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On this page: Onesilus Co – Onesimus – Onestes – Onetor – Onomacles – Onomacritus


though, on the other hand, a passage of Lucian (Quomodo hist, conscr. c. 40), might lead us to in­fer that this was at least commenced during the lifetime of Alexander himself.

We learn from Diogenes Laertius (vi. 84) that the history of Onesicritus comprised the whole life of Alexander, including his youth and education (ttus 'AAe£ai>8pos ijx^} 5 hut it is most frequently cited in regard to the campaigns of that prince in Asia, or to the geographical description of the countries that he visited. Though an eye-witness of much that he described, it appears that he inter­mixed many fables and falsehoods with his nar­rative, so that he early fell into discredit as an authority. Strabo is especially severe upon him, and calls him " Owe 'AAelovSpov /uaAAoj/ $ ro>v irapa86^o)V dpXMvGepvriT'iris." (xv. p. 698, comp. ii. p. 70.) Plutarch cites him as one of those who related the fable of the visit of the Amazons to Alexander, for which he was justly ridiculed by Lysimachus (Alex. 46), and Arrian accuses him of falsely representing himself as the commander of the fleet, when he was in truth only the pilot. (Anctb. vi. 2. § 6; comp. Suid. s. v. Neapxos). Aulus Gellius (ix. 4) even associates him with Aristeas of Proconnesus, and other purely fabulous writers. But it is clear that these censures are overcharged; and though some of the statements cited from him are certainly gross exaggerations (see for instance Strab. xv. p. 698 ; Aelian. H. N. xvi. 39, xvii. 6), his work appears to have con­tained much valuable information concerning the remote countries for the first time laid open by the expedition of Alexander. In particular he was the first author that mentioned the island of Ta-probane. (Strab. xv. p. 691 ; Plin. H. N. vi. 24.) He is said to have imitated Xenophon in his style, though he fell short of him as a copy does of the original. (Diog. Lae'rt. vi. 84; Suid. s. v. 'Ovrjffifcpt-tos.) Some authors have held that besides this general history, Onesicritus had composed a sepa­rate Paraplus, or narrative of the voyage, in which he bore so prominent a part: but Geier has shown that there is no foundation for such a supposition: and it seems certain that Pliny, whose words might lead to such an inference (H. N. vi. 23 (26) ), had in fact used only an extract from the work of Onesicritus, abridged or translated by Juba. Still less reason is there to infer (with Meier in Ersch and Gruber, Encyd. sect. iii. pt. iii. p. 457) that he wrote a history of the early kings of Persia, because we find him cited by Lucian (Macrob. 14) concerning the age of Cyrus.

(All the facts known concerning Onesicritus are fully discussed, and the passages quoted from his writings by various authors collected together by Geier, Akxandri Historiar. Scriptores, lib. iii. p. 74—108. See also Vossius, de Historicis Graeds, p. 94, ed Westermann ; Ste Croix, Examen Critique, p. 38, &c.; and Meier, /. c.) [E. H. B.]

ONESILUS COv>f<nAos), of Salamis in Cyprus, the son of Chersis, grandson of Siromus, and great-grandson of Evelthon. He had frequently urged his brother Gorgus, who was king of Salamis in Cyprus, to desert from the Persians ; but as he was unable to persuade him to do so, he finally drove him from the city, and set up the standard of revolt with the lonians, in b. c. 499. Gorgus fled to the Persians ; Onesilus became king of Salamis, and persuaded all the other cities in Cyprus, with the exception of Amathus, to renounce their allegiance



to the Persians. Thereupon Onesilus laid siege to Amathus ; and as Dareius sent a large force to its relief under the command of Artybius, Onesilus begged aid of the lonians. They readily complied with his request; and in the following year, b. c. 498, two battles were fought between the contend­ing parties, one by sea, in which the Jonians de­feated the Phoenician fleet, and the other by land, in which the Cyprians were beaten by the Persian?. Onesilus fell in the battle ; his head was cut off by the inhabitants of Amathus, and hung over their city-gates. At a later period, however, an oracle commanded them to take down his head and bury it, and also to offer sacrifices to him as a-hero. (Herod, v. 104, 108—110.) [gorgus, No. 2.]

ONESIMUS,the son of Python, a Macedonian noble, who passed over to the Romans, when Perseus resolved to declare war against the latter, b. c. 169, and received in consequence magnificent rewards from the senate. (Liv. xliv. 16.)

ONESTES,or ONESTUS ('Oj/eVn/s/O^ffTos) The Greek Anthology contains ten epigrams, in­ scribed 'Oca-row in the Vatican MS.; but, as the heading of the sixth and seventh is 'Oj/60Tou Kopiv- 0/ot>, and that of the ninth 'Oveffrov Bv^avrlov, it would seem that there were two poets of the name ; but concerning neither of them have we any further information. Brunck even suspected the correct­ ness of the name altogether ; and thought it might be a mistake for 'Oeo-fay, but this supposition is founded on no evidence. Wine, love, and music are the subjects of the epigrams, which are dis­ tinguished by no particular beauty. (Brunck, Anal. vol. ii. p. 289 ; Jacobs, Anth. Graec. vol. iii. p. 3, vol. xiii. p. 926 ; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. iv. p. 485.) [P. S.]

ONETOR ('O^rwp), the name of two mythical personages, one a priest of Zeus on Mount Ida (Horn. II. xvi. 605), and the other the father of Phrontis, the steersman of Menelaus. (Pans. x. 25. § 2.) [L. S.]

ONOMACLES ('Ow^o/cA^), an Athenian, was joined with Phrynichus and Scironides, b. c. 412, in the command of an Athenian and Argive force, which, after a battle with the Milesians, who were supported by Chalcideus and Tissaphernes, prepared to besiege Miletus, but on the arrival of a Peloponnesian and Sicilian fleet, sailed away to Samos, by the advice of Phrynichus. Shortly after, in the same year, when the Athenians at Samos had been reinforced, Onomacles was sent with part of the armament, and with Strombichides and Euctemon for his colleagues, to act against Chios (Thuc. viii. 25—27, 30, 33, 34, 38, 40, 55, 61). It was probably the same Onomacles who was afterwards one of the thirty tyrants, in b. c. 404 (Xen. Hell. ii. 3. § 2). We find mention made also of another Onomacles, who, together with Archeptolemus, was involved in the condemnation of antiphon ( Anon. Vit. Thuc.}. A Spartan of the same name is recorded by Xenophon (Hell, ii. 3. § 10) as ephor ittwi/u^uos, in the eighth year of the Peloponnesian war. [E. E.]

ONOMACRITUS ('OvondKpiros), an Athe­nian, who occupies an interesting position in the history of the early Greek religious poetry. He­rodotus calls him XP'?0')140^0'?0*' T€ Kal SiaOerrjv Xpr}(rp,wv Ttav Movo-cu'ov, and informs us that he had enjoyed the patronage of Hipparchus, until he was detected by Lasus of Hermione (the dithy-rambic poet) in making an interpolation in an

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