The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Phryne – Phrynichus

PHRYNICHUS.

PHRYNE («f>pi/V77), one of the most celebrated Athenian hetairae, was the daughter of Epicles, and a native of Thespiae in Boeotia. She was of very humble origin, and originally gained her livelihood by gathering capers ; but her beauty procured for her afterwards so much wealth that she is said to have offered to rebuild the walls of Thebes, after they had been destroyed by Alexander, if she might be allowed to put up this inscription on the walls :— " Alexander destroyed them, but Phryne, the he-taira, rebuilt them." She had among her admirers many of the most celebrated men of the age of Philip and Alexander, and the beauty of her form gave rise to some of the greatest works of art. The orator Hyperides was one of her lovers, and he de­fended her when she was accused by Euthias on one occasion of some capital charge ; but when the eloquence of her advocate foiled to move the judges, he bade her uncover her breast, and thus ensured her acquittal. The most celebrated picture of Apelles, his "Venus Anadyomene " _ [apelles, p. 222, b.], is said to have been a representation of Phryne, who, at a public festival at Eleusis, entered the sea with dishevelled hair. The celebrated Cnidian Venus of Praxiteles, who was one of her lovers, was taken from her [praxiteles], and he expressed his love for her in an epigram which he inscribed on the base of a statue of Cupid, which he gave to her, and which she dedicated at Thes­piae. Such admiration did she excite, that her neighbours dedicated at Delphi a statue of her, made of gold, and resting on a base of Pentelican marble. According to Apollodorus (ap. Athen., xiii. p. 591, e.) there were two hetairae of the name of Phrj^ne, one of whom was surnamed Clausilegos and the other Saperdium ; and according to Hero-dicus (Ibid.} there were also two, one the Thespian, and the other surnamed Sestus. The Thespian Phryne, however, is the only one of whom we have any account. (Athen. xiii. pp. 590, 591, 558, c. 567, e, 583, b.c. 585, e. f.; Aelian, V. H. ix. 32 ; Alciphron, Ep. i. 31 ; PI in. //. N. xxxiv. 8. s. 19. § 10 ; Propert. ii. 5 ; Jacobs, Att. Mus. vol. iii. pp. 18, &c. 36, &c.)

PHRYNICHUS ($pyvixos\ an Athenian general, the son of Stratonides (Schol. ad AristopJi. Lys. 313). In b. c. 412 he was sent out with two others in command of a fleet of 40 ships to the coast of Asia Minor. The troops encamped in the territory of Miletus. A battle ensued in which the Athenians were victorious. A Peloponnesian fleet having arrived soon after, the colleagues of Phrynichus were for risking an engagement, from which Phrynichus (wisely, as Thucydides thinks) dissuaded them (Thuc. viii. 25, 27, &c.). In 411, when proposals were made to the Athenians at Samos on the part of Alcibiades, who offered to secure for them Persian aid if an oligarchy were established instead of a democracy, Phrynichus again offered some sagacious advice, pointing out the dangers into which such a course would plunge them, and expressing his belief that Alcibiades was not at heart more friendly to an oligarchy than to a democracy, and his doubts as to his power of executing his promises. Peisander and the other members of the oligarchical faction, how­ever, slighted his advice, and sent a deputation to Athens. Phrynichus, fearing for his safety in case Alcibiades should be restored, sent a letter to Astyochus, informing him of the machinations of Alcibiades. Astyochus betrayed the communica-

359

PHRYNICHUS.

tion to Tissaphernes and Alcibiades, and the latter complained to his friends in the Athenian arma­ment of the treason of Phrynichus, and demanded that he should be put to death. Thirlwall (vol. iv. p. 34) is at a loss to decide whether the conduct of Phrynichus upon this occasion was the result of a blind want of caution, or a bold and subtle artifice. He wrote again to Astyochus, offering to betray the Athenian armament into his hands, and before the letter of Alcibiades, to whom Astyochus again showed the letter of Phrynichus, who sent a fresh charge against Phrynichus, could reach the Athenians, Phrynichus warned the Athenians that the enemy were preparing to surprise their encamp­ment. By these means he made it appear that the charges of Alcibiades were groundless, and preferred against him out of personal enmity. Soon afterwards Peisander, wishing to get Phry­nichus out of the way, procured his recal. In the subsequent progress of the oligarchical intrigues, when the oligarchical faction found that the hopes held out to them by Alcibiades were groundless, and that they could get on better without him than with him, Phrynichus again joined them, and, in conjunction with Antiphon, Peisander, and Theramenes, took a prominent part in the revolu­tion which issued in the establishment of the oli­garchy of the Four Hundred. When, on the junction effected between Alcibiades and the Athenians at Samos, Theramenes and others counselled the oligarchs to make the best terms they could with their antagonists, Phrynichus was one of the foremost in opposing every thing of the kind, and with Antiphon and ten others was sent to Sparta to negotiate a peace. On his return he was assassinated in the agora by a young Athenian, who was assisted by an Argive. The former escaped, but the latter was seized and put to the torture. It appeared that the assassination was the result of a conspiracy among those op­posed to the oligarchs, and the latter found it the most prudent plan not to pursue the investigation (Thuc. viii. 48, 50, &c., 54, 68, 90, 92). Ly-curgus (adv. Leocr. p. 217, ed. Reiske) gives a different account of his assassination. [C. P. M.]

PHRYNICHUS (QpJvixos), literary. 1. The son of Polyphradmon (or, according to others, of Mi-nyras), an Athenian, was one of the poets to whom the invention of tragedy is ascribed: he is said to have been the disciple of Thespis (Suid. s. v.). He is also spoken of as before Aeschylus (Schol. in Aris-toph. Ran. 941). He is mentioned by the chrono-graphers as flourishing at 01. 74, b.c. 483 (Cyrill. Julian, i. p. 13, b. ; Euseb. Chron. s. a. 1534; Clinton, F. ff. s. a.). He gained his first tragic victory in 01. 67, b.c. 511 (Suid. s. v.), twenty-four years after Thespis (b. c. 535), twelve years after Choerilus (b. c. 523), and twelve years before Aeschylus (b. c. 499) ; and his last in 01. 76, b. c. 476, on which occasion Themistocles was his cJioragus^ and recorded the event by an in­scription (Plut. Themist. 5). Phrynichus must, therefore, have flourished at least 35 years. He probably went, like other poets of the age, to the court of Hiero, and there died ; for the statement of the anonymous writer on Comedy, in his account of Phrynichus, the comic poet (p. 29), that Phry­nichus, tJie son of Phradmon, died in Sicily, evi­dently refers properly to the tragic poet, on account of his father's name.

In all the accounts of the rise and development

a a 4

Pages
About | First

357

358

359
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.