The Ancient Library

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On this page: Autolycus – Automate – Automatia – Automedon – Automedusa – Autonoe


Callias. It is in honour of a victory gained by him in the pentathlum at the Great Panathenaea tliat Callias gives the banquet described by Xeno- phon. (Comp. Athen. v. p. 187.) [C. P. M.]

AUTOLYCUS (A&r6\vKos). 1. An Areiopa-gite, who was accused by the orator Lycurgus on account of removing his wife and children from Athens after the battle of Chaeroneia, b. c. 333, and was condemned by the judges. The speech of Lycurgus against Autolycus was extant in the time of Harpocration, but has not come down to us. (Lycurg. c. Leocr. p. 177, ed. Reiske ; Harpo-crat. s. vv. AvroXvKos, ripia.; Plut. Vit. JT. Orat. p. 843, c. d.)

2. The son of Agathocles, and the brother of Lysimachus, was appointed one of the body-guard of king Philip Arrhidaeus, b. c. 321. (Arrian, ap. Phot. Cod. 92, p. 72, a. 14, ed. Bekker.)

AUTOLYCUS ('AuroAu/cos), a mathematician, who is said to have been a native of Pitane in Aeolis, and the first instructor of the philosopher Arcesilaus. (Diog. Lae'rt. iv. 29.) From this, it would follow, that he lived about the middle of the fourth century b. c., and was contemporary with Aristotle. We know nothing more of his history. He wrote two astronomical treatises, which are still extant, and are the most ancient existing spe­cimens of the Greek mathematics. The first is on the Motion of the Sphere (frepl Kivov/j.evrjs crt^cupas). It contains twelve propositions concerning a sphere which with its principal circles is supposed to re­volve uniformly about a fixed diameter, whilst a fixed great circle (the horizon) always divides it into two hemispheres (the visible and invisible). Most of them are still explicitly or implicitly in­cluded amongst the elements of astronomy, and they are such as would naturally result from the first systematic .application of geometrical reasoning to the apparent motion of the heavens. This trea­tise may be considered as introductory to the se­cond, which is on the risings and settings of the fixed stars, irepl eiriToXwv Kal fivffetw, in two books. Autolycus first defines the true risings and settings, and then the apparent. The former happen when the sun and a star are actually in the horizon to­gether ; and they cannot be observed, because the sun's light makes the star invisible. The latter happen when the star is in the horizon, and the sun just so far below it that the star is visible, and there are in general four such -phaenomena in the year in the case of any particular star; namely, its first visible rising in the morning, its last visible rising in the evening, its first visible setting in the morning, and last visible setting in the evening. In a favourable climate, the precise day of each of these occurrences might be observed, and such ob­servations must have constituted the chief business of practical astronomy in its infancy; they were, moreover, of some real use. because these phaenomena afforded a means of defining the seasons of the year. A star when rising or setting is visible ac­cording to its brilliance, if the sun be from 10 to 18 degrees below the horizon. Autolycus supposes 15 degrees, but reckons them along the ecliptic in­stead of a vertical circle; and he proceeds to esta­blish certain general propositions concerning the intervals between these apparent risings and set­tings, taking account of the star's position with respect to the ecliptic and equator. It was impos­sible, without trigonometry, to determine before­hand the absolute time at which any one of them



would happen; but one having been observed, the rest might be roughly predicted, for the same star, by the help of these propositions. The demon­strations, and even the enunciations, are in some cases not easily understood without a globe-; but the figures used by Autolycus are simple. There is nothing in either treatise to shew that he had the least conception of spherical trigonometry.

There seems to be no complete edition of the Greek text of Autolycus. There are three Greek manuscripts of each treatise in the Bodleian and Savilian libraries at Oxford. The propositions without the demonstrations were printed in Greek and Latin by Dasypodius in his " Sphaericae Doc-trinae Propositiones," Argent. 1572. Both the works were translated into Latin from a Greek MS. by Jos. Auria, Rom. 1587 and 1588 ; and a translation of the first by Maurolycus, from an Arabic version, is given, without the name of Au­tolycus, at p. 243 of the " Universae Geometriae, etc. Synopsis" of Mersennus, Paris, 1645.

A full account of the wrorks of Autolycus may be found in Delambre's Hist, de VAstronomie An- cienne. Brucker quotes an essay by Carpzovius, de A'utolyco Pitaneo Diatribe, Lips. 1744. See also Schaubach, Geschichte der Griechischen Astro- nomie^ p. 338; Fabric. JBibl. Graec. vol. ii. p. 89. [W. F. D.]

AUTOMATE (Auro^ar??), one of the Danaids, who, according to Apollodorus (ii. 1. § 5) and others, killed Busiris, who was betrothed to her ; whereas, according to Pausanias (vii. 1. § 3), she was married to Architeles, the son of Achaeus, who emigrated from Phthiotis in Thessaly to Argos with Archander, [L. S.]

AUTOMATIA (Avro/narla) a surname of Tyche or Fortuna, which seems to characterize her as the goddess who manages things according to her own will, without any regard to the merit of man. Under this name Timoleon built to the god­dess a sanctuary in his house. (Plut. De Sui Laude, p. 542, e.; Nepos, Timol. 4.) [L. S.]

AUTOMEDON (AuTo^eSwv), a son of Diores, was, according to Homer, the charioteer and com­ panion of Achilles, whereas Hyginus (Fab. 97) makes him sail by himself with ten ships against Troy. According to Virgil (Aen. ii. 476), he fought bravely by the side of Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles. (Horn. II. ix. 209, xvi. 148, 219, xvii. 429, &c., xix. 392, xxiv. 474.) [L. S.]

AUTOMEDON (Avro^Sw*), of Cyzicus, a Greek epigrammatic poet, twelve of whose epigrams are contained in the Greek Anthology, (v. 129, x. 23, xi. 29, 46, 50, 319, 324—326, 346, 361, xii. 34.) He must have lived in the first century of the Christian era, as one of his poems is ad­dressed to Nicetes, a distinguished orator in the reign of Nerva. One of the epigrams usually attributed to Theocritus (Anth. Graec. vii. 534 ; No. 9, in Kiessling's edition of Theocritus, p.778) has in the manuscript the inscription AvTOfj.eb'ovTos AtTcoAoi; : if this is correct there must have been an Aetoiian poet of the name of Automedon.

AUTOMEDUSA. [alcathous.]

AUTONOE (AtfTowfy), a daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, was the wife of Aristaeus, by whom she became the mother of Polydorus. (Hesiod. Theog. 977; Pans. x. 17. § 3.) According to Apollodorus (iii. 4. § 2, &c.), Polydorus was a brother of Autonoe, and Actaeon was her son. (Comp. Diod. iv. 81.) Autonoe together with her

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