10. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium Apsynthus; Scholium ad Nicand. Theriac. 764