The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Aristippus – Aristobulus – Aristocles – Ariston – Aristophanes



who at his appeal caused Smyrna to be re­built after an earthquake in 178 a.d. The chief scenes of his activity were Athens and Smyrna, where he died about A.D. 190. Beside two treatises of rhetorical and tech­nical import, we still possess fifty-five of his orations, which he took great pains to elaborate. They are characterized by depth and fulness of thought, and are written in powerful, concise, often difficult and obscure language. Some are eulogies on deities and cities (Rome, for instance, and Smyrna), others are declamations after ancient models, as the Panathenaicus after Isocrates, and the speech against Leptmes after Demosthenes. Others treat of his­torical subjects taken from the times of Greek independence. A peculiar interest attaches to the six Sacred Orations, so named because they treat of hints given by Asclepius on the cure of his illness, which he received in a state of somnam­bulism, and imparted aloud to his friends.

(4) Aristides Quintilidnus. A Greek musician, who lived probably in the 2nd century a.d., and composed an encyclopaedia of music (De MuslcH) in three books. The first gave a concise account of harmony, rhythm, and metre, the second dealt with the educating influence of music on the soul, and the third described, on Pythago­rean principles, the doctrine of arithmetic intervals, and the harmony of the universe as resting on the same relations. Notwith­standing many defects, the work has the merit of being the completest of its kind which has come down to us from anti­quity.

Aristippus. A Greek philosopher, a na­tive of Gyrene, and a pupil of Socrates, after whose death in b.c. 399 he travelled about the Greek cities, imparting instruc­tion for money. He was the founder of the Cyrenaic school, or the system of HedSnism (from hedOne = pleasure). His doctrine was, that as a basis for human knowledge the only things real and true are our sensations, not the external objects that produce them ; that the aim of life is what all living things strive after, pleasure; and that virtue is only so far a good thing as it tends to the production of pleasure. The wise man shows his wisdom in governing his de­sires; mental training, indeed, being the only thing which can qualify us for real enjoyment. In pleasure there is no differ­ence of kind, only of degree and duration. Aristippus' writings seem to have disap­peared early; five letters in the Doric i

dialect, which have come down under his name, are undoubtedly spurious.

Arist6bulus. A Greek historian, who in his youth, accompanied Alexander the Great on his campaigns. In his eighty-fifth year, when living at Cassandrea in Thrace, he wrote a work upon Alexander, in which he recorded his careful observations on geo­graphy, ethnography, and natural science. The book is highly praised for its trust­worthiness, but only fragments of it have reached us. He and Ptolemy were the chief authorities for Arrian's Anabasis.

Aristdcles. (1) A Greek artist, and like his brother Canachus, a sculptor in bronze at Sicyon. He flourished about 480 b.c. ; and founded a school at Sicyon that lasted for a long time. (2) There was an Athenian sculptor of the same name and of the same period, author of a relief known as The Athenian Hoplite, one of our oldest monu­ments ofAttic art. (See cut under hoplites).

Ariston. The second breakfast of the Greeks. (See meals.)

AristSpnanes. (1) The comedian, who lived at Athens, b.c. 444-388. His father Philippus is said to have been not a native Athenian, but a settler from Rhodes or Egypt, who afterwards acquired the citi­zenship. However this may be, the de­magogue Cleon, whose displeasure Aristo­phanes had incurred, tried to call in ques­tion his right to the citizenship. His first comedy came out in b.c. 427, but was not performed under his own name because of his youth ; and several more of his plays were brought on the stage by Callistratus and Philonldes, till in 424 he brought out the Knights in his own person. Forty-four of his plays were known in antiquity, though four of them were considered doubtful. Of these we possess eleven, the only com­plete Greek comedies which have survived, besides the titles, and numerous fragments, of twenty-six others. The eleven are: (1) The Acharnians, which gained him the victory over Cratlnus and EupSlis B.C. 425, written during the great Peloponnesian war to induce the Athenians to make peace. (2) The Kniyhts mentioned above, b.c. 424, also crowned with the first prize, and aimed directly against Cleon. (3) The Clouds, b.c. 423, his most famous and, in his own opinion, his most successful piece, though when played it only won the third prize. We have it only in a second, and apparently unfinished, edition. It is directed against the pernicious influence of the Sophists, as the representative of whom Socrates is

About | First | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.