The Ancient Library

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forming our judgment of his merits or demerits as a writer; for there can be no doubt that he was a learned and diligent compiler, and that, so far as his sources went, he was a trustworthy one. The fragments of Hellani-cus have been collected by Sturz, Hellanici Lesbii Fragment^ Lips., 1826, and by C. and T. Miiller, in Didot's Fragm. Hist. Gr., vol. i., p. 45, seqq., Paris, 1841.

XIII. Among the historical writers that remain, the most celebrated, and the only one deserving of mention, is xanthus' (Hch/0os), the Lydian. Suidas makes him to have been a native of Sardis, but this point is a doubtful one, as is also the period when he flourished. His date, how­ever, is commonly fixed by modern scholars at B.C. 499. Xanthus, though a Lydian by birth, received a Greek education, and wrote a his­tory of Lydia in that language, of which some considerable fragments have come down to us. The genuineness of the work, however, which went under his name, was questioned by some of the ancient gramma­rians themselves, and at the present day, also, opinions are divided. Among modern scholars, Creuzer, in his edition of the fragments of Xan­thus, has maintained the genuineness of the work, while Welcker has constructed an elaborate argument against it.2 C. Miiller adopts the opinion of Welcker. It is certain that much of the matter in the extant fragments is spurious; and the probability appears to be that the work from which they are taken is the production of an Alexandrean gramma­rian, founded upon the genuine work of Xanthus. G. Miiller has pointed out those passages which, in his opinion, are most probably portions of the original work. They are of great value. A work on the Magian re­ligion (Mayucd) was also ascribed to Xanthus, but was indubitably spuri­ous. The fragments of Xanthus are collected in Creuzer's Histor. Grac. Antiquiss. Fragment^ Heidelb., 1806, and by C. and T. Miiller, in Didot's Fragm. Hist. G-rac., vol. i., p. xx., seqq.; p. 36, seqq., Paris, 1841.

XIV. To the Greek historical writers before Herodotus modern schol­ars have given the common name of logographers (\oyoy pd&oi), which is applied by Thucydides3 to all historians previous to himself, including thus even Herodotus in the number. The appellation is a convenient one, though perhaps not very correct; for the term had not so limited a meaning as this among the ancients, since \6yos signifies any discourse in prose, and accordingly the Athenians gave the name to persons who wrote judicial speeches or pleadings, and sold them to those who were in want of them. These persons were also called Xoyowotoi. Be this, however, as it may, the term logographer, as applied to the historical writers previous to Herodotus, is meant to indicate a class of persons who seem to have aimed more at amusing their hearers or readers than at imparting accurate historical knowledge. They described in prose the mythological subjects and traditions which had previously been treated of by the epic, and especially by the cyclic poets. The omissions in the narratives of their predecessors were probably filled up by traditions de­rived from other quarters, in order to produce, at least in form, a con-

1 Smith, Diet. Biogr., s. v. 2 Seebode, Archiv., 1830, p. 70, seqq. 3 Tliucyd.,\.,%l.

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