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On this page: Phecianus – Phegeus – Pheidias


Alex. 34.) It is probably this Phayllus whose wonderful feats as an athlete are celebrated in a well-known epigram. (Anth. PaL vol. ii. p. 851 ; Suid. v. 4>auAAos and virep ra etr/ca^iUeVa; Eustath. ad Od. 0. p. 1591. 54 ; Tzetz. CML xii. 435 ; Schol. ad Aristoph. Acharn. 214.)

2. A Syracusan, who was sent out by his coun­trymen with a fleet to repress the piracies of the Tyrrhenians, b. c. 453; but after laying waste the island of Aethalia, he suffered himself to be bribed by the enemy, and remained inactive ; on which account after his return to Syracuse he was con­demned and driven into exile. (Diod. xi. 83.)

3. A Phocian, brother of Onomarchus, whom he succeeded as general of the Phocians in the Sacred War. He had already held important commands under his brother, by whom he had been sent with an army of 7000 men to support Lycophron of Pherae against Philip of Macedon. On that occa­sion he was unsuccessful, being defeated by Philip and driven out of Thessaly ; but on the death of Onomarchus, in b. c. 352, he appears to have suc­ceeded without opposition to the chief command. He immediately set to work to restore the affairs of the Phocians. By an unsparing use of the vast treasures at his disposal, and by doubling the pay of his mercenaries, he quickly re-assembled a nu­merous army, in addition to which auxiliaries were furnished him by the Achaeans, Lacedaemonians, and Athenians, and the fugitive tyrants of Pherae, Lycophron and Peitholaus, also joined him with a body of mercenaries. The success of his military operations was, however, far from corresponding to these great preparations. He invaded Boeotia; but was defeated in three successive actions, appa­rently none of them very decish7e, as we next find him turning his arms against the Epicnemidian Locrians, and hostilities were carried on with alter­nations of success but no striking result. Mean­while Phayllus himself was attacked with a lin­gering disorder of a consumptive kind, to which he fell a victim after a long and painful illness, b. c. 351. (Diod. xvi. 35 —38, 61 ; Paus. x. 2. § 6 ; Harpocr. v. •fraDAAos.) In this natural disease his enemies saw as plainly as in the violent deaths of his predecessors the retributive justice of the of­fended deities.

It appears certain that Phayllus had made use

of the sacred treasures with a far more lavish hand than either of his brothers, and he is accused of bestowing the consecrated ornaments upon his wife and mistresses. (Diod. xvi. 61 ; Theopomp. ap. Athen. xiii. p. 605 ; Ephor. ibid. vi. p. 232.) The chief command in his hands ap­ pears to have already assumed the character of a monarchy (Dem. c. Aristocr. p. 661), and began even to be regarded as hereditary, so that he left it at his death to his nephew Phalaecus, though yet a minor. [phalaecus.] [E. H. B.]

PHECIANUS. [iphicianus.j

PHEGEUS (*7ry6ik). 1. A brother of Pho-roneus, and king of Psophis in Arcadia. The town of Phegeia, which had before been called Eryman-thus, was believed to have derived its name from him. Subsequently, however, it was changed again into Psophis (Steph. Byz. s. v. Qrfyeia • Paus. viii. 24. § 1). He is said to have been the father of Alphe-siboea o.r Arsinoe, Pronous, and Agenor, or of Temenus and Axion (Paus. vi. 17» § 4, viii. 24. § 4, ix. 41. §2 ; Apollod. iii. 7. § 6) ; and to have purified Alcmaeon after lie had killed his mother,



but was slain by the sons of Alcmaeon. (Apollod. I. c. ; cornp. alcmaeon.)

2. A son of Dares, priest of Hephaestus at Troy, was slain by Diomedes. (Horn. II. v. 9, &c.)

3. One of the companions of Aeneias. (Virg. Aen. xii. 371.) [L. S.]

PHEIDIAS (*e/5fas), or in Latin, PHI'DIAS. 1. Of Athens, the son of Charmides, was the greatest sculptor and statuary of Greece, and probably of the whole world.

I. His Life. It is remarkable, in the case of many of the ancient artists, how great a contrast exists between what we know of their fame, and even sometimes what we see of their works, and what we can learii respecting the events of their lives. Thus, with respect to Pheidias, we possess but few details of his personal history, and even these are beset with doubts and difficulties. What is known with absolute certainty may be summed up in a few words. He executed most of his greatest works at Athens, during the administration of Pe­ricles : he made for the Eleians the ivory and gold statue of Zeus, the most renowned work of Greek statuary : he worked for other Greek cities ; and he died just before the commencement of the Pelo-ponnesian War, in b. c. 432. The importance of the subject demands, however, a careful examina­tion'of the difficulties which surround it. The first of these difficulties relates to the cardinal point of the time when the artist flourished, and the ap­proximate date of his birth.

First of all, the date of Pliny must be disposed of. It is well known how little reliance can be placed on the dates under which Pliny groups the names of several artists. Not only do such lists of names embrace naturally artists whose ages differed by several years, but it is important to observe the principle on which the dates are generally chosen by Pliny, namely, with reference to some important epoch of Greek history. Thus the 84th Olympiad (b. c. 444—440), at which he places Pheidias, is evidently chosen because the first year of that Olympiad was the date at which Pericles began to have the sole administration of Athens* (Clinton, Fast. Hell. s. a. 444). The date of Pliny deter­mines, therefore, nothing as to the age of Pheidias at this time, nor as to the period over which his artistic life extended. Nevertheless, it seems to us that this coincidence of the period, during which the artist executed his greatest works, with the adminis­tration of Pericles, furnishes the best clue to the so­lution of the difficulty. It forbids us to carry up the artist's birth so high as to make him a very old man at this period of his life : not because old age would necessarily have diminished his powers ; though even on this point those who quote the examples of Pindar, Sophocles, and other great writers, do not, perhaps, make sufficient allowance for the difference between the physical force required for the pro­duction of such a work as the Oedipus at Colonus and the execution, or even the superintendence, of such works as the sculptures of the Parthenon, and the colossal statues of Athena and Zeus:—but the real force of the argument is this ; if Pheidias had been already highly distinguished as an artist

* The vagueness of Pliny's dates is further shown by his appending the words " cirdtcr CCC. nostrae Urbis anno," which give a date ten years higher, b. c. 454. This, however, cannot be very far from the date at which Pheidias began to work*

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