The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.



he accomplished his task, and returned from Ephesus to Phalara, on the Maliac Gulf, within twelve days. After falling into the hands of Philip, by whom he was treated with unexpected kindness, he reached Hypata just at the moment when the Aetolians were deliberating about peace, and by bringing some money from Antiochus, and the promise of further aid, he succeeded in per­suading them to refuse the terms proposed by the Romans. (Liv. xxxvi. 29 ; Polyb. xx. 10, 11.) In b. c. 190 he was appointed praetor (or 2rpa-T7?7os) of the Aetolians (Clinton, Fasti HelL\ and endeavoured in vain to force the consul, M. Fulvius Nobilior, to raise the siege of Ambracia (Liv. xxxviii. 1, 4—6 ; Polyb. xxii. 8, 10), after which he was sent as ambassador to Rome, with Phaeneas, to settle the terms of peace. (Polyb. xxii. 13.) We hear no more of him, but that, as he was ever afterwards favourably inclined towards the royal family of Macedonia, because of Philip's kindness to him, he fell under the displeasure of the Romans on that account during their war with Perseus, b. c. 171—168, and that he was sum­moned to Rome, and died there. (Polyb. xx. 11, xxvii. 13, xxviii. 4, 6.)

4. One of the ambassadors from Rhodes to Rome, with Agesilochus and Nicagoras, probably b. c. 169. (Polyb. xxviii. 2, 14.) [ W. A.G.] NICANDER (Nkai/Spos), literary. 1. The author of two Greek poems that are still extant, and of several others that have been lost. His father's name was Damnaeus (Eudoc. Viol. ap. Villoison's Anecd. Gr. vol. i. p. 308, and an anonymous Greek life of Nicander), though Suidas (probably by some over­sight) calls him Xenophanes (s. v. Ni/cai/Spos), and he was one of the hereditary priests of Apollo Clarius [CLARius], to which dignity Nicander himself succeeded (comp. Nicand. Alexiph. v. 11). He was born at the small town of Claros, near Colophon in Ionia, as he intimates himself (Ther, in fine), whence he is frequently called Colophonius (Cic. de Orat. i. 16 ; Suid. &c..), and there is a Greek epigram (Atiihol. Gr. ix. 213) complimenting Colo­phon on being the birth-place of Homer and Nicander. He was said by some ancient authors to have been born in Aetolia, but this probably arose from his having passed some time in that country, and written a work on its natural and political history. He has been supposed to have been a contemporary, of Aratus and Callimachus in the third century b. c., but it is more probable that he lived nearly a century later, in the reign of Ptolemy V. (or Epiplianes)) who died B. c. 181, and that the Attains to whom he dedicated one of his lost poems was the last king of Pergamus of that name, who reign b.c. 138 (Anon. Gr. Life of Nicander, and Anon. Gr. Life of Aratus). If these two dates are correct, Nicander may be sup­posed to have been in reputation for about fifty years cir. b.c. 185—135 (see Clinton's Fasti Hell. vol. iii.). He was a physician and grammarian, as well as a poet, and his writings seem to have been rather numerous and on various subjects.

The longest of his poems that remains is named ©ypiaKa, and consists of nearly a thousand hex­ameter lines. It is dedicated to a person named Hermesianax, who must not be confounded with the poet of that name. It treats (as the name im­plies) of venomous animals and the wounds in­flicted by them, and contains some curious and interesting zoological passages, together with nu-


merous absurd fables, which do not require to be particularly specified here. Haller calls it4< longa, incondita, et nullius fidei farrago" (Bibliotk. Botan.). His other poem, called 'AA.e£t<£af>,ua/ca, consists of more than six hundred lines, written in the same metre, is dedicated to a person named Protagoras, and treats cf poisons and their antidotes : of this work also Haller remarks, "descriptio vix ulla, symptomata fuse recensentur, et magna farrago et incondita plantarum potissimum alexipharmacarum subjicitur." A full analysis of the medical portions of both these works may be found in Mr. Adams's Commentary on the fifth book of Paulus Aegineta. Among the ancients his authority in all matters re­lating to toxicology seems to have been considered high. His works are frequently quoted by Pliny (ff. .2V. xx. 13, 96, xxii. 15, 32, xxvi. 66, xxx. 25, xxxii. 22, xxxvi. 25, xxxvii. 11, 28), Galen (de Hippocr. et Plat. Deer. ii. 8, vol. v. p. 275, de Locis Affect, ii. 5, vol. viii. p. 133, de Simpl. Medicam. Temper, ac Facult. ix. 2. § 10, x. 2. § 16, vol. xii. pp. 204, 289, de Ther. ad 9, 13, vol. xiv. pp. 239, 265, Comment, in Hippocr. " De Artic." iii. 38, vol. xviii. pt. i. p. 537), Athenaeus (pp. 66, 312, 366, 649, &c.), and other ancient wri­ters ; and Dioscorides, Aetius, and other medical authors have made frequent use of his works. Plutarch, Diphilus and others wrote commentaries on his "Theriaca" [DiPHiLus], Marianus paraphrased it in iambic verse [marianus], and Eutecnius wrote a paraphrase in prose of his two principal poems, which is still extant. On the subject of his poetical merits the ancient writers were not well agreed ; for though (as we have seen) a writer in the Greek Anthology compliments Colophon for being the birth-place of Homer and Nicander, and Cicero praises (de Orat. \. 16) the poetical manner in which in his " Georgics" he treated a subject of which he was wholly ignorant, Plutarch on the other hand (de And. Poet. c. 2, vol. i. p. 36, ed. Tauchn.) says that ,the " Theriaca," like the poems of Empedocles, Parmenides, and Theognis, have nothing in them of poetry but the metre. Modern critics have differed equally on this point; but practically the judgment of posterity has been pro­nounced with sufficient clearness, and his works are now scarcely ever read as poems, but merely con­sulted by those who are interested in points of zoolo­gical and medical antiquities : —how opposite a fate to that which has befallen Virgil's Georgics ! In re­ference to his style and language Bentley calls him, with great truth, " antiquarium, obsoleta et casca verba studiose venantem, et vel sui saeculi lectoribus difficilem et obscurum." (Cambridge Museum Cri-ticum^ vol. i. p. 371.)

The following are the titles of Nicander's lost works, as collected by Fabricius (Bibl. Gr. vol. iv. p. 348, Harles) : 1. Atra>7UK<£, a prose work, con­sisting of at least three books ; quoted by Athe­naeus (pp. 296, 477), Macrobius (Saturn, v. 21), Harpocration (Lex. s. v. ©vtrriov), and other writers.* 2. T^wpyina.^ a poem in hexameter verse, consisting of at least two books, of which some long fragments remain ; mentioned by Cicero (de Orat. i. 16), Suidas, and others, and frequently quoted by AthenaeuSj (pp. 52, 133, 371, &c.).

* Fabricius and Schweighaeuser (Athen. p. 329, and " Ind. Auctor.") reckon among Nicander's works a poem called Botwrta/cos, but this is wrong, See pindorf's Athen. 1. c. and " Ind. ScriptoiV

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of