The Ancient Library

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On this page: Philemon and Baucis – Philetas – Philippides – Philiscus – Philistus – Philo




popularity, for he repeatedly won victories over his younger contemporary and rival Menander,whose delicate wit was apparently less to the taste of the Athenians of the time than Philemon's smart comedy. To later times his successes over Menander were so unintelligible, that they were ascribed to the influence of malice and intrigue. Except a short sojourn in Egypt with king Ptolemy Phlladelphus, he passed his life at Athens. He there died, nearly a hundred years old, but with mental vigour unimpaired, in 262, according to the story, at the moment of his being crowned on the stage. Of his ninety-seven works, fifty-seven are known to us by titles and fragments, and two are preserved in the Latin version of Plautus (Merfdtor and Trinummus').

Philemon and Baucis. An old married couple in Phrygia, famed in antiquity for their true love. When Zeus and Hermes were wandering through the country in human form, and found no shelter with the richer inhabitants, the aged pair received them hospitably. The gods therefore, while destroying all the rest of the neighbourhood by floods in punishment for the inhospitable treatment they had met with, changed their miserable cottage into a magnificent temple. Here the two held the priestly office for the rest of their life, and finally, on their prayer that they might not be separated by death, were both at the same moment changed into trees [Ovid, Met. viii 611-724].

Fhlletas. A Greek grammarian and poet, of the island of Cos. He lived in the second half of the 4th century, latterly as tutor to Ptolemy II (Phlladelphus) in Alexandria. Besides epics he composed elegies on his beloved Battis, which were highly prized at Alexandria and Rome, and were imitated by Propertius [iv 1, lj. We possess only scanty fragments of these elegies.

Phllippldes. A Greek writer of the New Comedy, about 300 B.C.; a friend of king Lysimachus of Thrace. He is said to have died of joy at winning a dramatic prize. Of the forty-four plays attributed to him only fragments survive.

Phlliscus. A Greek tragedian of Corcyra, in the first half of the 3rd century b.c. ; he was priest of Dionysus in Alexandria, and, as such, stood at the head of the Dionysiac guild of actors in that city. He was one of the "Pleiad" (q.v.) of Alexandrian tragic poets. [His portrait is preserved in a relief in the Lateran Museum. See cut under tragedy (Greek).)

Phllistng. A Greek historian, of Syracuse,

born about 435 b.c. He encouraged the eldei Dionysius, by advice and assistance, in secur­ing and maintaining the position of despot in his native state; but was himself banished by Dionysius in 386, and lived a long while at Adria in Epirus, busied with historical studies. Recalled by Dionysius the younger, he counteracted the salutary influence of Dion and Plato at that tyrant's court, and brought about the banishment of both. As commander of the fleet against Dion and the revolted Syracusans, he lost a naval battle, and in consequence either committed suicide or was cruelly murdered by the angry populace (356). He left an historical work, begun in his exile, called Sice'ttca, a history of Sicily in thirteen books. Books i-vii dealt with the events of the earliest times to the capture of Agrtgentum by the Car­thaginians in 406; viii—xi, with the rule of the elder Dionysius; xii and xiii, with that of the younger. The last portion, which remained incomplete owing to his death, was finished by his countryman Athanas. Only unimportant fragments of this have survived. According to the judgment of the ancients, he imitated Thucydides somewhat unsuccessfully, and betrayed in his work the one-sided attitude natural to his poli­tical views [Plutarch, Dion 36; Dionysius Halic., Ad Cn. Pompeium, 5].

Phllo (Gr. PhllOn). (1) [The sculptor; the son of Antlpiter. He flourished in the time of Alexander the Great. Among his works was the statue of Hephaestion, and that of Zeus OurKs, at the entrance of the BospSrus (Cic., Verr. II iv 129). The dedicatory verses inscribed on the pedestal of the latter are now in the British Museum (quoted on p. 40 of Dem., Adv. Leptinem, . ed. Sandys). Pliny (xxxiv 91) mentions him as one of the sculptors who made atldetas et armatos et vSnatores sacrlfi-cantesque.}

(2) [The Athenian architect who built for Demetrius Phaleveus, about 318 b.c., the portico to the great temple at Eleusis. It had 12 Doric columns in front, and its dimensions were 183 feet by 37^ feet (see plan on p. 211). Under the administration of Lycurgus, he constructed an armamen­tarium or arsenal at ZSa in the Peirseus, containing tackle, etc., for 400 ships (Pliny, N. H. vii 125). It was destroyed by Sulla (Plutarch, Sulla 14), but apparently rebuilt, since it is described by Valerius Maximus (viii 12, 2) as still existing (cp. Cic., De Or. i 62, and Strabo, p. 395 d). An inscription published in Hermes, 1882, p. 351, and in

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