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On this page: Aetherie – Aethicus – Aethilla – Aethiops



(4) Aether appears as the soul of the world, from which all life emanates, an idea which was also adopted by some of the early philosophers of Greece. In later times Aether was regarded as the wide space of Heaven, the residence of the gods, and Zeus as the Lord of the Aether, or Aether itself personified. (Pacuv. ap. Cic. de Nat. Dear. ii. 36, 40; Lucret. v. 499 ; Virg. Aen. xii. 140, Georg. ii. 325.) [L. S.]

AETHERIE. [hbliades.]

AETHICUS, HISTER or ISTER, a Roman writer of the fourth century, a native of Istria ac­cording to his surname, or, according to Rabanus Maurus, of Scythia, the author of a geographical work, called Aethici Cosmographia. We learn from the preface that a measurement of the whole Roman world was ordered by Julius Caesar to be made by the most able men, that this measurement was begun in the consulship of Julius Caesar and M. Antonius, i. e. b. c. 44; that three Greeks were appointed for the purpose, Zenodoxus, Theodotus, and Polyclitus ; that Zenodoxus measured all the eastern part, which occupied him twenty-one years, five months, and nine days, on to the third consul­ship of Augustus and Crassus ; that Theodotus measured the northern part, which occupied him twenty-nine years, eight months, and ten days, on to the tenth consulship of Augustus; and that Polyclitus measured the southern part, which oc­cupied him thirty-two years, one month, and ten days; that thus the whole (Roman) world was gone over by the measurers within thirty-two (?) years ; and that a report of all it con tained was laid before the senate. So it stands in the edd.; but the numbers are evidently much corrupted : the contradictoriness of Polyclitus's share taking more than 32 vears, and the whole measurement

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being made in less than (intra) 32 years is obvious. It is to be observed that, in this introductory statement, no mention is made of the western part (which in the work itself comes next to the east­ern), except in the Vatican MS., where the eastern part is given to Nicodomus, and the western to Didymus.

A census of all the people in the Roman subjec­tion was held under Augustus. (Suidas, s. v. AvyovorrosS) By two late writers (Cassiodorus, Var. iii. 52, by an emendation of Huschke, p. 6, 'iiber den zur Zeit der Geburt Jesu Christi gehaltenen Census, Breslau, 1840 ; and Isidorus, Orw/.v. 36. § 4), this numbering of the people is spoken of as connected with the measurement of the land. This work in fact consists of two separate pieces. The first begins with a short introduction, the substance of which has been given, and then proceeds with an account of the measurement of the Roman world under four heads, Orientalis, Occidentalis, Septen-tfionalis, Meridiana pars. Then come series of lists of names, arranged under heads, Maria, Insu-lae, Montes, Provinciae, Oppida, Flumina, and Gentes. These are bare lists, excepting that the rivers have an account of their rise, course, and length annexed, This is the end of the first part, the Expositio. The second part is called Alia to-tius orbis Descriptio, and consists of four divisions: (I.) Asiae Provinciae situs cum limitibus etpopulis suis; (2.) Europae situs, &c.; (3.) Africae situs, &c.; (4.) Insulae Nostri Maris. This part, the Descriptio, occurs with slight variations in Orosius, i. 2. In Aethicus what looks like the original commencement, Majores nostri, &c., is tacked on


to the preceding part, the Expositio, by the words ffano quadripartitain totius terrae contincntiam Id qui dimensi sunt. From this it would appear that Aethicus borrowed it from Orosius.

The work abounds in errors. Sometimes the same name occurs in different lists; as, for exam­ple, Cyprus and Rhodes both in the north and in the east; Corsica both in the west and in the south; or a country is put as a town, as Arabia ; Noricum is put among the islands. Mistakes of this kind would easily be made in copying lists, especially if in double columns. But from other reasons and from quotations given by Dicuil, a writer of the 9th century, from the Cosmographia, differing from the text as we have it, the whole appears to be very corrupt. The whole is a very meagre production, but presents a few valuable points. Many successful emendations have been made by Salmasius in his Exercitationes Philolo-gicae, and there is a very valuable essay on the whole subject by Ritschl in the Rli&inisdies Museum (1842), i. 4.

The sources of the Cosmographia appear to have been the measurements above described, other offi­cial lists and documents, and also, in all probability, Agrippa's Commentarii, which are constantly re­ferred to by Pliny (ffist. Nat. iii. iv. v. vi.) as an authority, and his Chart of the World, which was founded on his Commentarii. (Plin. Hist. Nat iii.

Cassiodorus (de instit. divin. 25) describes a cosmographical work by Julius Honorius Crator in terms which suit exactly the work of Aethicus; and Salmasius regards Julius Honorius as the real author of this work, to which opinion Ritschl seems to lean, reading Ethnicus instead of Aethicus, and considering it as a mere appellative. In some MSS. the appellatives Sophista and Philosophus are found.

One of the oldest MSS., if not the oldest, is the Vatican one. This is the only one which speaks of the west in the introduction. But it is care­lessly written : consulibus (e. g.) is several times put for consulatum. Suis is found as a contrac­tion (?) for suprascriptis. The introduction is very different in this and in the other MSS.

The first edition of the Cosmographia was by Simler, Basel, 1575, together with the Itinerarium Antonini. There is an edition by Henry Stephens, 1577, with Simler's notes, which also contains Dionysius, Pomponius Mela, and Solinus. The last edition is by Gronovius, in his edition of Pom­ ponius Mela, Leyden, 1722. [A. A.]

AETHILLA (AlfftAAa or AftuAAo), a daughter of Laomedon and sister of Priam, Astyoche, and Medesicaste. After the fall of Troy she became the prisoner of Protesilaus, who took her, together with other captives, with him on his voyage home. He landed at Scione in Thrace in order to take in fresh water, While Protesilaus had gone inland, Aethilla persuaded her fellow-prisoners to set fire to the ships. This was done and all remained on, the spot and founded the town of Scione. (Tzetz. ad Lycophr. 921, 1075; Conon, Narrat. 13 ; com­ pare P. Mela, ii. 2. § 150 ; Steph. Byz. s. v. 2/acforj.) [L. S.]

AETHIOPS (AZflfoiJ,), the Glowing or theBlack. 1. A surname of Zeus, under which he was wor­shipped in the island of Chios. (Lycophron, Cass. 537, with the note of Tzetzes.)

2. A son of Hephaestus, from whom Aethiopia

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