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iii. 15. § 4) ; but he had besides a vast number of children by other divinities and mortal women. He is mentioned by a variety of surnames, either in allusion to the many legends related about him, .or to his nature as the god of the sea. His wor ship extended over all Greece and southern Italy, but he was more especially revered in Pelopon nesus (which is hence called olK^rrtptov noaei^cavos) and in the Ionic coast towns. The sacrifices offered to him generally consisted of black and white bulls (Horn. Od. iii. 6, //. xx. 404; Find. Ol. xiii. 98 ; Virg. Aen. v. 237) ; but wild boars and rams were also sacrificed to him. (Horn. Od. xi. 130, &c., xxiii. 277 ; Virg..Aen. iii. 119.) In Argolis bridled horses were thrown into the well Deine as a sacrifice to him (Paus. viii. 7. §2), and horse and chariot races were held in his honour on the Corinthian isthmus. (Pind. Nem. v. 66, &c.) The Panionia, or the festival of all the lonians near Mycale, was celebrated in honour of Poseidon. (Herod, i. 148.) In works of art, Poseidon may be easily recognised by his attributes, the dolphin, the horse, or the trident (Paus. x. 36. § 4), and he was frequently represented in groups along with Amphitrite, Tritons, Nereids, dolphins, the Dios curi, Palaemon, Pegasus, Bellerophontes, Thalassa, Ino, and Galene. (Pans. ii. 1. § 7.) His figure does not present the majestic calm which charac terises his brother Zeus ; but as the state of the sea is varying, so also is the god represented some times in violent agitation, and sometimes in a state of repose. (Hirt, Myihol. Bilderb. i. p. 26.) It must be observed that the Romans identified Poseidon with their own Neptunus, and that ac cordingly the attributes belonging to the former are constantly transferred by the Latin poets to the latter. [L. S.]
POSEIDONIUS (noo-aS&W),a distinguished Stoic philosopher, was a native of Apameia in Syria (Strab. xiv. p. 968, xvi. p. 1093 ; Suidas, s. v. noo-ejS.). He was called sometimes the Apamean, from his birthplace, sometimes the Rhod-ian, from the place where he taught (Lucian, Macrob. vol. iii. p. 223; Athen. vi. p. 252, e.) He was also known by the surname 'AflAT/r^s (Suid. /. c.). The date of his birth is not known with any exactness ; but he was a disciple of Panaetius and a contemporary of Pompeius and Cicero. Athenaeus (xii. p. 549, e.), by a great mistake, mentions Poseidonius instead of Panaetius as the companion of Scipio Africanus on his embassy to Egypt. Elsewhere (xiv. p. 657) he talks of him as a contemporary of Strabo, misunderstanding a passage of the latter (xvi. p. 1093), where the expression Kafl' ??jU.as, in an author who quotes from so many writers of different ages, may very well be understood of one who preceded him but a short time. Vossius supposes that the old age of Poseidonius may have coincided with the childhood of Strabo. The supposition is not necessary. As Panaetius died in b. c. 112, and Poseidonius came to Rome in the consulship of M. Marcellus (b.c. 51), and according to Lucian (/. c.) reached the age of 84 years, b. c. 135 is probably not far from the date of the birth of Poseidonius.
Poseidonius, leaving Syria, betook himself to Athens, and became the disciple of Panaetius, and never returned to his native country. ( Suid. /. c.; Cic. de Off. iii. 2, Tusc. Disp. v. 37.) On the death of Panaetius he set out on his travels, and first visited Spain. At Gades he staid thirty days,
observing the setting of the sun, and by his observations confuting the ignorant story of the hissing sound made by the sun as it descended into the ocean. Having collected a variety of information on points of geography and natural history, he set out for Italy. Nor was he idle on the voyage, paying attention to the course of the winds, and examining the peculiarities of the coasts along which he passed. He visited Sicily and the neighbouring islands, and then proceeded to Dalmatia and Illyricum (Strab. iii. p. 165, iv. p. 197, xiii. p. 614 ; Vitruv. de Archit. viii. 4). After visiting Massilia, Gallia Narbonensis, and Liguria, he returned to the East, and fixed his abode at Rhodes, where he became the president of the Stoic school. He also took a prominent part in the political affairs of the republic, influencing the course of legislation, and among other offices filling that of Prytanis (Strab. iv. p. 655, vii. p. 316). He was sent as ambassador to Rome in b. c. 86. With Marius he became personally acquainted, and Plutarch in his life of Marius was considerably indebted to information derived from him (Plut. Mar. 45). Cicero, when he visited Rhodes, received instruction both from Molo and from Poseidonius (Cic. de Nat. Deor. i. 3, de Fin. i. 2 ; Plut. Cic. 4). Pompey also had a great admiration for Poseidonius, and visited him twice, in b. c. 67 and 62. (Strab. xi. p. 492 ; Plut. Pomp. 42; Plin, //. N. vii. 31.) To the occasion of his first visit probabty belongs the story that Poseidonius, to prevent the disappointment of his distinguished visitor,. though severely afflicted with the gout, held a long discourse on the topic that pain is not an evil (Cic. Tusc. Disp. ii. 25). He seems to have availed himself of his acquaintance with Pompey to gain such additions as he could to his geographical and historical knowledge (Strab. xi. p. 492). In b. c. 51 Poseidonius removed to Rome, and appears to have died soon after. He was succeeded in his school by his disciple and grandson Jason. [jason, p. 556.] Among his disciples were Phanias (Diog. Lae'rt. vii. 41), and Ascle-piodotus (Senec. Qu. Nat. ii. 26, vi. 17). Besides Cicero, he seems to have had among his hearers C. Velleius, C. Cotta, Q. Lucilius Balbus, and probably Brutus. (Cic. de Nat. Deor. i. 44 ; Plut. Brut. p. 984.) Of Pompey we have already spoken.
Poseidonius was a man of extensive and varied acquirements in almost all departments of human knowledge. Strabo (xvi. p. 753) calls him dvrjp rwv KO.ff rjuas tyiXocrotfxJov'jroXvfjt.aOeo'TaTos. Cicero thought so highly of his powers, that he requested him to write an account of his consulship (ad Att. ii. 1). As a physical investigator he was greatly superior to the Stoics generally, attaching himself in this respect rather to Aristotle. His geographical and historical knowledge was very extensive. Though attached to the Stoic system, he was far less dogmatical and obstinate than the majority of that school, refusing to admit a dogma because it was one of the school, if it did not commend itself to him for its intrinsic merits. This scientific cast of his mind Galen attributes to his accurate acquaintance with geometry (De Plac. Plipp. et Plat. iv. p. 279, viii. p. 319). His style of composition also seems to have been far removed from the ungraceful stiffness which was frequently affected by Stoic writers. (Strab. v. p. 147 ; comp. Galen, I. c» iv. p. 281, v. p. 296.)