The Ancient Library

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On this page: Phaininda – Phalangitae – Phalanx – Phalaris – Phalerae – Phanias or Phaenias – Phanocles – Phantasus – Pharetra – Pharos



earth, so that both began to take fire. At last, to save the whole world from destruc­ tion, Zeus shattered the young man with his lightning, his corpse falling into the river Erldanus. His sisters, the Hcliddes, jEgle, Phaethusa, and Lampetie, wept for him unceasingly, and were changed into poplars; whence it is that their tears still ooze from those trees, and are hardened by Helios into amber. I

Phaininda (Greek). A kind of Greek game of ball (q.v.)

Phalangitae. The soldiera of the Mace­donian phalanx (}.«.)•

Phalanx. The Greek term for the order of battle in which heavy infantry were drawn up, in an unbroken line, several ranks deep. (See hoplit^.) The most famous phalanx was that formed by king Philip, constituting the chief strength of the Macedonian army. It was first 8, after­wards 12-16 deep. In the eight-rank for- 1 mation, the lances (sarissce) being eighteen feet long, those of all ranks could be pre­sented to the enemy. They were grasped j with the right hand at the butt, and, with the left, four feet from the butt end ; hence ! the lances of the first rank projected four- ; teen feet, while the spear-heads of the last ; rank were level with, or just in front of, the men in the front rank. In the deeper formation, and after the reduction of the length of the sarissa to fourteen feet, only the first five ranks presented their weapons to the front; the rest held them slanting over the shoulders of their com­rades in front. The name phalanx, or taxis, was also applied to the separate i regiments of the phdlangitce. The line of j each such phalanx was divided, from front to , rear, into four chiliarchies, each chiliarchy j into four syntagmata, each syntagma into four tetrarchies. The importance of this formation lay in its power of resistance to hostile onset, and in the weight with which it fell, when impelled against the enemy's lines. Its weaknesses were want of mobility, the impossibility of changing front in face ! of the enemy, and unsuitability for close, I hand to hand engagement. The Roman [ legions also fought in phalanx in the older | times before Camillus. Under the emperors the phalanx was used after about the 2nd century a.d., in fighting against barbaric | nations.

Phalaris. The infamous tyrant of Agri-gentum, notorious for his cruelty; he died 549 B.C. His name is affixed to 148 Greek letters, in which he appears as a gentle

ruler, and a patron of art and poetry; but [as proved in Bentley's Dissertation in 1099) they are really a worthless forgery, probably by a Sophist of the 2nd century a.d.

Phalfirje. The Roman term for bosses of thin bronze or silver, or of gold-leaf im­pressed in relief. They were loaded at the back with pitch, and fitted to a plate of copper, being fastened to it with leather straps. They served sometimes as decora­tions for the harness on the head or breast of horses, sometimes as signs of military rank, worn across the whole coat of mail. [See cut, tinder cippus.]

Phanlas or Phsenlas. [Of Eresos in LesbSs, a pupil of Aristotle, and a country­man and friend of Theophrastug. He flourished about 336 b.c. He was a very prolific writer on philosophy, physics, and history. Only fragments of these works remain. He was also the author of a chronicle of his native city, entitled The Prytdneis of Eresos. This is supposed to have been one of the principal authorities followed in the Parian Chronicle (q.v.).] [J. E. S.]

Phanficles. A Greek elegiac poet of the Alexandrine period. He celebrated in erotic elegies the loves of beautiful boys. A con­siderable fragment remaining describes the love of Orpheus for Calais, the beautiful son of Boreas, and his death ensuing there­from. The language is simple and spirited, and the versification melodious.

Phantasus. See dreams.

PharStra. The quiver. (See Bows.)

Pharos. The lighthouse on the eastern summit of the small island of the same name in front of the harbour of Alexandria. It was a tower of white marble, built for Ptolemy Phlladelphus by Sostratus of Cnidus, in 270 b.c., at a cost of 800 silver talents (£160,000), and accounted by the ancients one of the wonders of the world. It rose pyramidally in a number of de­creasing stories of different forms (the lowest square, the next octagonal, the third circular). It was adorned with galleries and pillars to a considerable height.1 It

1 Josephus, JJe Bella Judaico v 4, says that tli^ tower of Phasael in Jerusalem, which was 90 cubits (or about 1H5 feet) in height, was about the same height as the Pharos. This is much more likely to be a correct estimate than that of Edrisi, who makes it 300 cubits, each cubit being1 equivalent to three palms (Climates of the II'arid, written in Arabic 1153, Lat. trans. 1796, p. H-191, or that of Stephaims of Byzantium (s.v. 4>dpoi)r who makes it 306" aryyiai, or about 1,836 feet I (These references are due to Prof. MidtUeton.)

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