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On this page: Opelius Macrinus – Opflius – Ophelion – Ophellas – Opheltes – Ophion – Opilius






OPHELION ('XtyeAiW). 1. An Athenian comic poet, probably of the Middle Comedy, of whom Suidas says that Athenaeus, in his second book, mentions the following as being his plays: — Aeu/caA/ou', KaAAatcrxpos, KeWaupos, Sarvpoi, Mou-<rat, Moj/orpoTTOi, or rather, according to the emen­dation of Toup, Moi/orpoTTos. The last three of these titles are elsewhere assigned by Suidas to Phrynichus. In the second book of Athenaeus, which Suidas quotes, none of the titles are men­tioned, but Ophelion is thrice quoted, without the name of the play referred" to (Athen. ii. pp. 43, f. 66, d. 67, a.) ; and, in the third book, Athenaeus quotes the Callaesckrus, and also another play, which Suidas does not mention (iii. p. 106, a.). The reasons for assigning him to the Middle Comedy are, the reference to Plato in Athen. ii. p. 66, d., and the statement that he used some verses which were also found in Eubulus (Athen. ii. p. 43, f:, where the name of Ophelion is rightly substituted by Porson for that of Philetas). Who may have been the Callaeschrus, whose name formed the title of one of his plays, we cannot tell; but if he was the same as the Callaeschrus, who formed the subject of one of the plays of Theopompus, the date of Ophelion would be fixed before the 100th Olympiad, b.c. 380. There is, perhaps, one more reference to Ophelion, again corrupted into Philetas, in Hesychius, s. v. fl<ris, (Meineke, Frag. Com. Graec. vol. i. p. 415, vol. iii. p. 380 ; Praef. ad Menand. pp. x. xi.)

2. A Peripatetic philosopher, the slave and dis­ ciple of Lycon (Diog. Laert. v. 73). [P. S.]

OPHELION ('n^eA/an/). 1. A painter of un­known time and country, on whose pictures of Pan and Ae'rope there are epigrams in the Greek An­thology. (Anth. Pal. vi. 315, 316 ; Brunck, AnaL vol. ii. p. 382.)

2. A sculptor, the son of Aristonides, was the maker of a statue of Sextus Pompeius, in the Royal Museum of Paris. (Clarac, Catal No. 150.) [P. S.]

OPHELLAS ('O(/>e'AAas), king or ruler of Cyrene, was a native of Pella in Macedonia: his father's name was Seilenus. He appears to have accompanied Alexander during his expedition in Asia, but his name is first mentioned as command­ing one of the triremes of the fleet of that monarch on the Indus, b. c. 327. (Arrian, Ind. 38.) After the death of the Macedonian king, he fol­lowed the fortunes of Ptolemy, by whom he was sent, in b. c. 322, at the head of a considerable army, to take advantage of the civil war which had broken out in the Cyrenaica. [thimbron.] This object he successfully accomplished, totally de­feated Thimbron and the party that supported him, and established the supremacy of Egypt over Cyrene itself and its dependencies. But shortly after, the civil dissensions having broken out again led Ptolemy himself to repair to Cyrene, which he this time appears to have reduced to com­plete subjection. (Diod. xviii. 21; Arrian, ap. Phot. p. 70, a.) The subsequent proceedings of Ophelias are involved in great obscurity. It seems certain that he was still left by Ptolemy at this time in the government of Cyrene, which he probably con­tinued to hold on behalf of the Egyptian king until about the year b. c. 313: but no mention is found of his name in the account given by Diodorus (xviii. 79) of the revolt of the Cyrenaeans in that

year, which was suppressed by Agis, the general of Ptolemy. Yet it could not have been long after that he availed himself of the continued disaffection of that people towards Egypt to assume the govern­ment of Cyrene as an independent state. The continual wars in which Ptolemy was engaged against Antigonus, and the natural difficulties of assailing Cyrene, secured him against invasion ; and he appears to have continued in undisputed possession of the country for near five years. (Paus. i. 6. § 8 ; Droysen, Hellenism, vol. i. pp. 414, 417.) The power to which Ophelias had thus attained, and the strong mercenary force which he was able to bring into the field, caused Agathocles, during his expedition in Africa (b. c. 308) to turn his attention towards the/ new ruler of Cyrene as likely to prove an useful ally against the Carthaginians. In order to gain him over he promised to cede to him whatever conquests their combined forces might make in Africa, reserving to himself only the possession of Sicily. The am­bition of Ophelias was thus aroused: he put him­self at the head of a powerful army, and notwith­standing all the natural obstacles which presented themselves on his route, succeeded in reaching the Carthaginian territories after a toilsome and perilous march of more than two months' duration. He was received by his new ally with every demonstration of friendship, and the two armies encamped near each other: but not many days had elapsed when Agathocles took an opportunity treacherously to surprise the camp of the Cyrenaeans, and Ophelias himself perished in the confusion. His troops, thuc left without a leader, joined the standard of Agathocles. (Diod. xx. 40—42 ; Justin, xxii. 7 ; Oros. iv. 6 ; Polyaen. v. 3. § 4; Suid. s. v. 'O^eA-Aos.) Justin styles Ophelias "rex Cyrenamm,"' but it seems improbable that he had really assumed the regal title. He was married to an Athenian, Eurydice, the daughter of Miltiades, and appears to have maintained friendly relations with Athens. (Diod. xx. 40 ; Plut. Demetr. 14.) [E. H. B.]

OPHELTES ('O<Z>e'ATr7*). 1. A son of Lycur-gus, who was killed by a snake at Nemea, as his nurse Hypsipyle had left him alone. (Apollod. i. 9. § 14 ; Paus. ii. 15. § 3 ; comp. adrastus.)

2. One of the Tyrrhenians who wanted to carry off Dionysus, and were therefore metamor­phosed into dolphins. (Hygin. Fab. 134.)

3. The son of Peneleus and father of Dama-sichthon, king of Thebes. (Paus. ix.5. § 8.) [L.S.]

OPHION ('O4>ia>j/), a Titan, was married to Eurynome, with whom he shared the supremacy previous to the reign of Cronos and Rhea ; but being conquered by the latter, he and Eurynome were thrown into Oceanus or Tartarus. (Apollon. Rhod. i. 503, &c. ; Tzetz, ad Lye. 1191.) There are two other mythical beings of the same name. (Ov. Met, xii. 245 ; Claudian. Rapt. Pros. iii. 348.) [L. S.]

OPILIUS. [opeltus.]

OPFLIUS, AURE'LIUS, the freedman of an Epicurean, taught at Rome, first philosophy, then rhetoric, and, finally, grammar, and is placed by Suetonius next in order to Saevius Nicanor [Ni-canor], He gave up his school upon the con­demnation of Rutilius Rufus, whom he accompanied to Smyrna, and . there the two friends grew old together in the enjoyment of each other's society. He composed several learned works upon various subjects ; one of these in particular, divided into

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