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On this page: Philochares – Philocharidas – Philochorus



PHILOCHARES, a distinguished painter, as j is evident from the way in which he is mentioned l>y Pliny, who says that Augustus fixed in the walls of his Curia two pictures, the one an en­caustic by Nicias, the other a painting by Philo-chares, representing a father and his youthful son, in so admirable a manner, that the family likeness was perfectly preserved, though the difference of age was clearly marked ; over the heads of the figures was an eagle, with a serpent in its claws. The picture bore an inscription by the artist him­self, declaring that it was his painting : at least, so we understand the words, " Philochares hoc suum opus esse testatus esV The figures also seem to have had their names inscribed near them : for . Pliny remarks on this example of the wondrous power of art, that Glaucion and his son Aristippus, persons otherwise utterly obscure, should be gazed upon for so many ages by the Roman senate and people. It is worthy of notice that the other picture in the Curia was also inscribed with the artist's name — " Nicias scripsit se inussisse." (Plin. H.N. xxxv. 4. s. 10.)

The modern writers on art suppose that this Philochares was the same person as the brother of Aeschines, of whose artistic performances Demos­ thenes speaks contemptuously, but whom Ulpian ranks with the most distinguished painters. If so, he was alive in B. c. 343, at the time when Demo­ sthenes refers to him. (Demosth. de Fals. Legal, p. 329, e. § 237, Bekker ; Ulpian, ad Demosth. p. 386. c. ; Sillig. s. v. ; Hirt, Gesch. d. lild. Kiinste, p. 261.) [P. S.]

PHILOCHARIDAS (*iAoxap£5as), a Lace­daemonian of distinction, the son of Eryxidaidas. He was one of the delegates who ratified the year's truce between the hostile confederacies of the Athenians and Peloponnesians in b. c. 423. In b.c. 421 he was again one of the Peloponnesians who took the oaths to the general peace, and was one of the ambassadors sent to the countries on the borders of Thrace, to see after the fulfilment of the terms of the treaty. A little later he was one of those who took the oaths to the separate treaty between the Lacedaemonians and Athenians,

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and in B. c. 420 was one of the ambassadors who were sent to Athens to counteract the negotiations of the Argives, and were tricked by Alcibiades. (Thuc. iv. ] 19, v. 19, '21. 24, 44.) [C. P. M.]

PHILOCHORUS ($i\6Xopos), a celebrated Athenian writer, chiefly known by his Atthis, or work on the legends, antiquities, and history of Attica. According to Suidas (s. v.} Philochorus was an Athenian, the son of Cycnus, a seer and a diviner (pavris Kal iepocr/coTros) ; his wife was Ar-chestrate ; he was a contemporary of Eratosthenes, but the latter was an old man, when Philochorus was still young ; he was put to death at the insti­gation of Antigonus, because he was accused of being favourable to Ptolemy. But this statement of Suidas is not correct, so far as it relates to the date of Philochorus, as has been shown by several modern writers. Antigonus Doson died b. c. 220 ; while Eratosthenes, who died about B. c. 196 at the age of eighty, was only fifty-six at the death of the above-mentioned king : it therefore follows, if we place credit in Suidas, that Philochorus must have been put to death, when he was still a young man, a fact which is excessively improbable, as well on account of the very numerous works which he com­posed, as of the important office which he held in


his native city. We are not, however, left to mere probability, in order to refute Suidas ; for Philo­chorus himself relates that he held the office of tepocTKoiTos at Athens in b. c. 306, in which year he interpreted a portent that appeared in the Acro­polis (Dionys. Deinarch. c. 3) ; and he must con­sequently have been of mature age as early as that year. It would therefore appear that Suidas, with his usual carelessness, reversed the respective ages of Philochorus and Eratosthenes. The latter part of the account of Suidas, namely that Philochorus was put to death by Antigonus, there is no reason to question. Suidas says that the Atthis of Philo­chorus came down to Antiochus Theos, who began to reign b. c. 261. Now it was about this time that Antigonus Gonatas took possession of Athens, which had been abetted in its opposition to the Macedonian king by Ptolemy Philadelphus ; and it would, therefore, appear that Philochorus, who had been in favour of Philadelphus, was killed shortly afterwards, at the instigation of Gonatas. We may accordingly safely place the active life of Philo­chorus from b. c. 306 to b. c. 260.

These few facts are all that we know of the life of Philochorus, but they are sufficient to show that he was a person of some importance at Athens. He seems to have been anxious to maintain the in­dependence of Athens against the Macedonian kings, but fell a victim in the attempt. The fol­lowing is a list of his numerous works, many of which are mentioned only by Suidas.

1. 'Artfi's, also called 'Ar#i5es and 'IffTopicu, con­sisted of seventeen books, and related the history of Attica, from the earliest times to the reign of Antiochus Theos. The first two books treated of the mythical period, and gave a very minute account of all matters relating to the worship of the gods, The real histor}r of the country is given in the last fifteen books, of which the first four (iii.— vi.) comprised the period down to his own time, while the remaining eleven (vii.—xvii.) gave a minute account of the times in which he lived (b.c. 319—261). Bockh conjectures, with much probability, that the first six books originally formed a distinct work, and appeared before the remaining eleven. Philochorus seems to have been a diligent and accurate writer, and is frequently referred to by the scholiasts, lexicographers, as well as other later authors. The industry of modern scholars has collected from these sources one hundred and fifty-five distinct fragments of his work, many of them of considerable length, and supplying sufficient information to enable us to make out with tolerable certainty the subjects contained in each book. These fragments are given in the works referred to at the close of this article. Philochorus paid par­ticular attention to chronology. From the time that archons succeeded to kings at Athens, he com­menced the history of every year with the name of the archon, and then narrated the events of that year, so that his work was in the form of annals. It appears from those passages in which his own words are preserved, that his style was clear and simple.

2. 'ETriTo/nrj tt?s Ifitas 'ArQiSos. We likewise learn from Suidas that an epitome of the larger work was also made by Asinius Pollio Trallianus, a contemporary of Pompeius Magnus (Suid. s. v. IlcoAuoj>). Vossius has conjectured (De Histor. Graecis, p. 197, ed. Westermann)., with some probability, that the epitome which Philochorus

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