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end of bis romance:—Toi6v$e irepcis '$ffe t<) (rvvrayiJLa t&v -rrepl ®€ayevi)v Kal AiQtoiriKtuV 6 ffvviTO^ev dvrip $olvil- ' Ttav. a</>' 'HAiov ysvos, ©eoSotriov Trots 'HAtoScopoy. The words ro»v fop 'HAfov 7^05 no doubt mean that he was of the family of priests of the Syrian god of the Sun (Elagabalus). He lived about the end of the fourth century of our era, under Theodosius and his sons. He wrote his romance in early life. He afterwards became bishop of Tricca in. Thessaly, where he introduced the regulation, that every priest who did not, upon -his ordination, separate himself from his wife, should be deposed. (Socrat. H.E.v. 22.) Nicephorus (PL E. xii. 34) adds that, on the ground of the alleged injury which had been done to the .morals . of young persons by the reading of the Aethiopica, a provincial synod decreed that Heliodorus must either suffer his book to be burnt, or lay down his bishopric, and that Heliodorus chose the latter alternative. The story has been wisely rejected by Valesius, Petavius, Huet, and other scholars; and it is the more improbable from the fact that there is nothing of a corrupting tendency in the Aethiopica. We have no further accounts of the life of Heliodorus. (Phot. Cod. 73.)
His romance is in ten books, and is entitled Aethiopica^ because the scene of the beginning and the end of the story is laid in Aethiopia. It relates the loves of Theagenes and Charicleia. Persine, the wife of Hydaspes, king of Aethiopia, bore a daugnter, whose complexion, through the effect of a Greek statue on the queen's mind, was white. Fearing that this circumstance might cause her husband to doubt her fidelity, she resolved to expose the child, and committed her, with tokens by which she might afterwards be known, to Sisimi-thras, a gymnosophist, who, being sent on an embassy into Egypt, took the child with him, and gave her to Charicles, the Pythian priest, who happened to be in Egypt. Charicles took the child to Delphi, where he brought her up as his own daughter, by the name of Charicleia, and made her priestess of Apollo. In course of time there came to Delphi a noble Thessalian, descended from the Aeacidae, and named Theagenes, between whom and Gharicleia a mutual love sprung up at first sight. At the same time Calasiris, an Egyptian priest, whom the queen of Aethiopia had employed to seek for her daughter, happened to arrive at Delphi; and by his help Theagenes carried off '-Charicleia. Then follows a long and rapid series of perilous adventures, from pirates and other lawless men, till at last the chief persons of the story meet at Meroe, at the very moment when Charicleia, who has fallen as a captive into her father's hands, is about to be sacrificed to the gods: she is made known by the tokens and by the testimony of Sisimithras, and the lovers are happily married.
Though very deficient in those characteristics of modern fiction which appeal to the universal sympathies of our nature, the romance of Heliodorus is extremely interesting on account of the rapid succession of strange and not altogether improbable •adventures, the many and various characters introduced, and the beautiful scenes described. The opening scene is admirable, and the point .of the story at which it occurs is very well chosen. The language is simple and elegant, though it is sometimes too diffuse, and often deviates from the pure Attic standard. The whole work, as compared
with the best of. later Greek romances, that of Achilles Tatius for example, has the superiority of greater nature, less artificial and rhetorical elaboration, with more real eloquence, less improbability in its incidents, and greater skill in the management of the episodes, and, in short, the superiority of a work of original talent over an imitation. It formed the model for subsequent Greek romance writers. It is often quoted by the title of Xapi-KAeta, just as the work of Achilles is quoted by that of Aev/cnrTrrj, from the names of the respective heroines.
In modern times the Aefhiopica was scarcely known till, at the sacking of Ofen in 1526, a MS. of the work in the library of Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary, attracted, by its rich binding, the attention of a soldier, who brought it into Germany, and at last it came into the hands of Vincentius Opsopoeus, who printed it at Basel, 1534, 4to. Several better MSS. were afterwards discovered, and in 1596 a new edition was brought out in folio, at Heidelberg, by Commelinus, with the Latin version of Stanislaus Warsichewiczki, which had been printed in 1552 at Basel, and in 1556 at Antwerp. The edition of Commelinus was reprinted at Lyon in 1611, 8vo., and at Frankfort in 1631, 8vo. This last edition, by Daniel Pareus, was the first divided into chapters. The edition of Bourdelot, Paris, 1619, 8vo., is full of errors, and the notes are of little value. The edition of Peter Schmid, Lips. 1772, 8vo., only differs from that of Bourdelot by the introduction of new errors. At length, in 1799, an excellent edition of the text and Latin version, with a few notes, chiefly critical, appeared in Mitscherlich's Scriptores Graeci Ero-tici, of which it forms the 2d volume, in two parts, 8vo. Argentorat. anno VI. A still better edition was brought out in 1804, at Paris, by the learned Greek Coraes, at the expense of his friend, Alexander Basilius, in 2 vols. 8vo. The first volume contains an introduction, in modern Greek, in the form of a letter to Alexander Basilius, and the text, with various readings. The second volume contains notes in ancient Greek, and other illustrative matter.
The Aethiopica has been translated into nearly all modern languages. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. viii. p. 111 ; the Prefaces of Mitscherlich and Coraes ; Jacobs, in Ersch and Gruber's Encyclopadie, s. v.; Hoffmann, Lean. Bibliog. Script. Graec. s. v.)
There is an iambic poem, in 269 verses, on the art of making gold, which is attributed by a MS. in the royal library at Paris to Heliodorus the bishop of Tricca. It exists in MS. in several libraries in Europe, and is printed, from the Paris MS., in Fabric. Bill. Graec. vol. viii. p. 119. The title is 'HAtoSwpov <£iAo(ro(/>ou Trpos ©eoSJtnoi/ r BatnAea, Trepl rtfs t&v tyiXoffofytw Mwm/crjs Te (i. e. Alchymy), Si' 'I^jU&ov. K'uhn and Hoffmann (Lex. Bill. s. v.) believe the poem to be genuine, but Jacobs calls it the clumsy fabrication of a later time, to which the name of Theodosius was prefixed to give it the semblance of authority; and he suggests that the name Heliodorus may have been used, after the fashion of the Alchymists and Rosi-crucians, on account of its etymological signification. (Ersch and Gruber's Encyclopadie, s.v.)
V. scientific. 1. Of Larissa, the author of a little work on optics, entitled Kc^aAwa t&v 'ott-tikqov, which seems to be a fragment or abridgement of the larger work, which is entitled in some MSS.