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On this page: Charon – Charondas – Charops



CHARON (Xdpw\ a distinguished Theban, who exposed himself to much danger by concealing Pelopidas and his fellow-conspirators in his house, when they returned to Thebes with the view of delivering it from the Spartans and the oligarchical government, b. c. 379. Charon himself took an active part in the enterprise, and, after its success, was made Boeotarch together with Pelopidas and Mellon. (Xen. Hell. v. 4. § 3; Plut. Pelop. 7-13, de Gen. Soc. passim.} [E. E,]

CHARON (Xdptav), literary. 1. A historian of Lampsacus, is mentioned by Tertullian (de Anim. 46) as prior to Herodotus, and is said by Suidas (s. v.} according to the common reading, to have flourished (yevofjievos} in the time of Dareius Hystaspis, in the 79th Olympiad (b. c. 464); but, as Dareius died in b. c. 485, it has been proposed to read |0' for o0' in Suidas, thus placing the date of Charon in 01. 69 or b. c. 504. He lived, however, as late as b. c. 464, for he is referred to by Plutarch ( Them. 27) as mentioning the flight of Themistocles to Asia in b. c. 465. We find the following list of his works in Suidas : 1. AWio-trucd. 2. Hepo-itcd. 3. 'EAA^w/ca. 4. ITepl Aa^xf/a/cou. 5. Aigtwa. 6. "Opoi Aa/x^/aKTji/aJz/, a work quoted by Athenaeus (xi. p. 475, c.), where Schweighaeuser proposes to substitute copoi (comp. Diod. i. 26), thus making its subject to be the annals of Lampsacus. 7. Tlpv-tq.vsis tj "Apxovres ot t$>v Aa/ceScu/xoj'icoT', a chro­nological work. 8. Krtaeis TroAeco^. 9. 10. UepiirXovs 6 e/cros tqv 'Hpa/cAefew The fragments of Charon, together with those of Hecataeus and Xanthus, have been published by Creuzer, Heidelberg, 1806, and by Car. and Th. Muller, Fragm. Histor. Graec. Paris, 1841. Be­sides the references above given, comp. Plut. de Mul. Virt. s. v. Aa/^a/cTj; Strab. xiii. p. 583; Paus. x. 38 ; Athen. xii. p. 520, d.; Ael. V.H. i. 15; Schol. ad Apoll. Rliod. ii. 2, 479 ; Voss. de Hist. Graec. b. i. c. 1 ; Glint. Fast, sub annis 504, 464.

2. Of Carthage, wrote an account of all the ty­rants of Europe and Asia, and also the lives of illustrious men and women. (Suid. s. v.; Voss. de Hist. Graec. p. 415, ed. Westermann.)

3. Of Naucratis, was the author of a history of the Alexandrian and Egyptian priests, and of the events which occurred under each; likewise of a treatise on Naucratis, and other works. (Suid.s.-y.) The Charon who was a friend of Apollonius Rho-dius, and wrote a historical commentary on his Argonautica* has been identified by some with the historian of Naucratis, by others with the Cartha­ginian. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. b. iii. c. 21; Voss. de Hist. Graec. pp. 20, 138, 144, 415, ed. Wester­mann ; Schol. ad Apoll. Eliod. ii. 1054.) [E. E.]

CHARONDAS (Xop^Sas), a lawgiver of Ca-tana, who legislated for his own and the other cities of Chalcidian origin in Sicily and Italy. (Aristot. Polit. ii. 10.) Now, these were Zancle, Naxos, Leontini, Euboea, Mylae, Himera, Callipo-lis, and Rhegium. He must have lived before the time of Anaxilaus, tyrant of Rhegium, i. e. before b. c. 494, for the Rhegians used the laws of Cha­rondas till they were abolished by Anaxilaus, who, after a reign of eighteen years, died B. c. 476. These facts sufficiently refute the common account of Charondas, as given by Diodorus (xii. 12) : viz. that after Thurii was founded by the people of the ruined city of Sybaris, the colonists chose Charon-das, " the best of their fellow-citizens" to draw up a code of laws for their use. For Thurii, as we


have seen, is not included among the Chalcidian cities, and the date of its foundation is b. c. 443. It is also demonstrated by Bentley (Phalaris^ p. 367, &c.), that the laws which Diodorus gives as those drawn up by Charondas for the Thurians were in reality not his. For Aristotle (Polit. iv. 12) tells us, that his laws were adapted to an aris­ tocracy, whereas in Diodorus we constantly find him ordering appeals to the 5-fyuos, and the consti­ tution of Thurii is expressly called TroAireu/xa Srj/noKpaTiKois. Again, we learn from a happy cor­ rection made by Bentley in a corrupt passage of the Politics (ii. 12), that the only peculiarity in the laws of Charondas was that he first introduced the power of prosecuting false witnesses (eTrtcrKTj^is). But it is quite certain that this was in force at Athens long before the existence of Thurii, and therefore that Charondas, as its author, also lived before the foundation of that city. Lastly, we are told by Diogenes Lae'rtius, that Protagoras was the lawgiver of Thurii. (See Wesseling's note on Dio­ dorus, /. c., where Bentley's arguments are summed up with great clearness.) Diodorus ends the ac­ count of his pseudo-Charondas by the story, that he one day forgot to lay aside his sword 'before he appeared in the assembly, thereby violating one of his own laws. On "being reminded of this by a citizen, he exclaimed, ,ua Ai dAAo, ki>oiov Tronfo-co, and immediately stabbed himself. This anecdote is also told of Diocles of Syracuse, and of Zaleucus, though Valerius Maximus '(vi. § 5) agrees with Diodorus in attributing it to Charondas. The story that Charondas was a Pythagorean, is probably an instance of the practice which arose in later times of calling every distinguished lawgiver a disciple of Pythagoras, which title was even conferred on Numa Pompilius. (Comp. lamblich. Vit. Pytliag. c. 7.) Among several pretended laws of Charondas preserved by Stobaeus, there is one probably au­ thentic, since it is found in a fragment of Theo- phrastus. (Stob. Serm. 48.) This enacts, that all buying and selling is to be transacted with ready money, and that the government is to provide no remedy for those who lose their money by giving credit. The same ordinance will be found in Pla­ to's Laws. The laws of Charondas were probably in verse. (Athen. xiv. p. 619.) The fragments of the laws of Charondas are given in Heyne's Opus- cula, vol. ii. p, 74, &c. [G. E. L. C.]

CHAROPS (XapcnJ/), bright-eyed or joyful- looking, a surname of Heracles, under which he had a statue near mount Laphystion on the spot where he was believed to have brought forth Cerberus from the lower world. (Paus. ix. 34. § 4.) There are also two mythical beings of this name. (Horn. Od. xi. 427 ; Horn. Hymn, in Merc. 3 94 ; Hygin. Fab. 181.) [L. S.J

CHAROPS (Xdpofy. 1. A chief among the Epeirots, who sided with the Romans in their war with Philip V., and, by sending a shepherd to guide a portion of the Roman army over the heights above the position of the Macedonians, enabled Flamininus to dislodge Philip from the defile which he had occupied in Epeirus, b. c. 198. (Polyb. xvii. 3, xviii. 6, xxvii. 13; Liv. xxxii. 6, 11; Plut. Flam. 4.) In b. c. 192, Charops was sent by his countrymen on an embassy to Antio-chns the Great, who was wintering at Chalcis in Euboea. He represented to the king that the Epeirots were more exposed to the attacks of the Romans than any of the inhabitants of the rest of

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