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On this page: Hippias – Hippitas – Hippius – Hitpias


HITPIAS pinrfas). 1. [PEisiSTRATiis and peisistratidae.]

2. The Sophist, was a native of Elis, and a son of Diopeithes. He was a disciple of Hegesidamus (Suid. s. v.), and the contemporary of Protagoras and Socrates. Owing to his talent and skill, his fellow-citizens availed themselves of his services in political matters, and in a diplomatic mission to Sparta. "(PhU)' Hipp. maj. pp. 281. a, 286. a; Philostr. Vit. Soph. i. 11.) But he was in every respect like the other sophists of the time: he travelled about in various towns and districts of Greece for the purpose of acquiring wealth and celebrity, by teaching and public speaking. His character as a sophist, his vanity, and his boastful arrogance, are well described in two dialogues of Plato, the 'Itririas jue^eoi/ and the 'liririas ekdrrw (Hippias major and Hippias minor). The former treats of the question about the beautiful, and in a manner which gives ample scope for putting the knowledge and presumption of Hippias in a ludi­crous light; the other handles the deficiency of our knowledge, and exposes the ridiculous vanity of the sophist. The latter dialogue is considered by Schleiermacher and Ast to be spurious. Ast even goes so far as to reject the Hippias major also; but it is not easy to get over the difficulty which arises from the fact of Aristotle (Metapliys. v. 29) and Cicero (de Orat. iii. 32) mentioning it, though without expressly ascribing it to Plato ; but how­ever this may be, the dialogues must at any rate have been written by a person and at a time when there was no difficulty in forming a correct estimate of the character of HippiaSi—Jf we compare the accounts of Plato with those given by other writers, it cannot be denied that Hippias was a man of very extensive knowledge, that he occupied him­self not only with rhetorical, philosophical, and political studies, but was also well versed in poetry, music, mathematics, painting and sculpture, nay, that to a certain extent he had a practical skill in the ordinary arts of life, for he used to boast of wear­ing on his body nothing that he had not made him­self with his own hands, such as his seal-ring, his cloak, and shoes. (Plat. Hipp. maj. p. 285. c, Hipp. min. p. 368. b, Protag. p. 315. c ; Philostr. I. c.; Themist. Orat. xxix. p. 345. d.) But it is at the same time evident that his knowledge of all these things was of a superficial kind, that he did not enter into the details of any particular art or science, and that he was satisfied with certain generalities, which enabled him to speak on every­thing without a thorough knowledge of any. This arrogance, combined with ignorance, is the main cause which provoked Plato to his severe criticism of Hippias, in which he is the more justified, as the sophist enjoyed a very extensive reputation, and thus had a proportionate influence upon the education of the youths of the higher classes. His great forte seems to have consisted in delivering extempore show speeches; and once his sophistic vanity led him to declare that he would travel to Olympia, and there deliver before the assembled Greeks an oration on any subject that might be proposed to him (Plat. Hipp. min. p. 363) ; and Philostratus in fact speaks of several such orations delivered at Olympia, and which created great sensation. Such speeches must have been published by Hippias, but no specimen has come down to us. Socrates (ap. PlaL Hipp. min. p. 368) speaks of epic poetiy, tragedies, dithyrambs, and various ora-



tions, as the productions of Hippias; nay, his literary vanity seems not to have scrupled to write on grammar, music, rhythm, harmony, and a variety of other subjects. (Plat. Hipp. maj. p. 285, &c. j comp. Philostr. 1. c.; Plut. Num. 1, 23; Dion Chrys. Orat. Ixxi. p. 625.) He seems to have been especially fond of choosing antiquarian and mythi­cal subjects for his show speeches. Athenaeus (xiii. p. 609) mentions a work of Hippias under the title 'Svvaywyh which is otherwise unknown. An epigram of his is preserved in Pausanias (v. 25, also in Brunck, Analect. ii. 57). His style and language are not censured for any thing particular by the ancients. (Comp. Groen van Prinsterer, Prosop. Platon. p. 91, &c.; Gee\^Hist. Crit. Soph.. p. 181, &c. ; F. Osann, Der Sophist Hippias als Arclweolog, in the for 1843, p. 495, &c.)

3. Of Thasus, one of the earliest Greek gram­marians, who occupied himself with the explanation of difficult and obscure passages in the Homeric poems. (Aristot. Poet. 25 ; Soph. Ekneli. i. 3 ; Lysias, Orat. xiii. § 54.)

4. Of Delos, a Greek grammarian, probably of a-later date than the preceding one, is mentioned as the author of a sort of geographical dictionary (tftvtov ovo^aaia.^ Schol. ad -Apollon. Kliod. iii. 1178, Ezidoc. p. 248; Eustath. ad Dionys. Pericg. 270), but is otherwise unknown.

5. Of Erythrae, an historian, whose age is un­ known. He wrote a work on the history of his; native city, of which a fragment is quoted by Athe­ naeus (vi. p. 258). [L. S.]

HIPPIAS ('iTTTrfas), artists. 1. A statuary, mentioned by Dio Chrysostom as the teacher of Phidias. (Orat. Iv. vol. ii. p. 282, ed. Reiske.)

2. A statuary, who, according to Pausanias, made the statue of the Olympic victor Scaeus, the son of Duris of Samos, in the Altis at Olympia, during the time when the Samians were expelled from their island, that is, before b. c. 324. (Paus. vi. 13. § 3, or § 5, ed. Bekker, who restores the name of Scaeus, which is lost or corrupted in the older editions.)

3. A painter of second-rate merit, celebrated for his picture or pictures of Neptune and Victory.; (Plin. xxxv. 11. s. 40. § 35.)

4. A most skilful mechanician and geometri­ cian, contemporary with Lucian, who describes a bath constructed by him. (Hipj)ias9 seu JBalneium, vol. iii. pp. 66—74.) [P. S.]

HIPPITAS, or HI'PPOTAS ('WTas,Polyb.; 'iTTTroray, Pint.), one of the friends of Cleomenes III., king of Sparta, who accompanied him in his flight and exile in Egypt. He took part, together with Panteus and the rest of the king's friends, in the last fruitless attempt to excite an insurrection at Alexandria, and shared with the rest a volun­tary death when they found that all hopes were at an end. (Polyb. v. 37; Plut. Cleom. 37.) [E.H.B.]

HIPPIUS, a friend of Cicero's, whom the orator represents as particularly deserving of his esteem. He therefore recommended the son of Hippius, C. Valgius. Hippianus, who had been adopied by a member of the Valgian family, and, had purchased a portion of the demesne of Fre-gellae, to the magistrates of that town. (Cic. ad Fam. xiii. 76.) This letter conveys indirectly some curious information. Fregellae, once the chief town of a considerable district, became a Roman colony in b. c. 328. (Liv. viii. 22 ; Strab. v. p.; 238.), In

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