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PHILOCLES.

were joined by Philip with his son Demetrius in an embassy to Rome, to plead his cause before the senate, and avert their anger. In b.c. 181 Phi-locles and Apelles were again sent to Rome, to inquire into the truth of an accusation brought by Perseus against Demetrius, of having formed a de­sign for changing the succession to the throne in his own favour, and of having communicated it to T. Quintius Flamininus and other Romans. The envoys had been chosen by Philip because he thought that they were impartial between his sons. They were however suborned by Perseus, and brought back with them a forged letter, professing to be from Flamininus to Philip, and confirming the charge. [demetrius]. On the discovery of the fraud, Philip caused Philocles to be arrested and put to death, b.c. 179. According to one account, no confession could be wrung from him even by torture. (Polyb. xvi. 24, xxiii. 14, xxiv. 1, 3 ; Liv. xxxi. 16, 26, xxxii. 16, 23, 25, xxxix. 35, 46, xl. 20, 23, 54, 55 ; Just, xxxii. 2, 3.) [E. E.]

PHFLOCLES («S>iAo/cA??s), literary. 1. An Athenian tragic poet, the sister's son of Aeschylus; his father's name was Philopeithe's. The genealogy of the family is shown in the following table, from Clinton (F. H. vol. ii. p. xxxv.) :

Euphorion

Aeschylus

Philocles Morsimus

Astydamas

A sister = Philopeithes

_ i

Bion

Euphorion

Philocles.

Astvdamas

Suidas states that Philocles was contemporary with Euripides (adopting the emendation of Clinton, juera for Kara), and that he composed 100 tragedies, among which were the following : — 'Hptyovrj, NauTrAfos, Oi'Snrous, OtVeus, TIpiauos, TlrjveXoTrr], $>L\oKTTJTiris. Besides these, we learn from the Didascaliae of Aristotle (ap. ScJiol. ad Aristoph. Av. 281) that he wrote a tetralogy on the fates of Procne and Philomela, under the title of Pandionis, one play of which was called Typevs rj eVoi//, Tereus, or the Hoopoe, and furnished Aristophanes with a subject of ridicule in the Birds, where he not only introduces the Hoopoe as one of the chief characters, but gives point to the parody by mak­ing him sa}r, in answer to the surprise expressed by Pisthetaerus at seeing another hoopoe (v. 281) : —

AAA o6ros ^uez/ eari &i\oic\4ovs e£ eTTOTro?, e'yco 8e rovrov Trdinros, wcnrzp el Aeyois 'liriroviKos KaAAi'ou Kct£ 'ItnroviKOV KaAAia?,

which we may perhaps explain, taking a hint from the scholiast, thus :—" I am the original hoopoe : the other is the son of Philocles, and my grandson," insinuating that Philocles, the author of the Trjpeus 7} "etto;)/, was himself indebted to an earlier play on the same subject, namely, according to the scholiast^ the Tereus of Sophocles. That Philocles, indeed, was an imitator of Sophocles, might be conjectured from the identity of some of the titles

301

PHILOCLES.

mentioned by Suidas with those of plays by Sopho­cles ; and there is also reason to believe that the tragedians who succeeded the three great masters of the art were in the habit of expanding their single plays into trilogies. In the general character of his plays, we must, however, regard Philocles as an imitator, not of Sophocles, but of Aeschylus, whom, on account of his relationship, he would na­turally, according to the custom of the Greeks, have for his teacher. That he was not altogether unworthy of his great master, maybe inferred from the fact that, on one occasion he actually gained a victory over Sophocles, an honour to which, as Aristeides indignantly remarks (ii. p. 256), Aeschy­lus himself never attained. The circumstance is the more remarkable, as the drama of Sophocles to which that of Philocles was preferred, was the Oedipus Tyrannus^ which we are accustomed to regard as the greatest work of Greek dramatic art. It is useless to discuss the various conjectures by which modern critics have attempted to explain this curious fact: its chief importance is in the proof it furnishes that Philocles must have been a poet of real excellence, for otherwise he could not, under any circumstances, have been preferred to Sophocles. It is true that a different impression might be gathered from the terms in which the comic poets refer to him ; but it ought never to be forgotten that the poets of the Old Comedy were essentially and avowedly caricaturists ; nay, a man's being abused by them is in itself a proof that he was eminent enough to be worth abusing. The following are some of the attacks made by the comic poets upon Philocles. Telecleides says that, though related to Aeschylus, he had nothing of his spirit (Meineke, Frag. Com. Grace, vol. ii. p. 366). The same poet seems to have attacked him for departing from the purity of'the Attic language (see Meineke, Hist. Crit. Com. Graec. vol. i. p. 90). Cratinus charged him with corrupting the fable, that is, probably, of Tereus, in his Pandionis (SchoL ad Soph. Antia. 402 ; Meineke, Frag. Com. Graec. vol. ii. p. 226). Aristophanes not onty ridicules his Hoopoe, but compares him to another bird, the KopvSos, or crested lark (Av. 1295). In another place he says that, being ugly himself, he makes ugly poetry (Thesm. 168) ; and elsewhere he insinuates, that the lyric odes of Philocles were anything but sweet and pleasing ( Vesp. 462). In explanation of these passages the scholiasts inform us that Philocles was little and ugly, and that his head was of a sharp projecting shape, which gave occasion to the com­parison between him and a crested bird, such as the hoopoe ; but explanations of this sort are very often nothing more than fancies of the commen­tators, having no other foundation than the text which they affect to explain. On the last-quoted allusion of Aristophanes, however, the grammarians do throw some light, for thev tell us that Philocles

O ' v

was nicknamed Bile and Salt (XoArj, cAAju£wi'), on account of a certain harshness and unpleasantness in his poetry (Suid. ; SchoL in Aristoph. Av. 281, Vesp. 462) ; from which we may infer that, in his attempt to imitate Aeschylus, he fell into a harsh and repulsive style, unredeemed by his uncle's genius.

The date of Philocles may be determined by his victory over Sophocles, which took place in b. c. 429, when he must have been at the least 40 years old, for his son Morsimus is mentioned as a poet only five years later. We possess no remains of

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