The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Philostratus

PHILOSTRATUS.

Whether the accuser of Chabrias was also the maternal grandfather and adoptive father of Phae-nippus is a doubtful point. (Dera. c. Pliaen. pp. 1045, 1047.)

3. The father of Polemon the philosopher. (Diog. Laert. iv. 16.)

4. A Rhodian, who commanded a quinquereme with great bravery and distinction in the battle of Chios, in which Attains I. and the Rhodians defeated Philip V. of Macedon in b. c. 201. (Polyb. xvi. 5.)

5. An Epeirot, who in b. c. 170 engaged in a plot for seizing A. liostilius, the Roman consul, on his way through Epeirus into Thessaly, and delivering him up to Perseus. The design would probably have succeeded, had not Hostilius changed his route, and, having sailed to Anticyra, made his way thence into Thessaly. In the following year we find Philostratus co-operating successfully in Epeirus with Clevas, the Macedonian general, against Appius Claudius. (Polyb. xxvii. 14 ; Liv. xliii. 23.)

6. A Rhodian athlete, who in b. c. 68 bribed his competitor at the Olympic games to allow him to win, and was punished for it by a fine. (Paus. v. 21.) [E. E.J

PHILOSTRATUS (QiXoffTparos), literary. Suidas (s. v.) mentions three of this name. 1. Ac­cording to him the first was the son of Verus, and lived in the time of Nero. He practised rhetoric at Athens, and in addition to several rhetorical works, wrote forty-three tragedies and thirteen comedies, besides treatises entitled Tv/jLvacrTiKov, Nepwm, ®earr\v (which Meursius thinks should be written Nepco^a &ear7jj'), irepl TpaywSias, \ido-"yvufjiiKov, ripco-rea. We shall reserve further no­tice of him till we come to speak of the third Philostratus.

2. The most celebrated of the Philostrati is the biographer of Apollonius. The distribution of the various works that bear the name has occupied the attention and divided the opinions of the ablest critics, as may be seen by consulting Vossius (de Hut. Graec. p. 279, ed. Westermann), Meursius (Dissert, de Philostrat. apud Philostrat. ed. Olearius, p. xv. &c.), Jonsius (de Script. Hist. Phil. iii. 14. 3), Tillemont (Histoire des Empereurs, vol. iii. pp. 86, &c.), Fabricius (Bibl. Graec. vol. v. pp. 540, &c.), and the prefaces of Olearius and Kayser to their editions of the works of the Philostrati. At the very outset there is a difference regarding the name. The fiios ^o^tffruv bears the praenomen of Flavins, which we find nowhere else except in Tzetzes. In the title to his letters he is called an Athenian. Eunapius ( Vit. Soph, prooem.) calls him a Lemnian, so does Synesius ( Vit. Dion.\ Photius (Bibl. Cod. 44) calls him a Tyrian. Tzetzes (CJiil. vi. Hist. 45), has these words:—•

3>i\d<TTpaTos 6 4>Aa£ios, d Tuptos, oT^aat, fnjrwp, vAAAos 8' effrlv 6 'att//cos,

where by reading "AAAws, we might lessen the difficulty. The best means of settling the point is by consulting the author himself; and here we find no difficulty. He spent his youth, and was probably born in Lemnos ( Vit. Ap. vi. 27), hence the surname of Lemnius. He studied rhetoric under Proclus, whose school was at Athens ( V. S. ii. 21), and had opportunities of hearing, if he was not actually the pupil of some of the foremost rhetoricians and sophists of his time ( V. S. ii. 23. ,

323

PHILOSTRATUS.

§ 2, 3, 27. §. 3.) If we may believe Suidas (s. v. ru>v\ Fronton was his rival at Athens, and probably Apsines, who also was opposed to Fron­ton, and of whom Philostratus speaks (V.S. ii. 33. § 4) as his intimate friend, was his colleague. It is true that Suidas speaks of this Philostratus as Tea irpwTcp, but the time, that of Severus, fixes it to be Piiilostratus the biographer. As he was called Lemnius from his birth-place, so on his arrival at Rome from Athens, or while teaching there, he was called Atheniensis, to distinguish him from his 3rounger namesake. The account given by Suidas of his having been alive in the time of the emperor Philip (a. d. 244—249), tallies precisely with what we find written in his own works. Clinton conjectures the time of his birth to be A. d. 182 (Fast. Rom. p. 257), but this seems too late a period, and we may fix on A. n. 172 as not impro­bable. We have no notice of the time of his re­moval from Athens to Rome, but we find him a member of the circle (kvk\ov) of literary men, rhetoricians especially, whom the philosophic Julia Domna, the wife of Severus, had drawn around her. ( V. Ap. i. 3.) It was at her desire that he wrote the life of Apollonius. From the manner in which he speaks of her, rovs pyropiKovs iravras \oyovs 67r/jVe/, Kal TJcrTra^ero, and the fact that he does not dedicate the work to his patroness, it may safely be inferred that she was dead when he finished the life; she died a. d. 217. That the work was written in Rome is rendered probable, from his contrasting the sudden descent of night in the south of Spain, with its gradual approach in Gaul, and in the place where he is writing, evravBa. (V. Ap. v. 3.) That the same person wrote the life of Apollonius and the lives of the sophists, a fact which we have hitherto assumed, appears from the following facts. He distinctly affirms (V. Ap. v. 2) that he had been in Gaul. The writer of the lives of the sophists had also been in Gaul; for he mentions the mirth which the language of the sophist Heliodorus to the emperor Caracalla, while in Gaul (a. d. 213), had occasioned him. ( V. S. ii. 32.) This is confirmed when ( V.S. ii. 5) he refers his reader to his work on Apol­lonius, as well known. ( V. S. ii. 5.) He states that he wrote these lives while Aspasius was still teaching in Rome, being far advanced in years. ( V. S. ii. 33. § 4.) Besides, he dedicates them to a consul named Antonius Gordianus, a descendant of Herodes Atticus, with whom he had con­versed at Antioch concerning the sophists. This Gordianus, Fabricius supposes to have been Gor­dianus III. who was consul a. d. 239 and 241. (Bibl. Graec. vol. v. p. 552.) But to this Clinton justly objects, that not only would the dedication in that case have borne the title avroKpdrup instead of vtto.tos, but Gordian, who in A. d. 239 was only in his 14th year, was too young to have had any such conversation as that referred to. (Fast. Rom. p. 255.) It may have been one of the other Gor-diani, who were conspicuous for their consulships. (Jul. Capitol. Gordian. c. 4.) As they were slain a. d. 238, the lives must have been written prior to this event. And as Aspasius did not settle in Rome till A. d. 235 (Clinton, F. R. p. 245) the lives of the sophists were probably written about A. d. 237.

Before proceeding to particularize those of his works which have come down to us, it may be more convenient to speak of their general object

y 2

Pages
About | First

321

322

323
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.