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On this page: Epicles – Epicrates – Epictetus




EPICLES ('EiriKATjs), a medical -writer quoted by Erotianus (Gloss. Hippocr. p. 16), who wrote a commentary on the obsolete words found in the writings of Hippocrates, which he arranged in alphabetical order. He lived after Baccheius, and therefore probably in the second or first cen­ tury b. c. [W. A. G.]

EPICRATES ('E7nKpc$T77s), an Athenian, who took a prominent part in public affairs after the end of the Peloponnesian war. He was a zealous mem­ber of the democratical party r and had a share in the overthrow of the Thirty Tyrants (Dem. de Fah. Legai. p. 430) ; but afterwards, when sent on an embassy to the Persian king Artaxerxes, he was accused not only of corruption, in receiving money from Artaxerxes, but also of peculation. (Lys. Or. 27, c. Epicratem, p. 806, &c.) Hegesan-der (ap. AtJien. vi. p. 251, a.) and Plutarch (Pe-lop. 30) say, that he so grossly flattered Arta­xerxes as to propose that instead of nine archons, nine ambassadors to the Persian king should be annually chosen by the Athenians. Plutarch also says that he did not deny the charge of corruption. He seems, however, to have been acquitted (Plut. and Ath. ILcc.} probably through the powerful in­terest possessed by himself and by his fellow cri­minal, Phormisius. (Dionys. Vit. Lys. 32.) He had been guilty of corruption on a former occasion also, but had been equally fortunate in escaping punish­ment. (Lys. /. c.) This first offence of his was probably on the occasion when Timocrates the Rhodian was sent by Tithraustes to bribe the Greek states to attack Sparta (b. c. 395); for though Xenophon (Hell. iii. 5. § 1.) asserts, that the Athenians did not receive any money from Ti­mocrates (a statement suspicious on the face of it), Pausanias (iii. 9. § 4) has preserved an account that at Athens bribes were taken by Cephalus and Epicrates.

The above statement of the acquittal of Epi­crates on the charge of corruption in his embassy to Artaxerxes, seems at first sight opposed to the statement of Demosthenes (de Fals. Legal, pp. 430, 431), that he was condemned to death, and that he was actually banished. But, in fact, Demosthenes seems to be referring to a distinct and third occa­sion on which Epicrates was charged with corrup­tion ; for in his repetition of the charge there is the important head, Kara^ev^6fji€voi t&v ffv^&x,^^ of which we find nothing in the oration of Lysias, but which is just the charge we should expect to be made against the Athenian envoy who took part in accepting the peace of Antalcidas (b. c. 387) ; and that Epicrates was really that envoy is the more probable from the fact, which is expressly stated, that it was Epicrates who recommended that peace to the Athenians. (Schol. Aristeid. i. p. 283, ed. Dindorf.)

Epicrates and Phormisius were attacked by Aristophanes (Eccles. 68 — 72, Ran. v. 965, and Schol.) and by Plato, the comic poet, who made their embassy the subject of a whole play, the Tlpso-fieis. Both are ridiculed for their large beards, and for this reason Epicrates was called craK€(r<pop6s. (Comp. Etym. Mag. s.v. ; Suid. s. v., and s.v. irwywv; Harpocrat. s. v. p. 162, cum not. Maussac. et Vales. ; Epist. Socrat. \ 3. p. 29 ; Plat. PJiaedr. p. 227, b. ; Meineke, Hist. Grit, Com. Graec. pp. 182, 183 ; Bergk, de Reliqu. Com. Att. Ant. pp. 389—394.) [P.S] .. EPI'CRATES (3EiriKpdTT]s), of Ambracia, was

an Athenian comic poet of the middle comedy, ac­cording to the testimony of Athenaeus (x. p. 422, f.), confirmed by extant fragments of his plays, in which he ridicules Plato and his disciples, Speu-sippus and Menedemus, and in which he refers to the courtezan Lai's, as being now far advanced in years. (Athen. ii. p. 59, d., xiii. p. 570, b.) From these indications Meineke infers that he flourished between the 101st and 108th Olympiads (b.c.

-376—348). Two plays of Epicrates, "E/-wropos and 3Avri\til's are mentioned by Suidas (s. «.), and are quoted by Athenaeus (xiv. p. 655, f., xiii. pp. 570, b., 605, e.), who also quotes his 'A^afdfc/cs (x. p. 422, f.) and AJcrirparos (vi. p. 262, d.), and in­ forms us that in the latter play Epicrates copied some things from the Avffirparos of Antiphanes. Aelian (N.A.xii. 10) quotes the Xopo's of Epi­ crates. We have also one long fragment (Athen. ii. p. 59, c.) and two shorter ones (Athen. xi. p. 782, f,; Pollux, iv. 121) from his unknown plays. (Meineke, Frag. Com. Graec. vol. i. pp. 414, 415, vol. iii. pp. 365—373; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. ii. pp.440, 441.) [P.S.]

EPICTETUS ('ETnVnjroj), of Hierapolis in Phrygia^ a freedman of Epaphroditus, who was himself a freedman and a servile favourite of Nero, lived and taught first at Rome, and, after the ex­pulsion of the philosophers by Domitian, at Nico-polis, a town in Epeirus, founded by Augustus in commemoration of his victory at Actium. Although he was favoured by Hadrian (Spartian, Hadr. 16)

—which gave occasion to a work which was un­doubtedly written at a much later time, the " Al-tercatio Hadriani cum Epicteto" (see especially Heumann, Ada Philos. i. 734)—yet he does not appear to have returned to Rome; for the dis­courses which Arrian took down in writing were delivered by Epictetus when an old man at Nicopolis. (Dissert, i.25,19,withSchweighauser'snote.) The statement of Themistius(0ratf. v. p. 63, ed.Harduin) that Epictetus was still alive in the reign of the two Antonines, which is repeated by Suidas (*.«?.), seems to rest upon a confusion of names, since M. Aurelius Antoninus, who was an enthusiastic ad­mirer of Epictetus, does not mention him, but Junius Rusticus, a disciple of Epictetus, among his teachers; in like manner, A. Gellius, who lived in the time of the Antonines, speaks of Epictetus as belonging to the period which had just passed away. (M. Antonin. i. 7, vii. 29, with Gataker's note; Gellius, vii. 19.) Besides what is here mentioned, only a few circumstances of the life of Epictetus are recorded, such as his lameness, which is spoken of in very different ways, his poverty, and his few wants. The detailed biogra­phy written by Arrian has not come down to us. (Simplic. Prooem. Comment, in Epictet. Enchirid. iv. p. 5, ed. Schweigh.)

It is probable that he was still a slave (Arrian, Dissert, i. 9, 29) when C. Musonius Rufus gained him for the philosophy of the Porch, of which he remained a faithful follower throughout life. In what manner he conceived and taught it, we see with satisfactory completeness from the notes which we owe to his faithful pupil, Arrian; although of Arrian's eight books of commentaries four are lost, with the exception of a few fragments. Epictetus himself did not leave anything written behind him, and the short manual or collection of the most es^ sential doctrines of Epictetus, was compiled from his discourses by Arrian. (Simplic. in Enchirid,

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