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On this page: Epimetheus – Epinicus – Epiphanius



when he had already arrived at an advanced age. He was looked upon "by the Greeks as a great sage and as the favourite of the gods. The Athenians who were visited by a plague in consequence of the crime of Cylon [cylon], consulted the Del­phic oracle about the means of their delivery. The god commanded them to get their city puri­fied, and the Athenians sent out Nicias with a ship to Crete to invite Epimenides to come and undertake the purification. Epimenides accord­ingly came to Athens, about b. c. 596 or Olymp. 46, and performed the desired task by certain mysterious rites and sacrifices, in consequence of which the plague ceased. The grateful Athenians decreed to reward him with a talent and the vessel which was to carry him back to his native island. But Epimenides refused the money, and only de­sired that a friendship should be established be­tween Athens and Cndssus. Whether Epimenides died in Crete or at Sparta, which in later times boasted of possessing his tomb (Diog. Laert. i. 115), is uncertain, but he is said to have attained the age of 154, 157, or even of 299 years. Such statements, however, are as fabulous as the story about his fifty-seven years' sleep. According to some accounts, Epimenides was reckoned among the seven wise men of Greece (Diog. Laert. Prooem. § 13 ; Plut. Sol. 12) ; but all that tradition has handed down about him suggests a very different character from that of those seven, and he must rather be ranked in the class of priestly bards and sages who are generally comprised under the name of the Orphici; for everything we hear of him, is of a priestly or religious nature: he was a puri­fying priest of superhuman knowledge and wisdom, a seer and a prophet, and acquainted with the healing powers of plants. These notions about Epimenides were propagated throughout antiquity, and it was probably owing to the great charm at­tached to his name, that a series of works, both in prose and in verse, were attributed to him, though few, if any, can be considered to have been genu­ine productions of Epimenides; the. age at which he he lived was certainly not an age of prose composition in Greece. Diogenes Laertius (i. 112) notices as prose works, one on sacrifices, and another on the Political Constitution of Crete. There was also ,a Letter on the Constitution which Minos had given to Crete ; it was said to have been addressed by Epimenides to Solon ; it was written in the modern Attic dialect, and was proved to be spurious by Demetrius of Magnesia. Diogenes himself has preserved another letter, which is likewise ad­dressed to Solon; it is written in the Doric dia­lect, but is no more genuine than the former. 'The reputation of Epimenides as a poet may have rested on a somewhat surer foundation ; it is at any rate more likely that he should have composed such poetry as Xprjo-^oL and Kadap/uLol than any other. (Suidas, s. v. 'E7rtjue*'i8T?s ; Strab. x. p. 479 ; Paus. i. 14. § 4.) It is, however, very doubtful whether he wrote the Tevecris Kal ®Goyovia of the Curetes and Corybantes in 5000 verses, the epic on Jason and the Argonauts in 6500, and the epic on Minos and Rhadamanthys in 4000 verses ; all of which works are mentioned by Diogenes. There cannot, however, be any doubt but that there ex­isted in antiquity certain old-fashioned poems written upon skins; and the expression, 'Evrtyiez/t-Seiov Sepjita was used by the ancients to designate anything old-fashioned, obsolete, and curious. An


allusion to Epimenides seems to be made iirSt. Paul's Epistle to Titus (i. 12). . Comp. Fabric. Bill. Graec. vol. i. pp. 30, &c., 844 ; Hockh, Kreta, vol. iii. p. 246, &c.; Bode, Gesch. der Hellen. Dicliik. vol. i. p. 463, &c., and more especially C. F. Hein-rich, Epimenides aus Creta, Leipzig, 1801, 8vo.

2. The author of a History of Rhodes, which was written in the Doric dialect. (Diog. Laert. i» 115; Schol. ad Find. 01. vii. 24, ad Apollon. Rliod. i. 1125, iii. 241, iv. 57 ; Eudoc. p. 81; Heinrich, Epimenid. p. 134.)

3. The author of a work on genealogies. (Diog. Laert. i. 115.) [L. S.]

EPIMETHEUS. [prometheus and pan­dora.]

EPINICUS (Tforfwifos), an Athenian comic poet of the new comedy, two of whose plays are mentioned, 'TTrojSaAAcfyiei/ca and Mvn<rnrr6\€fjLos. The latter title determines his date to the time of Antiochus the Great, about b. c. 217, for Mnesip-tolemus was an historian in great favour with that king. (Suid. s.v.; Eudoc. p. 166 ; Athen. x. p. 432, b., xi. pp. 469, a., 497, a., 500, f.; Meineke, Frag. Com. Graec. vol. i. p. 481, iv. pp. 505-508.) [P.S.]

EPl'PHANES, a surname of Antiochus IV. and Antiochus XI., kings of Syria, [see vol. i. pp. 198, 199], and also of Antiochus IV. king of Commagene, one of whose sons had likewise the same surname, and is the one meant by Tacitus, when he speaks (Hist. ii. 25) of " Rex Epipha-nes." [See vol. i. p. 194.]

EPIPHANIUS ('E7u0cCms). ]. Of alex­andria, son of the mathematician Theon, who ad­dresses to him his commentaries on Ptolemy. (Theon, Commentary on Ptolemy, ed. Halmaj Paris, 1821—22.) Possibly this Epiphanius is one of the authors of a work wept fipovr&v Kal d<rTpair£j'9 by Epiphanius and Andreas, or Andrew, formerly in the library of Dr. George Wheeler, canon of Durham. (Catal. MSS» Angliae et Hiberniae, Oxon. 1697.)

2. Bishop of constantia (the ancient Salamis), and metropolitan of cyprus, the most eminent of all the persons of the name of Epiphanius. (See below.)

3. Of constantia and metropolitan of cyprus, distinguished from the preceding as the Younger, was represented at the third council of Constanti­nople (the sixth general council) by the bishop of Trimithus, one of his suffragans. Several of the dis­courses which have been regarded as written by the great Epiphanius are by acuter judges ascribed either to this Epiphanius, or to a third of the same name and bishopric. [No. 4 below.] A work extant in MS. in the Library of St. Mark at Venice, and in the Imperial Library at Vienna, is also by some ascribed to this writer or the following. (Labbe, Concilia, vol. vi. «ol. 1058 ; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. viii. pp. 258, 273, &c., x. pp. 249, 276, 279, 302 ; Petavius, Preface to the second volume of 7ds edition of Epiphanius; Oudin, Commentarius de Scriptor. Eccles. vol. ii. 318.19.)

4. Third bishop of constantia of the name, A letter of his, congratulating Joannes or John on his restoration to the patriarchate of Constantinople (a. d. 867), is given, with a Latin version, by Labbe. (Concilia, vol. viii. col. 1276.) See the pre­ceding article.

5. Of constantinople. On the death of Joannes or John II., the Cappadocian, patriarch of Constantinople, Epiphanius, then a presbyter, was

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