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On this page: Phaedrus – Phaeinus – Phaemon


Phaedrus and the Convivium. It appears from these that he was a great admirer of Lysias and the other rhetoricians of his age. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. ii. p. 717.)

2. An Epicurean philosopher, a contemporary of Cicero, who became acquainted with him in his youth at Rome (Cic. ad Fam. xiii. 1. § 2). During his residence in Athens (b. c. 80) Cicero renewed his acquaintance with him. Phaedrus was at that time an old man, and was the president of the Epicurean school (Cic. Phil. v. 5. § 13, de Nat. Deor. i. 33. § 93, de Fin. i. 5. § 16). He was also on terms of friendship with Velleius, whom Cicero introduces as the defender of the Epicurean tenets in the De Nat. Deor. (i. 21. § 58 ; comp. Madvig. ad Cic. de Fin. p. 35), and especially with Atticus (Cic. de Fin. i. 5. § 16, v. 1. § 3, &c.). He occu­pied the position of head of the Epicurean school till b. c. 70 (Phot. Cod. 97, p. 84, ed. Bekker), and was succeeded, by Patron [patron]. Cicero especially praises his agreeable manners. He had a son named Lysiadas.

Cicero (ad Att. xiii. 39) mentions, according to the common reading, two treatises by Phaedrus, 3>ai8pou irspiffffwv et 'EAAaSps. The first title is corrected on MS. authority to Tlepl &€<£*/. Some critics (as Petersen) suppose that only one treatise is spoken of, Tie pi &eo>i/ Kal TIa\\ddos. Others (among whom is Orelli, Onom. Tull. s. v. Phaedrus) adopt the reading et 'EAAaSoy, or at least suppose that two treatises are spoken of. An interesting fragment of the former work was discovered at Herculaneum in 1806, and was first published, though not recognised as the work of Phaedrus, in a work entitled Herculanensia, or Archaeological and Philological Dissertations ; containing a Manuscript found among the ruins of Herculaneum^ London, 1810. A better edition was published by Petersen (Phaedri Epicurei, vulgo Anonymi Herculanensis, de Nat. Deor. Fragm. Hamb. 1833). Cicero was largely indebted to this work of Phaedrus for the materials of the first book of the De Natura Deorum. Not only is the development of the Epicurean doc­ trine (c. 16, &c.) taken from it, but the erudite account of the doctrines of earlier philosophers put in the mouth of Velleius, is a mere translation from Phaedrus. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. iii. p. 608 ; Krische, Forschungen auf dem Gebiete der alien Phil. vol. i. p. 27, &c. ; Preller, in Ersch and Gruber's En- cyMop'ddie.} [C. P. M.]

PHAEDRUS. Ninety-seven fables in Latin iambic verse (ed. Orelli), distributed in five books, are attributed to Phaedrus. The first writer who mentions Phaedrus is Avienus, unless one of Martial's epigrams (iii. 20) alludes to him, and there is no sufficient reason for doubting that the author of the fables is meant. The little that is known of Phaedrus is collected or in­ferred from the fables. He was originally a slave, and was brought from Thrace or Macedonia to Rome, where he learned the Latin language. As the title of his work is Phaedri Aug. Liberti Fa-bulae Aesopiae, we must conclude that he had be­longed to Augustus, who manumitted him. Under Tiberius he appears to have undergone some per­secution from Sejanus, but the allusion to Sejanus in the prologue to Eutychus (lib. iii.) is very obscure, and has been variously understood. It may be in­ferred from this prologue that the third book of the fables was not published until after the death of Sejanusi A passage in the tenth fable of the third



book shows that this fable was written after the death of Augustus.

The prologue to the first book states that the fables are Aesop's matter turned into iambic verse : —

" Aesopus auctor quam materiam repperit, Hanc ego polivi versibus senariis."

This prologue also adds that the object was to amuse and to instruct. The prologue to the second book intimates a somewhat freer handling of the old fabulist's material. In the prologue to the third book he still refers to Aesop as his model:—•

" Librum exarabo tertium Aesopi stilo."

There is no prologue to the fourth book ; and in the prologue to the fifth book he intimates that he had often used the name of Aesop only to recom­mend his verses. Accordingly, many of the fables of Phaedrus are not Aesopian, as the matter clearly shows, for they refer to historical events of a much later period (v. 1, 8, iii. 10). Many of the fables, however, are transfusions of the Aesopian fables, or those which pass as such, into Latin verse. The expression is generally clear and concise, and the language, with some few exceptions, as pure and correct as we should expect from a Roman writer of the Augustan age. But Phaedrus has not es­caped censure, when he has deviated from his Greek model, and much of the censure is just. The best fables are those in which he has kept the closest to his original.

The MSS. of Phaedrus are rare, which circum­stance, combined with a passage of Seneca (Cotisol. ad Polyb.11], " that fable-writing had not been at­tempted by the Romans," and an expression of N. Perotti, has led some critics to doubt their genuine­ness, and even to ascribe them to Perotti; an opinion, however, which Perrotti's own attempts at verse-making completely disprove.

Another collection of thirty-two fables, attributed to Aesop, has been published from a MS. of the same N. Perotti, who was archbishop of Manfre-donia in the middle part of the fifteenth century. This collection is entitled Epitome Fabularum, and was first published at Naples, in 1809, by Cassitti. Opinions are much divided as to the genuinenes of this collection. The probability is, that the Epi­tome is founded on genuine Roman fables, which, in the process of transcription during many cen­turies, have undergone considerable changes.

The first edition of the five books of fables of Phaedrus was by P. Pithou, 1596, 12mo., which was from a MS. that is supposed to belong to the tenth century. The last and only critical edition of the fables is by J. C. Orelli, Zurich, 1831,8vo., which contains the Aratea of Caesar Germanicus. Orelli has not always displayed judgment in his choice of the readings. The last edition of the thirty-two new fables is entitled Phaedri Fabulae Novae XXXII. e codice Vaticano redintegratae ab Angela Maio. Supplementum Editionis Orellianae. Acce- dunt Publii Syri Codd. Basil, et Turic. antiquis- simi cum Sententiis circiter XXX* nunc primum editis, Zurich, 1832. [G. L.]

PHAEINUS, astronomer. [meton.]

PHAEMON (QaifjLwv). A treatise on the right management of dogs (kuvoo'o^hoj/), was published without the name of the author, by Nicolaus Rigaltius, Paris, 1619, in a collection bearing the title, De Re Accipitraria et Venatica. But it had been published in Greek and Latin,

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