The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Crates



thinks may have been taken from some comic poet who was an enemy to Crates. There is much confusion among the ancient writers about the number and titles of his plays. Suidas has made two comic poets of the name, but there can be little doubt that he is wrong. Other grammarians assign to him seven and eight comedies respectively. (Anon, de Com. pp. xxix, xxxiv.) The result of Meineke's analysis of the statements of the ancient writers is, that fourteen plays are ascribed to Crates, namely, Fe/rofes, AzoVixros, "Hpcoes, ©rjpia,

t, 'Pifrope?, ^Ea/xioi, ToA^ucu, QiXapyvpos, of which the following are suspicious, @?7<raypos, MeToiKOL^OpviOes, TleS^rat, thus leaving eight, the number mentioned by the Anonymous writer on Comedy, namely, Tziroves, ?7pia, Aa,uia, IlaiSjcu, 'Prjropes, Sa^toi, j. Of these eight plays fragments are still extant. There are also seventeen fragments, which cannot be assigned to their proper plays. The language of Crates is pure, elegant, and sim­ ple, with very few peculiar words and construc­ tions. He uses a very rare metrical peculiarity, namely, a spondaic ending to the anapaestic tetra­ meter. (Poll. vi. 53; Athen. iii. p. 119, c. ; Mei- neke, frag. Com. Graec. i. pp. 58 — G6, ii. pp. 231 — 251 ; Bergk, Comment, de Reliq. Comm. Att. Antiq. pp. 266—283.) [P. S.J

CRATES (KparTjs), of mall us in Cilicia, the son of Timocrates, is said by Suidas (s. v.) to have been a Stoic philosopher, but is far better known as one of the most distinguished of the ancient Greek grammarians. He lived in the reign of Ptolemy Philometor, and was contemporary with Aristar-chus, in rivalry with whom he supported the fame of the Pergamene school of grammar against the Alexandrian, and the system of anomaly (o.vm-fjLa\ia) against that of analogy (dvaAoyia). He is said by Varro to have derived his grammatical system from a certain Chrysippus, who left six books irepl rrjs dv(afj.a\ias. He was born at Mal-lus in Cilicia, and was brought up at Tarsus, whence he removed to Pergamus, and there lived under the patronage of Eumenes II. and Attains II. He was the founder of the Pergamene school of grammar, arid seems to have been at one time the chief librarian. About the year 157 b. c., shortly after the death of Ennius, Crates was sent by Attains as an ambassador to Rome, where he introduced for the first time the study of gram­mar. The results of his visit lasted a long time, as may be observed especially in the writings of Varro. (Sueton. de lilustr. Grammat. 2.) An accident, by which he broke a leg, gave him the leisure, which his official duties might otherwise have interrupted, for holding frequent grammatical lectures (dicpodffeis). We know nothing further of the life of Crates.

In the grammatical system of Crates a strong distinction was made between criticism and gram­mar, the latter of which sciences he regarded as quite subordinate to the former. The office of the critic, according to Crates, was to investigate everything which could throw light upon litera­ture, either from within or from without ; that of the grammarian was only to apply the rules of language to clear up the meaning of particular passages, and to settle the text, the prosody, the accentuation, and so forth, of the ancient writers. From this part of his system, Crates derived the


surname of<6s. This title is derived by some from the fact that, like Aristarchus, Crates gave the greatest attention to the Homeric poems, from his labours upon which he was also surnamed'O,u?7pi/cos. His chief work is entitled AiopO&cris 'IAia5os /ral 'OSucrcrei'as, in nine books, by which we are pro­bably to understand, not a recension of the Ho­meric poems, dividing them into nine books, but that the commentary of Crates itself was divided into nine books.

The few fragments of this commentary, which are preserved by the Scholiasts and other ancient writers, have led Wolf to express a very unfavour­able opinion of Crates. As to his emendations, it must be admitted that he was far inferior to Aris­tarchus in judgment, but it is equally certain that he was most ingenious in conjectural emendations. Several of his readings are to this day preferred by the best scholars to those of Aristarchus. As for his excursions into all the scientific and histo­rical questions for which Homer furnishes an occa­sion, it was the direct consequence of his opinion of the critic's office, that he should undertake them, nor do the results of his inquiries quite deserve the contempt with which Wolf treats them. Among the ancients themselves he enjoyed a re­putation little, if at all, inferior to that of Aristar­chus. The school which he founded at Pergamus flourished a considerable time, and was the subject of a work by Ptolemy of Ascalon, entitled irepl ryjs KpaTTiTtiov alp€(rtws. To this school Wolf refers the catalogues of ancient writers which are men­tioned by Dionysius of Halicarnassus (ez/ ro?s UtpyaiJi'rjvo'is Trivafa ii. p. 118, 5, ed. Sylburg.), who also mentions the school by the name of rovs e/c Tlepyd/Aov ypau/j-ariKovs (p. 112, 27). They are also called Kpartfreioi. Among the catalogues mentioned by Dionysius there can be no doubt that we ought to include the lists of titles (dva.-ypa<paty of dramas, which Athenaeus (viii. p. 336,c.) states to have been composed by the Pergamenes.

Besides his work on Homer, Crates wrote com­mentaries on the Theogony of Hesiod, on Euripides, on Aristophanes, and probably on other ancient authors, a work on the Attic dialect (irepl attiktjs 5*aAe'/cTot;), and works on geography, natural his­tory, and agriculture, of all which only a few frag­ments exist. Some scholars, however, think, that the Crates of Pergamus, whose work on the won­ders of various countries is quoted by Pliny (//. N. vii. 2) and Aelian (//. A. xvii. 9), was a different person. The fragments of his works are collected by C. F. Wegener (De Aula Attalica Litt. Artiumque Fautrice, Havn. 1836, 8vo.) There is also one epigram by him in the Greek Anthology (ii. 3, Brunck and Jacobs) upon Choerilus. This epigram is assigned to Crates on the authority of its title, Kpdryros ypauuanKov. But Diogenes Laertius mentions an epigrammatic poet of the name, as distinct from the grammarian.

(Suidas, s. vv. KpdT7)s,'ApicrTapxo$; Diog. Lae'rt. iv. 23; Strabo, pp. 3, 4, 30, 157, 439, 609, 676, &c.; Athen. xi. p. 497, f.; Varro, de L. L. viii. 64, 68, ix. 1 ; Sext. Empir. adv. Math. i. c. 3. § 79, c. 12, § 248; Scuol. in Horn, passim; Plin. H. N. iv. 12 ; Wolf, Prolog, in Horn. Ii.; Thiersch, Ueber das Zeitalter und Vaterland des Homer, pp. 19—64 ; Lersch, Die S'prachphilosophie der Alten^ i. pp. 67, 69—72, 112, ii. 148, 243; Fabric. Bill. Graec. i. pp. 318, 509, iii. p. 558 ; Clinton, Fast. Hell. iii. pp. 528, 529.) [P. S.]

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of