The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Phocus – Phocylides

342

PHOCUS.

hemlock which had been prepared was found in­sufficient for all the condemned, and the jailer would not furnish more until he was paid for it, " Give the man his money," said Phocion to one of his friends, " since at Athens one cannot even die for nothing." He perished in b. c. 317, at the age of 85. In accordance with the law against traitors, his body was cast out on the confines of Attica and Megara (see Diet, of Ant. s.v. Prodosia), and his friends were obliged to hire a man, who was in the habit of undertaking such services, to burn it. His bones were reverently gathered up and buried by a woman of Megara; and after­wards, when the people repented of their conduct, were brought back to Athens, and interred at the public expense. A brazen statue was then raised to his memory, Agnonides was condemned to death, and two more of his accusers, Epicurus and Demophilus, having fled from the city, were overtaken and slain by Phocus.

Phocion was twice married, and his second wife appears to have been as simple and frugal in her habits as himself; but he was less fortunate in his son Phocus, who, in spite of his father's lessons and example, was a thorough profligate. As for Phocion himself, our commendation of him must be almost wholly confined to his. private qualities. He is said to have been the last eminent Athenian who united the two characters of general and statesman ; but he does not appear to advantage in the latter capacity. Contrasting, it may be, the Platonic ideal of a commonwealth with the actual corruption of his countrymen, he neither retired, like his master^ into his own thoughts, nor did he throw himself, with the noble energy of De­mosthenes, into a practical struggle with the evil before him. His fellow-citizens may have been degenerate, but he made no effort to elevate them. He could do nothing better than despair and rail. We may therefore well believe that his patriotism was not very profound ; we may be quite sure that it was not very wise. As a matter of fact, he mainly contributed to destroy the independence of Athens ; and he serves to prove to us that private worth and purity, though essential conditions in­deed of public virtue, are no infallible guarantee for it. (Plut. Phocion^ Demosthenes, Reg. et Imp. Apoph. ; C. Nep. Phocion; Diod. xvi. 42, 46, 74, xvii. 15, xviii. 64, &c.; Ael. V. H. i. 25, ii. 16, 43, iii. 17, 47, iv. 16, vii. 9, xi. 9, xii. 43, 49, xiii. 41, xiv. 10 ; Val. Max. iii. 8. Ext. 2, v. 3. Ext. 3 ; Ath. iv. p. 168, x. p. 419 ; Heyne, Opusc. iii. pp. 346—363; Droysen, A lex. GescJi. der Nachf. Aleoc.; Thirwall's Greece, vols. v. vi. vii.) [E. E.]

PHOCUS (&ukos). 1. A son of Ornytion of Corinth, or according to others of Poseidon, is said to have been the leader of a colony from Corinth into the territory of Tithorea and Mount Par-

*/

nassus, which derived from him the name of Phocis. (Paus. ii. 4. § 3, 29. §2, x. 1. § 1.) He is said to have cured Antiope of her madness, and to have made her his wife (ix. 17. § 4).

2. A son of Aeacus by the Nereid Psamathe, and husband of Asteria or Asterodia, by whom he became the father of Panopeus and Crissus. (Hes. Theog. 1094 ; Pind. Nem. v. 23 ; Tzetz. ad Lye. 53, 939 ; Schol. ad Eurip. Or. 33.) As Phocus surpassed his step-brothers Telamon and Peleus in warlike games and exercises, they being stirred up by their mother Endeis, resolved to destroy him, and Telamon, or, according to others, Peleus killed

PHOCYLIDES.

him with a discus (some say witli a spear during the chase). The brothers carefully concealed the deed, but it was nevertheless found out, and they were obliged to emigrate from Aegina. (Apollod. iii. 12. § 6 ; Paus. ii. 29. § 7 ; Plut Parall. Mm. 25.) Psamathe afterwards took vengeance for the murder of her son, by sending a wolf among the flocks of Peleus, but she was prevailed upon by Thetis to change the animal into a stone. (Tzetz. ad Lye. 901 ; Anton. Lib. 38.) The tomb of Phocus was shown in Aegina. (Paus. ii. 29. § 7.) Phocus is said shortly before his death to have emigrated to Phocis, but to have soon returned to Aegina ; but the country of Phocis, part of which was already called by his name, is said to have been extended by him. While in Phocis he con­ cluded an intimate friendship with laseus, which was confirmed by the present of a seal-ring ; and this scene was represented in the Lesche at Delphi. (Paus. ii. 29. §2, &c., x. 1. § 1, 30. §2.) Panopeus and Crissus, the sons of Phocus, are likewise said to have emigrated to Phocis (ii. 29. § 2). [L. S.J

PHOCYLIDES (4>co/cuAi5r?s), of Miletus, an Ionian poet, contemporary with Theognis, both having been born, according to Suidas (s. -y.) in the 55th Olympiad, b. c. 560, which agrees with Euse-bius, who places Phocylides at 01. 60 (b.c. 540) as a contemporary of the lyric poet Simonides. Ac­cording to Suidas, he wrote epic poems and elegies ; among which were TlapaivecreLs or Tvw^ai which were also called Ke^aAaja. This gnomic poetry shows the reason why Suidas calls him a philoso­pher. Most of the few fragments we possess are of this character ; and they display that contempt for birth and station, and that love for substantial enjoyment, which always marked the Ionian cha­racter. One of his gnomic precepts, on the virtue of moderation, is quoted with praise by Aristotle (Polit. iv. 8) :—

w

slvai.

IIoAAa [Atffoiffiv apiffra' jUetros &e\

The didactic character of his poetry is shown by the frequent occurrence of verses beginning, Kal To5e 4>co/cuA/5€a>. These words no doubt formed the heading of each of those sections (/ce^aAcua), in which, as we have seen from Suidas, the poems of Phocylides were arranged.

We possess only about eighteen short fragments of his poems, of which only two are in elegiac metre, and the rest in hexameters. The editions of them are too numerous to mention ; the titles of these editions, and of the versions into Latin, German, French, Italian, English, and Spanish, fill seven co­lumns of Hoffmann's Lescicon Bibliograpliicum (s.v.). They have, in fact, been included in all the chief collections of the lyric and gnomic poets, from that of Constantine Lascaris, Venet. 1494, 1495, 4to., down to those of Gaisford, Boissonade, Schneide-win, and Bergk. Some of these collections, how­ever, contain a didactic poem, in 217 hexameters, entitled iroii]/j.a vovOeriKov, which is undoubtedly a forgery, made since the Christian era ; but the fact of the name of Phocylides being attached to such a composition is a proof of the estimation in which he was held as a didactic poet. So also, when Suidas states that some of his verses were stolen from the Sibylline Oracles, the meaning is either that some genuine verses of Phocylides had been preserved in that apocryphal collection, or that both the Oracles and the TroirjfjLa

Pages
About | First

340

341

342
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.