The Ancient Library

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siderable portion of it was discovered by Ruhnken to belong to a work of Longinus on rhetoric, which is now lost, and this portion has conse­quently been omitted in the new edition of Walz, in his Rhetores Greed (vol. ix., p. 465, seqq.). 2. IIe/>i rwv eVxTftucmo^eW;/ TrpofihTrj/JidTW, of lit­tle importance, and very short. It is printed in Aldus's Rhetores Graci, p. 727, segq., and in Walz, Rhet. Gr&c., vol. ix., p. 534, seqq.


I. The principal works of fiction prior to the time of Alexander the Great appear to have been what were termed the "Milesian Tales" (MiA7?(na/ca, or M.i\r)anaKol \6yoi). There is little known of them, except that they were not of a very moral tendency, and were written by an in­dividual named Aristides. They were in prose, and extended to six books at least.2 They were translated into Latin by Sisenna, the Roman an­nalist, a contemporary of Sulla, and seem to have become popular with the Romans. Aristides is regarded, in fact, as the inventor of the Greek romance. His age and country are unknown, but he was probably a native of Miletus.

II. The more frequent intercourse, however, which the conquests of Alexander introduced between the Greek and Asiatic nations, opened at once all the sources of fiction. clearchus,s who was a disciple of Aris­totle, and who wrote a history of fictitious love adventures, seems to have been the first author who gained any celebrity by this species of com­position.

III. Some years after the composition of the fictitious histories of Clearchus, antonius diogenes* wrote a more perfect romance than had hitherto appeared, founded on the wandering adventures and the loves of Dinias and Dercyllis, and. entitled Ta forep ®o6\yv fono-Ta, or " The in­credible things beyond Thule." This island was not, according to Dio­genes, the most distant one of the globe, as he talks of several beyond it. Thule is but a single station for his adventurers, and many of the most incredible things are beheld in other quarters of the world. The idea of the work is said to have been taken from the Odyssey, and, in fact, many of the incidents seern to have been borrowed from that poem. The work of Diogenes was in twenty-four books, and was written in the form of a dialogue. It is highly praised by Photius for the clearness and graceful­ness of its descriptions. The epitome preserved by Photius is printed also in the Corpus Eroticorum Gr&corum, vol. i., edited by Passow, Leip­zig, 1824, 8vo.

IV. After the composition of the Dinias and Dercyllis of Diogenes, a considerable period seems to have elapsed without the production of any fictitious narrative deserving the appellation of a romance. Lucius, of Patrae,5 is the next writer of fiction that claims our attention. The pe­riod, however, when he flourished is uncertain. He wrote accounts of magical transformations, MeTajUo/><J>c6crewj> \6yoi Sta^opo*, Metamorphoseon Libri Diversi, which are now lost, but were extant in the time of Photius,

1 Dunlop, History of Fiction. 2 Harpocrat., s. v.

3 Athen., xii., p. 553, F. * Smith, Diet. Biogr., s. v. s Id. ib.

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