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On this page: Philetes – Phileumenos


Stat. Silv. i. 2. 252 ; Hertzberg, de Imitatione Poetarum Alexandrinorum, in his Propertitis, vol. i. pp. 186—210). The elegies of Philetas were chiefly amatory, and a large portion of them was devoted to the praises of his mistress Bittis, or, as the Latin poets give the name, Battis (Herme-sianax, 1. c.; Ovid, Trist. i. 6. 1, ex Ponto, iii. 1. 57 ; Hertzberg, Quaest. Propert. p. 207 ; the form bcttcw also occurs, Corp. Inscrip. Nos. 2236, 2661, b., or in Latin Batto, according to Lachmann's in­genious emendation of Propertius, ii. 34, 31, Tu Battus memorem, &c.). It seems very probable that he wrote a collection of poems specially in praise of Bittis, and that this was the collection which was known and is quoted by Stobaeus under the name of Tlaiyvia (Jacobs, Animadv. ad Anth. Graec. vol. i. pars i. pp. 388, fol. ; Bach, Frag. PJiilet. p. 39 ; Hertzberg, Quaest. Propert. p. 208). It is natural to suppose that the epigrams of Phile­tas, which are mentioned by Suidas, and once or twice quoted by Stobaeus, were the same collection as the Tlaiyvia ; but there is nothing to determine the question positively. There are also two other poems of Philetas quoted by Stobaeus, the subjects of which were evidently mythological, as we see from their titles, A^/xy/r^p and 'Ep^s. As to the former, it is clear from the three fragments quoted by Stobaeus (Flor. civ. 11, cxxiv. 26), that it was in elegiac metre, and that its subject was the lamen­tation of Demeter for the loss of her daughter. In the case of the 'Ep^s there is a difficulty respecting the exact form of the title, and also respecting the metre in which it was written. Stobaeus three times quotes from the poem, in one place three lines (Flor. civ. 12), in another three (Eclog. Pliys. v. 4), and in another two (Flor. cxviii. 3), all in hexameters ; while, on the other hand, Strabo (iii. p. 168) quotes an elegiac distich from Philetas, kv 'Epjuej/efa, which most critics have very naturally supposed to be a corruption of ei> 'Ep/xfy, or, as some conjecture, kv 'Ep^ eAeye/a. Meineke, however, has suggested quite a new solution of the difficulty, namely, that the 'Ep{j.rjs was entirely in hexameters, and that the lines quoted by Strabo are from an entirely different poem, the true title, of which cannot be determined with any approach to certainty by any conjecture derived from the corrupt reading tv 'Ep/Lieveiq (Analecta Alexandrina, Epim. ii. pp. 348—351). What was the subject of the Hermes we learn from Parthenius, who gives a brief epitome of it (Erot. 2). It related to a love adventure of Ulysses with Polymele in the island of Aeolus. Another poem, entitled Na£i«Ka, has been ascribed to Philetas, on the authority of Eustathius (Ad Horn. p. 1885. 51) ; but Meineke has shown that the name of the author quoted by Eustathius was Philteas, not Philetas. (Anal. Alex. Epim. ii. pp. 351—353.)

There are*also a few fragments from the poems of Philetas, which cannot be assigned to their proper places: among them are a few Iambic lines, which are wrongly ascribed to him in consequence of the confusion between names beginning with the syl­lable Phil, which has been already referred to under philemon: Philetas has also been erroneously supposed to have written bucolic poems, on the authority of the passage of Theocritus, above re­ferred to, which only speaks of the beauty of his poetry in general ; and also on the authority of some verses in Moschus (Idyll, iii. 94, foil.), which are known to have been interpolated by Musaeus.



Besides his poems, Philetas wrote in prose on grammar and criticism. He was one of the commen­tators on Homer, whom he seems to have dealt with very freely, both critically and exegetically ; and in this course he was followed by his pupil Zenodotus. Aristarchus wrote a work in opposition to Philetas (SchoL Venet. ad II. ii. 111). But his most "im­portant grammatical work was that which Athe-naeus repeatedly quotes under the title of "Arci/cra, and which is also cited by the titles araKroi y\u>ff-crai (SchoL ad Apol. Rhod. iv. 989), and simply y\<£o-(rcu (Etym. Mag. p. 330. 39). The import­ance attached to this work, even at the time of its production, is shown by the fact that the comic poet Straton makes one of his persons refer to it (A&h. ix. p. 383 ; Meineke, Frag. Com. Graec. vol. iv. p. 545), and by the allusions which are made to it by Hermesianax (/. c.), and by Crates of Malms, in his epigram on Euphorion (Brunck, Anal. vol. ii. p. 3, Anth. Pal. ix. 318). Nothing is left of it, except a few scattered explanations of words, from which, however, it may be inferred that Philetas made great use of the light thrown on the meanings of words by their dialectic varieties. It is very possible thatall the grammatical writings of Philetas, including his notes on Homer, were comprised in this one collection.

The fragments of Philetas have been collected by C. P. Kayser, Philetae Coi Fragmenta, quae repe-riuntur, Gotting. 1793, 8vo. ; by Bach, Philetas Coi, Hermesianactis Colophonii, atque Plianoclis Re­liquiae, Halis Sax. 1829, 8vo.; and in the editions of the Greek Anthology (Brunck, Anal. vol. i. p. 189, ii. p. 523, iii. p. 234 ; Jacobs, Anth. Graec. vol. i. pp. 121 —123). The most important frag­ments are also contained in Schneidewin's Delectus Poesis Graecorum, vol. i. pp. 142—147. (Reiske, Notitia Epigrammatorum, p. 266 ; Schneider, Anal. Crit. p. 5 ; Heinrich, Observ. in Auct. Vet. pp. 50—-58 ; Jacobs, Animadv. in Anth. Graec. vol. i. pt, i pp. 387—395, vol. iii. pt. iii. p. 934 ; Preller, in Ersch and Gruber's Encyklop'ddie.}

2. Of Samos, the author of two epigrams in the Greek Anthology, which are distinguished in the Vatican MS. by the heading $l\it$, ^a^iov. In the absence of any further information, we must regard him as a different person from Philetas of Cos, who, though sometimes called a lihodian (pro­bably on account of the close connection which subsisted between Cos and Rhodes), is never spoken of as a Samian.

3. Of Ephesus, a prose writer, from whom the scholiasts on Aristophanes quote a statement re­ specting the Sibyls, but who is otherwise unknown, (SchoL ad Aristoph. Pac. 1071, Av. 963; Suid. s.v. Ba/as ; Vossius, de Hist. Graec. p. 485, ed. Westerrnann.) [P. S.)

PHILETES (fc/Aifrijs), a Greek physician, who lived probably in the fifth century b. c., as he is mentioned by Galen as a contemporary of some of the most ancient medical men. He was one of the persons to whom some ancient critics attributed the treatise Hep! AiatTTjs, De Victus Ratione, which forms part of the Hippocratic Collection. (Galen, De Aliment. Facult. i. 1, vol. vi. p. 473.) [W. A. G.]

PHILEUMENOS (*i\ew/A«>os), a sculptor, whose name was for the first time discovered in 1808, in an inscription on the support of the left foot of a statue in the Villa Albani, where there is also another statue evidently by the same hand Zoe'ga, to whom we owe the publication of the

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