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970

DEMETRIUS.

man without rank or property (Diog. Laert. v. 75; Aelian, V. H. xii. 43); but notwithstanding this, he rose to the highest honours at Athens through his great natural powers and his perseverance. He was educated, together with the poet Menander, in the school of Theophrastus. He began his pub­lic career about b. c. 325, at the time of the dis­putes respecting Harpalus, and soon acquired a great reputation by the talent he displayed in public speaking. He belonged to the party of Phocion ; and as he acted completely in the spirit of that statesman, Cassander, after the death of Phocion in b.c. 317, placed Demetrius at the head of the administration of Athens. He filled this office for ten years in such a manner, that the Athenians in their gratitude conferred upon him the most extraordinary distinctions, and no less than 360 statues were erected to him. (Diog. Laert. /. c.; Diod. xix. 78 ; Corn. Nep. Miltiad. 6.) Cicero says of his administration, "Atheniensium rem publicam exsanguem jam et jacentem sustentavit." (De Re PubL ii. 1.) But during the latter period of his administration he seems to have become intoxicated with his extraordinary good fortune, and he abandoned himself to every kind of dissipation. (Athen. vi. p. 272, xii. p. 542 ; Aelian, F. II. ix. 9, where the name of Demetrius Poliorcetes is a mis­take for Demetrius Phalereus; Polyb. xii. 1 3.) This conduct called forth a party of malcontents, whose exertions and intrigues were crowned in b. c. 307, on the approach of Deme.trius Poliorcetes to Athens, when Demetrius Phalereus was obliged to take to flight. (Plut. Demet. 8 ; Dionys. Deinarcli. 3.) His enemies even contrived to induce the people of Athens to pass sentence of death upon him, in consequence of which his friend Menander nearly fell a victim. All his statues, with the exception of one, were demolished. Demetrius Phalereus first went to Thebes (Plut. Demetr. 9; Diod. xx. 45), and thence to the court of Ptolemy Lagi at Alexandria, with whom he lived for many years on the best terms, and who is even said to have entrusted to him the revision of the laws of his kingdom. (Aelian, V. H. iii. 17.) During his stay at Alexandria, he devoted himself mainly to lite­rary pursuits, ever cherishing the recollection of his own country. (Plut. deEscil. p. 602, f.) The successor of Ptolemy Lagi, however, was hostile towards Demetrius, probably for having advised his father to appoint another of his sons < as his successor, and Demetrius was sent into exile to Upper Egypt, where he is said to have died of the bite of a snake. (Diog. Laert. v. 78 ; Cic. pro Ra-hir. Post. 9.) His death appears to have taken place soon after the year b. c. 283.

Demetrius Phalereus was the last among the Attic orators worthy of the name (Cic. Brut. 8 ; Quintil. x. 1. § 80), and his orations bore evident marks of the decline of oratory, for they did not possess the sublimity which characterizes those of Demosthenes : those of Demetrius were soft, insi­nuating, and rather effeminate, and his style was graceful, elegant, and blooming (Cic. Brut. 9, 82, deOrat. ii. 23, Orai. 27; Quintil. x. 1. § 33); but he maintained withal a. happy medium between the sublime grandeur of Demosthenes, and the flourishing declamations of his successors. His numerous writings, the greater part of which he probably composed during his residence in Egypt (Cic. de Fin. v. 9), embraced subjects of the most varied kinds, and the list of them given by

DEMETRIUS.

Diogenes Laertius (v. 80, &c.) shews that he was a man of the most extensive acquirements. These works, which were partly historical, partly politi­cal, partly philosophical, and partly poetical, have all perished. The work on elocution (irepl ep/xTj-V€ias) which has come down under his name, is probably the work of an Alexandrian sophist of the name of Demetrius. [See above, No. 3.] It is said that A. Mai has discovered in a Vatican palimpsest some genuine fragments of Demetrius Phalereus. For a list of his works see Diogenes Laertius, who has devoted a chapter to him. (v. 5.) His literary merits are not confined to what he wrote, for he was a man of a practical turn of mind, and not a mere scholar of the closet ; whatever he learned or knew was applied to the practical business of life, of which the following facts are illustrations. The performance of tragedy had greatly fallen into dis­use at that time at Athens, on account of the great expenses involved in it ; and in order to afford the people less costly and yet intellectual amusement, he caused the Homeric and other poems to be re­cited on the stage by rhapsodists. (Athen. xiv. p. 620; Eustath. ad Horn. p. 1473.) It is also believed that it was owing to his influence with Ptolemy Lagi that books were collected at Alex­andria, and that he thus laid the foundation of the library which was formed under Ptolemy Phila-delphus. There is, however, no reason whatever for calling him the first in the series of librarians at Alexandria, any more than there is for the be­lief that he took part in the Greek translation of the Septuagint. A life of Demetrius Phalereus was written by Asclepiadas (Athen. xiii. p. 567), but it is lost. Among the modern works upon him and his merits, see Bonamy, in the M£moires de VAcad. des Inscript. vol. viii. p. 157, &c. ; H. Dohrn, De Vita et Rebus Demetrii Phalerei, Kiel, 1825, 4to. ; Parthey, Das Aleocandr. Museum, pp. 35, &c., 38, &c., 71 ; Ritschl, Die Alescand. Bib-lioth. p. 15.

29. A platonic philosopher who lived in the reign of Ptolemy Dionysus, about b. c. 85. (Lucian, de Column. 16.) He was opposed to the extra­vagant luxuries of the court of Ptolemy, and wajs charged with drinking water and not appearing in woman's dress at the Dionysia. He was punished by being compelled publicly to drink a quantity of wine and to appear in woman's clothes. He is pro­bably the same as the Demetrius mentioned by M, Aurelius Anto-ninus (viii. 25), whom Gataker con­founds with Demetrius Phalereus.

30. Surnamed pugil, a Greek grammarian, is mentioned as the author of a work irepl SiccAe/crou (Etymol. Magn, s. v. /xcoA&nJ/), and seems also to have written on Homer. (Apollon. Soph. s. v.

31. Of sagalassus, the author of a work en­titled napQoviKiicd. (Lucian, de Hist. Consenb. 32.)

32. Of sal amis, wrote a work on the island of Cyprus. (Steph. Byz. s. v. Kap7ra<n'a.)

33. Of scepsis, was a Greek grammarian of the time of Aristarchus and Crates. (Strab. xiii. p. 609.) He was a man of good family and an acute philologer. (Diog. Laert. v. 84.) He was the author of a very extensive work which is very often referred to, and bore the title Tpcoinos 5ia/co(T/xos. It consisted of at least twenty-six books. (Strab. xiii. p. 603 and passim ; Athen. iii. pp. 80, 91 ; Steph. Byz. s. v. 2iAiV5fo*>.) This work was an historical and geographical common-

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