The Ancient Library

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dramatic contest (Pint. An Seni sit Rc.spuU. nc.rend. p. 785, b.) ; while another story represents him as quietly called away by the goddesses whom he served, in the midst of the composition or repre­sentation of his last and best work (Aelian, ap. Suid. s. v. ; Apuleius, Flor. 16). There are por­traits of him extant in a marble statue at Rome, formerly in the possession of Raffaelle, and on a gem : the latter is engraved in Gronovius's The­saurus, vol. ii. pi. 99. (See Meineke, Men. et Phil Reliq. p. 47.)

Although there can be no doubt that Philemon was inferior to Menander as a poet, yet he was a greater favourite with the Athenians, and often conquered his rival in the dramatic contests. Gel-lius (xvii. 4) ascribes these victories to the use of unfair influence (ambitu gratiaque et factionibus), and tells us that Menander used to ask Philemon himself, whether he did not blush when he con­quered him. We have other proofs of the rivalry between Menander and Philemon in the identity of sorue of their titles, and in an anecdote told by Athenaeus (xiii. p. 594, d.). Philemon was, how­ever, sometimes defeated ; and it would seem that on one such occasion he went into exile for a time (Stob. Serm. xxxviii. p. 232). At all events he undertook a journey to the East, whether from this cause or by the desire of king Ptolemy, who appears to have invited him to Alexandria (Alciphr. Epist. ii. 3) ; and to this journey ought no doubt to be referred his adventure with Magas, tyrant of Gyrene, the brother of Ptolemy Philadelphia. Philemon had ridiculed Magas for his want of learning, in a comedy, copies of which he took pains to circulate ; and the arrival of the poet at Gyrene, whither he was driven by a storm, furnished the king with an opportunity of taking a contemptuous revenge, by ordering a soldier to touch the poet's throat with a naked sword, and then to retire politely without hurting him ; after which he made him a present of a set of child's playthings, and then dismissed him. (Plut. de Cohib. Ira, p. 458, a., de Virt. Mor. p. 449, e.)

Philemon seems to have been inferior to Menan­der in the liveliness of his dialogue, for his plays were considered, on account of their more connected arguments and longer periods, better fitted for read­ing than for acting (Demetr. Phal. de Eloc. § 193). Apuleius (I. c.) gives an elaborate description of his characteristics:—"Reperias tamen apud ipsum mul-tos sales., argumenta lepide inftexa, agnatos lucide ex­plicates^ personas rebus competences, sententias vitae congruentes ,• joca non infra soccum, seria non usque ad cothurnum. Rarae apud ilium corruptelae: et, uti errores, co?icessi amoves. Nee eo minus et leno per-jurus, et amator fervidus, et servulus callidus, et arnica iiludens, et uocor inhibens, et mater indulgens, et patruus objurgator, et sodalis opitulator, et miles proeliator (gloriator 9): sed et parasiti edaces, et parentes tenaces, et meretrices procaces.

The extant fragments of Philemon display much liveliness, wit, elegance, and practical knowledge of life. His favourite subjects seem to have been love intrigues, and* his characters, as we see from the above extract, were the standing ones of the New Comedy, with which Plautus and Terence have made us familiar. The jest upon Magas, already mentioned, is a proof that the personal satire, which formed the chief characteristic of the Old Comedy, was not entirely relinquished in the New ; and it also shows the eagerness with which the Athenians,


in their pride of intellectual superiority, displayed their contempt for the semi-barbarian magnificence of the Greek kings of the East ; another example is shown by the wit in which Philemon indulged upon the tigress which Seleucus sent to Athens. (Ath. xiii. p. 590, a. ; Meineke, Men. et Phil. Reliq. p. 372, Frag. Com. Graec. vol. iv. p. 1 5.)

The number of Philemon's plays was 97 (Diod. xxiii. 7 ; Anon, de Com. p. 30 ; Suid. s. v, as amended by Meineke, p. 46). The number of extant titles, after the doubtful and spurious ones are rejected, amounts to about 53 ; but it is very probable that some of these should be assigned to the younger Philemon. The following is a list of the titles of those plays which are quoted by the ancient writers, but a few of which are still consi­dered doubtful by Meineke : — "Aypoucos, '


TTOpOS, 'E£<H/Cl£<fy!,€Z/OS, '


5E<£>e8p?Tcu, "E^Tjgov, "Hpwes, ©fpwpos, 'larpos, KaTcaJ/eu8o1uez'OS, Aa£, Koptj/0fa, Mertcov r) Zto/xioz/, Soi/e's, muo-t/s, Neaipa, Ne^oMei/oi, Noflos, HayKpariaffrris, Tlcufiapiov, IlcuSes, Tiavi]yvpis, Ilape la 'tcav, TliTTOKOTrovjJisvos, Tlrepv-yiov, Ilrcox^ $ 'PoSta, Hvppos, Efup^opos, 2ap5tos, ^iKeAnws, ^rpancarrjs, ^vvaTvoBv^ffKovres, 5tW<£>7/-€os, 'TTTogfjAtjUcuos, 4>atr/xa, «J>iAoVo<|>oi, Xijpa. Of all these plays, those best known to us are the *E/x-Tropos and ®v)(ravp6s9 by their imitations in the Mercator and Trinummus of Plautus. The Mvp-(j-idoves furnishes one of the instances in which poets of the New Comedy treated mythological subjects. Respecting the supposed subjects of the other plays see Meineke, and the article in Ersch and Gruber's Encyklop'ddie.

The fragments of Philemon have been printed with those of Menander in all the editions men­tioned in the article menander. For notices of the works upon Philemon, as well as Menander, see the preface to Meineke's Menandri et Phile-monis Reliquiae, and the articles in Hoffmann's Lexicon Bibliographicum.

Many of the testimonies respecting Philemon are rendered uncertain by the frequently occurring confusion between the names Philemon, Philetaerus, Philetas, Philippides, Philippus, Philiscus, Philistion, Philon, Philoxenus, and others with the same com­mencement, that is, with the initial syllable Phi/. which is often used in MSS. as an abbreviation of these names. Even the name of DipMlus is some­times confounded with Philemon, as well as with Philon (see Meineke, Men. et Phil. Reliq. pp. 7 — 11). One of the most important instances in which this confusion has been made is in the title of a collection of fragments, arranged in. the way of comparison with one another, under the title ^vyfcpiffis MevdvSpov kcu $>i\Lo'TL(ai'os, which ought undoubtedly to be ical 3>i\r/i[j.Qvos. (See further under philistion.)

2. The younger Philemon, also a poet of the New Comedy, was a son of the former, in whose fame nearly all that belongs to him has been ab­sorbed ; so that, although, according to Suidas, he was the author of 54 dramas, there are only two short fragments, and not one title, quoted expressly under his name. There can be little doubt that some of his father's plays should be assigned to him. (See Meineke, Menandri et Philemonis R<*

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