The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Philoctetes


name of either of them ; and, if the latter felt him­self endangered in consequence, it may account for his putting himself forward (towards the end probably of 344 or the beginning of the next year) as the mover of a decree, remonstrating with Philip on the seizure of some Athenian ships by one of his admirals. Shortly after this, however, Philo-crates was capitally impeached by Hyperides through an ejVcq^eAta, for his treason, and deemed it expedient to go into voluntary exile before the trial came on. Of his subsequent fortunes we have no certain information. Demosthenes, in his speech on the Crown, speaks of Philocrates as one of those who assailed him with false accusations after the battle of Chaeroneia in b. c. 338 ; and from this it might be inferred that the traitor had then re­turned from banishment, but Aeschines mentions him as still an exile in b. c. 330 (c. Ctes. p. 65), and we may therefore believe, with Mr. Newman, that Philocrates was still dangerous to Demosthenes in 338 by his voice or pen, " with which he could pretend to reveal scandalous secrets, owing to his former intimacy with him." (Heges. de Hal. pp. 82, 83 ; Dem. de Cor. pp. 230, 232, 250, 310, de Fals. Leg. pp. 343, 345, 348, 355, 356, 371, 375, 377, 386, 394, 395, 405, 434, 440, c. Aristog. pp. 783, 784 ; Argum. ad Dem. de Pac. p. 56 ; Aesch. de Fals. Leg. pp. 2.9, 30, 35, 36 ; Pint, de Garr. 15 ; comp. Newman in the Classical Museum^ yol. i. pp. 151, 152.)

4. A Rhodian, was one of the ambassadors sent from Rhodes in b. c. 167, after the war with Per­ seus, to avert the anger of the Romans,—an object which they had much difficulty in effecting. (Polyb. xxx. 4, 5 ; Liv. xlv. 20—25.) [E. K]

PHILOCTETES (^Ao/cr^s), a son of Poeas (whence he is called Poeantiadcs^ Ov. Met. xiii. 313) and Demonassa, the most celebrated archer in the Trojan war (Horn. Od. lii. 190, viii. 219 ; Hygin. Fab. 102). He led the warriors from Me-thone, Thaumacia, Meliboea, and Olizon, against Troy, in seven ships. But on his voyage thither he was left behind by his men in the island of Lemnos, because he was ill of a wound which he had received from the bite of a snake, and Medon, the son of Oi'leus and Rhene, undertook the com­mand of his men (Horn. IL ii. 7 16, &c.). This is all that the Homeric poems relate of him, with the addition that he returned home in safety (Od. iii. 190); but the cyclic and tragic poets have spun out in various ways this slender groundwork of the story of Philoctetes. He is said to have been the d'seiple, friend, and armour-bearer of Heracles (Philostr. Imag. 17), who instructed him in the art of using the bow, and who bequeathed to him his bow, with the never-erring poisoned arrows (Philostr. Her. 5). These presents were a reward for his having erected and set fire to the pile on mount Oeta, where Heracles burnt himself (Diod. iv. 38 ; Hygin. Fab. 36 ; Ov. Met. ix. 230, &c.). According to others, however, it was Poeas, Mor-simus, Hyllus, or Zeus himself who performed that service to Heracles (Apollod. ii. 7. § 7 ; Tzetz. ad Lye. 50 ; Soph. Track, in fin.). Philoctetes also was one of the suitors of Helen, and, according to some traditions, it was this circumstance that obliged him to take part in the Troian war (Apollod. iii. 10. § 8). On his journey thither, while staying in the island of Chryse, he was bitten by a snake. This misfortune happened to him as he was show-ino to the Greeks tho altar of Athena Chrvse, and

O v -^



approached too near to the serpent which was guarding the temple of the goddess (Soph. Phil. 1327 ; Philostr. Imag. 17 ; Eustath. ad Horn. p. 330 ; Tzetz. aa Lye. 911), or while he was looking at the tomb of Troilus in the temple of Apollo Thymbraeus, or as he was showing to his com­panions the altar of Heracles (Philostr. /. c.; Schol. ad Soph. Phil. 266), or lastly during a sacrifice which Palamedes offered to Apollo Sminthius (Diet. Cret. ii. 14). Hera, it is said, was the cause of this misfortune, being enraged at Philoctetes having performed the above-mentioned service to Heracles (Hygin. Fab. 102), though some related that the snake's bite was the consequence of his not having returned the love of the nymph Chryse (Tzetz. ad Lye. 911). According to some accounts, moreover, the wound in his foot was not inflicted by a serpent, but by his own poisoned arrows (Serv. ad Aen. iii. 402). The wound is said to have become ulcerated, and to have produced such an intolerable smell, and such intolerable pains, that the meanings of the hero alarmed his companions. The consequence was, that on the advice of Odysseus, and b}- the command of the Atreidae, he was exposed and left alone on the solitary coast of Lemnos (Ov. Met. xiii. 315 ; Hygin. Fab. 102). According to some he was there left behind, because the priests of Hephaestus in Lemnos knew how to heal the wound (Eustath. ad Horn. p. 330), and Pylius, a son of Hephaestus, is said to have actually cured him (Ptolem. Hepli. 6), while, according to others, he was believed to have died of the wound (comp. Paus. i. 22. § 6). According to the common tradition, the sufferer remained in Lemnos during the whole period of the Trojan war, until in the tenth year Odysseus and Diomedes came to him as ambassadors, to inform him that an oracle had de­clared that without the arrows of Heracles Troy could not be taken. The tradition which represents him as having been cured, adds that while the war against Troy was going on, he, in conjunction with Euneus, conquered the small islands about the Trojan coast, and expelled their Carian inhabitants. As a reward for these exploits he received a part of Lemnos, which he called Acesa (from d/ceo/^cu, I heal), and at the request of Diomedes and Neopto-lemus, he then proceeded to Troy to decide the victory by his arrows (Philostr. Her. 5 ; comp. Hygin. Fal. 102 ; Q. Smyrn. ix. 325, 460 ; Tzetz. ad Lye. 911; Schol. ad Pind. Pyth. i. 100). Ac­cording to the common story, however, Philoctetes was still suffering when the ambassadors arrived, but he nevertheless followed their call. After his arrival before Troy, Apollo sent him into a profound sleep, during which Machaon (or Podalirius, or both, or Asclepius himself) cut out the wound, washed it with wine, and applied healing herbs to it (Tzetz. ad Lye. I. c.; Schol. ad Pind. Pyth. i. 109 ; Propert. ii. 1. 61 ; Q. Smyrn. x. 180 ; Soph. Phil. 133, 1437). Philoctetes was thus cured, and soon after slew Paris, whereupon Troy fell into the hands of the Greeks (Soph, Phil. 1426 ; Apollod. iii. 1*2- § 6 ; Tzetz. ad Lye. 64 ; Hygin. Fab. 112 ; Conon, Narr. 23). On his return from Troy he is said to have been cast upon the coast of Italy, where he settled, and built Petelia and Crimissa. In the latter place he founded a sanctuary of Apollo Alaeus, to whom he dedicated his bow (Strab. vi. p. 254 ; Tzetz. ad Lye. 911 ; Serv. ad Aen. iii. 402). Afterwards a band of Rhodians also came to Italy, and as they became

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of