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On this page: Dioscurides – Diotima – Diotimus



Diet, of Ant. s. v.\ and afterwards, when one king-only took the field, he took with him only one of those symbols. (Herod, v. 75.) Sepulchral monu­ments of Castor existed in the temple of the Dios­curi near Therapne (Find. Nem> x. 56 ; Pans. iii. 20. § 1), at Sparta (Paus iii. 13. § 1 ; Cic. de Nat. Deor. iii. 5,), and at Argos. (Pint. Quaest. Gr. 23.) Temples and statues of the Dioscuri were very nu­merous in Greece, though more particularly in Pelo­ponnesus. Respecting their festivals, see Diet, of Ant. s. vv. 'Az/aK€ia, Aiocr/coup^a. Their usual re­presentation in works of art is that of two youthful horsemen with egg-shaped hats, or helmets, crowned with stars, and with spears in their hands. (Paus. iii. 18. § 8, v. 19. § 1; Catull. 37. 2 ; Val. Flacc. v. 367.)

At Rome, the worship of the Dioscuri or Castores was introduced at an early time. They were be­ lieved to have assisted the Romans against the Latins in the battle of Lake Regillus ; and the dic­ tator, A. Postumius Albus, during the battle, vowed a temple to them. It was erected in the Forum, on the spot where they had been seen after the battle, opposite the temple of Vesta. It was consecrated on the 15th of July, the anniversary day of the battle of Regillus. (Dionys. vi. 13 ; Liv. ii. 20, 42.) Subsequently, two other temples of the Dioscuri were built, one in the Circus Maximus, and the other in the Circus Flaminius. (Vitruv. iv. 7 ; P. Vict. JReg. Vrl). xi.) From that time the equites regarded the Castores as their patrons, and after the year b. c. 305, the equites went every year, on the 15th of July, in a magnificent procession on horse­ back, from the temple of Mars through the main streets of the city, across the Forum, and by the ancient temple of the Dioscuri. In this procession the equites were adorned with olive wreaths and dressed in the trabea, and a grand sacrifice was offered to the twin gods by the most illustrious per­ sons of the equestrian order. (Dionys. /. c.; Liv. ix. 46 ; Val. Max. ii. 2. § 9 ; Aurel. Vict. de Vir. illustr. 32.) [L. S.]

DIOSCURIDES or DIOSCO'RIDES (Atotr-KovpiSys"). 1. Of Samos, the maker of two mosaic pavements found at Pompeii, in the so-called villa of Cicero. They both represent comic scenes, and are inscribed with the artist's name,

AIO2KOTPIAHS 2AMXO2 EIIOIH2E, They are entirely of glass, and are among the most beautiful of ancient mosaics. They are fully de­scribed by Winckelmann. (GescJiichte d. Kunst, bk. vii. c. 4. § 18, bk. xii. c. 1. §§ 9—11, Nachricht. v. d. neuesL Hercul. Entdeck. § 54, 55.) A wood­cut of one of them is given in the Useful Know­ledge Society's "Pompeii," ii. p. 41. (See also Mus. Borbon. iv. 34.)

2. An engraver of gems in the time of Augustus, engraved a gem with the likeness of Augustus, which was used by that emperor and his successors as their ordinary signet. (Plin. xxxvii. 1, s. 4 ; Suet. Oct. 50.) In these passages most of the editions give Dioscorides; but the true reading, which is preserved in some MSS., is confirmed by existing gems bearing the name AIO3KOTPIAOY. There are several of these gems, but only six are considered genuine. (Meyer's note on Winckel­mann, GescJiichte d. Kunst* bk. xi. c. 2. § 8.) [P.S.]

DIOTIMA (Atori/xa), a priestess of Mantineia, and the reputed instructor of Socrates. Plato, in his S}rmposium (p. 201, d.), introduces her opinions on the nature, origin, and objects of life, which in


fact form the nucleus of that dialogue. Some cri­ tics believe, that the whole story of Diotima is a mere fiction of Plato's, while others are inclined to see in it at least some historical foundation, and to regard her as an historical personage. Later Greek writers call her a priestess of the Lycaean Zeus, and state, that she was a Pythagorean philosopher who resided for some time at Athens. (Lucian, Eunuch. 7, Imag. 18; Max. Tyr. Dissert. 8; comp. Hermann, Gesch. u. System, d. Plat. Philos. i. p. 523, note 591; Ast, Leben u.Schriften Platos, p. 313.) [L. S.]

DIOTIMUS (Aiimjuos). 1. A grammarian of Ad-ramyttium in Mysia, exercised the profession of a teacher at Gargara in the Troad—a hard lot, which Aratus, who appears to have been contemporary with him, bemoans in an extant epigram. He is probably the same whose voluminous common-place book (TravToSaTra dvayvwcr/AaTa} is quoted by Ste-phanus of Byzantium (s. v. HacrcrapydSai}. Schnei-der would refer to him the epigrams under the name of Diotimus in the Anthology. See below. (Anthol. i. p. 253; Jacobs, ad loc.; Macrob. Sat. v. 20; Steph. Byz. s. v. Tapyapa; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. iii. p. 561, iv. p. 473.)

2. An Athenian, who wrote a history of Alex­ander the Great. The period at which he lived is not known. He is quoted, together with Aristus of Salamis, by Athenaeus (x. p. 436, e.).

3. The author of a Greek poem, called 'Hpa/cAeta, in hexameter verse, on the labours of Hercules. Three verses of it are preserved by Suidas (s. v. ~Evpv§aros\ and by Michael Apostolius, the By­zantine, in his collection of proverbs. (Jacobs, An­thol. vol. xiii. p. 888; see Athen. xiii. p. 603, d.)

4. Of Olympia, an author or collector of riddles , is mentioned by one of the interlocutors in the Dcipnosopllistae of Athenaeus (x. p. 448, c.) as 6 ercupos r^av, and lived therefore at the begin­ning of the third century of our era.

5. A Stoic philosopher, who is said to have accused Epicurus of profligacy, and to have forged fifty letters, professing to have been written by Epicurus, to prove it. (Diog. Lae'rt. x. 3 ; Menag. ad loc.} According to Athenaeus, who is evidently alluding to the same story in a pas­ sage where Aiort/xcs apparently should be sub­ stituted for ©eoTi,uos, he was convicted of the forgery, at the suit of Zeno the Epicurean, and put to death. (Ath. xiii. p. 611, b.) We learn from Clement of Alexandria (Strom. ii. 21), that he considered happiness or well-being (ei)e(TT</) to consist, not in any one good, but in the perfect accumulation of blessings (iravTeAeia Tc*>f cryaScoz'), which looks like a departure from strict Stoicism to the more sober view of Aristotle. (Eth. Nicom. i. 7, 8.) [E. E.]

DIOTIMUS (Atdn/uos). Under this name there are several epigrams in the Greek Anthology (Brunck, Anal. i. 250 ; Jacobs, i. 183), which seem, however, to be the productions of different authors, for the first epigram is entitled Aiori^ov , and the eighth Aiortp,ov 'Aflrjmtou rov This latter person would seem to be the same as the Athenian orator, Diotimus, who was one of the ten orators given up to Antipater. (Suid. s. v. *Ai>TLiraTpos; Pseudo-Plut. Vit. X Oral. p. 845, a.) How many of the epigrams belong to this Diotimus, and to whom the rest ought to be assigned, is quite uncertain. Schneider refers them to the grammarian Diotimus, of Adramyttium,

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