The Ancient Library
 

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ROMAN PERIOD. 485

education for several centuries. On the revival of letters it recovered its ancient popularity, and during the sixteenth and seventeenth centu­ries was used every where, but more especially in Germany, as the text­book for rhetoric. The number of editions and translations which were published during that period is greater than that of any other ancient writer. The last and best edition is that in Walz's collection of the Rhetores Graci, vol. i., p. 54, seqq. The JSsopic fables of Aphthonius, which are inferior in merit to those of ^Esop, are printed in Scobarius's edition of the Progymnasmata, and also in the Paris edition of 1623. De Furia's edition of the Fables of JEsop contains twenty-three of those of Aphthonius.

IV longinus dionysius CAssius (Atovfoios Kdffffios Aoyyivos),1 a very distinguished rhetorician and philosopher of the third century of our era. His original name seems to have been Dionysius, but either because he entered into the relation of client to some Cassius Longinus, or because his ancestors had received the Roman franchise, through the influence of some Cassius Longinus, he bore the name of Dionysius Longinus, Cassius Longinus, or in the complete form given at the head of this article. He was born about A.D. 213, and was put to death in A.D. 273, at the age of sixty. His native place is uncertain. Some say that he was born at Palmyra, while others call him a Syrian, or a native of Emesa. There is more ground, however, for believing that he was born at Athens, as he was brought up by his uncle Fronto, who taught rhetoric at the latter place. Longinus subsequently visited many countries, and became acquainted with all the illustrious philosophers of his age, such as Ammonius Saccas ; Origen, the disciple of Ammonius, not to be confounded with the Christian writer; Plotinus, and Amelius. He was a pupil of the two former, and was an adherent of the Platonic philosophy; but instead of following blindly the system of Ammonius, he went to the fountain-head, and made himself thoroughly familiar with the works of Plato. On his return' to Athens he opened a school, which was attended by numerous pupils, among whom the most celebrated was Porphyry. At Athens he seems to have lectured on philosophy and criticism as well as on rhetoric and grammar, and the extent of his information was so great, that Eunapius calls him " a living library" and " a walking museum." But his knowl­edge was not a dead encumbrance to his mind, for the power for which he was most celebrated was his critical skill, and this was indeed so great, that the expression Kara Koj^vov Kpivtiv became synonymous with " to judge correctly."2

After having spent a considerable part of his life at Athens, and com­ posed the best of his works, he went to the East, either for the purpose of seeing his friends at Emesa, as some think who make this to have been his native place, or with some other view. It seems to have been on this occasion that he became known to Zenobia, queen of Palmyra, who, being a woman of great talent, and fond of letters and the arts, made him her teacher in Greek literature. On the death of her husband Qdenathus, Longinus became her principal adviser, and it was mainly * Smith, Diet. Biogr., s. v. 2 Hieron., Epist., 95.

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