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of Moscrms, who laments his untimely death. The time at which he lived can be pretty accurately determined by the fact, that he was older than Moschus, who calls himself the pupil of Bion. (Mosch. iii. 96, &c.j His flourishing period must therefore have very nearly coincided with that of Theocritus, and must be fixed at about b. c. 280. Moschus states, that Bion left his native country and spent the last years of his life in Sicily, cultivating bucolic poetry, the natural growth of that island. Whether he also visited Macedonia and Thrace, as Moschus (iii. 17, &c.) intimates, is uncertain, since it may be that Moschus mentions those countries only because he calls Bion the Doric Orpheus. He died of poison, which had been administered to him by several persons, who afterwards received their well-deserved punishment for the crime. With respect to the relation of master and pupil between Bion and Moschus, we cannot say anything with certainty, except that the resemblance between the productions of the two poets obliges us to suppose, at least, that Moschus imitated Bion; and this may, in fact, be all that is meant when Moschus calls himself a disciple of the latter. The subjects of Bion's poetry, viz. shepherds' and love-songs, are beautifully described by Moschus (iii. 82, &c.); but we can now form only a partial judgment on the spirit and style of his poetry, on account of the fragmentary condition in which his works have come down to us. Some of his idyls, as his poems are usually called, are
extant entire, but of others we have only fragments. Their style is very refined, the sentiments soft and sentimental, and his versification (he uses the hexameter exclusively) is very fluent and elegant. In the invention and management of his subjects he is superior to Moschus, but in strength and depth of feeling, and in the truthfulness of his sentiments,) he is much inferior to Theocritus. This is particularly visible in the greatest of his extant poems, 'E'iurd<pios 'AScoi/tSos. He is usually reckoned among the bucolic poets ; but it must be remembered that this name is not confined to the subjects it really indicates ; for in the time of Bion bucolic poetry also embraced that class of poems in which the legends about gods and heroes were treated from an erotic point of view. The language of such poems is usually the Doric dialect mixed with Attic and Ionic forms. Rare Doric forms, however, occur much less frequently in the poems of Bion than in those of Theocritus. In the first editions of Theocritus the poems of Bion are mixed with those of the former; and the first who separated them was Adolplms Mekerch, in his edition of Bion and Moschus. (Bruges, 1565, 4to.) In most of the subsequent editions of Theocritus the remains of Bion and Moschus are printed at the end, as in those of Winterton, Valckenaer, Brunck, Gaisford, and Schaefer. The text of the editions previous to those of Brunck and Valckenaer is that of Henry Stephens, and important corrections were first made by the former two scholars. The best among the subsequent editions are those of Fr. Jacobs (Gotha, 1795, 8vo.), Gilb. Wakeneld (London, 1795), and J. F. Manso (Gotha, 1784, second edition, Leipzig, 1807, 8vo.), which contains an elaborate dissertation on the life and poetry of Bion, a commentary, and a German translation.
5. A tragic poet, whom Diogenes Laertius (iv. 58) describes as Troir)rrjs rpayipSias tcov Taparncwv . Casaubon ( dq Sat. Pocs. i. 5) remarks.
that Diogenes by these words meant' to describe a poet whose works bore the character of extempore poetry, of which the inhabitants of Tarsus were particularly fond (Strab. xiv. p. 674), and that Bion lived shortly before or at the time of Strab(£ Suidas (s. v. AicrxuAos) mentions a son of Aeschylus of the name of Bion who was likewise a tragic poet; but nothing further is known about him.
6. A melic poet, about whom no particulars are known. (Diog. Laert. iv. 58 ; Eudoc. p. 94.) ,
7. A Greek sophist, who is said to have censured Homer for not giving a true account of the events he describes. (Acron, ad Horat. Epist. ii. 2.) He is perhaps the same as one of the two rhetoricians of this name.
8. The name of two Greek rhetoricians ; the one, a native of Syracuse, was the author of theoretical works on rhetoric (re^as pyTopiKas yeypafytos); the other, whose native country is unknown, was said to have written a work in nine books, which bore the names of the nine Muses. (Diog. Laert. iv. 58.) [L. S.]
BION (Bicoz'), a Scythian philosopher, surnamed borysthenites, from the town of Oczacovia, 01-bia, or Borysthenes, near the mouth of the Dnieper, lived about b. c. 250, but the -exact dates of his birth and death are uncertain. Strabo (i. p, 15) mentions him as a contemporary of Eratosthenes, who was born b. c. 275. Laertius (iv. 46, &c.) has preserved an account which Bion himself gave of his parentage to Antigonus Gonatas, king of Macedonia. His father was a freedman, and his mother, Olympia, a Lacedaemonian harlot, and the whole family were sold as slaves, on account of some offence committed by the father. In consequence of this, Bion fell into the hands of a rhetorician, who made him his heir. Having burnt his patron's library, he went to Athens, and applied himself to philosophy, in the course of which study he embraced the tenets of almost every sect in succession. First he was an Academic and a disciple of Crates, then a Cynic, afterwards attached to Theodoras [theodorus], the philosopher who carried out the Cyrenaic doctrines into the atheistic results which were their natural fruit [ aristippus], and finally he became a pupil of Theophrastus, the Peripatetic. He seems to have been a man of considerable intellectual acuteness, but utterly profligate, and a notorious unbeliever in the existence of God. His habits of life were indeed avowedly infamous, so much so, that he spoke with contempt of Socrates for abstaining from crime. Many of Bion's dogmas arid sharp sayings are preserved by Laertius : they are generally trite pieces of morality put in a somewhat pointed shape, though hardly brilliant enough to justify Horace in holding him up as the type of keen satire, as he does when he speaks of persons delighting Bioneis ser-monibus et sale nigro. (Epist. ii. 2. 60.) Examples of this wit are his sayings, that " the miser did not possess wealth, but was possessed by it," that Ci impiety was the companion of credulity," " avarice the ^TjTjOOTroTus of vice," that "good slaves are really free, and bad freemen really slaves," with many others of the same kind. One is preserved by Cicero (Tusc. iii. 26), viz. that "it is useless to tear our hair when we are in grief, since sorrow is not cured bv baldness." lie died at Chalcis in
Euboea. We learn his mother's name and country
BION, CAECI'LIUS, a writer whose country