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On this page: Potamo – Potamon – Pothaeus – Potheinus – Pothinus


to a different age. The arguments which they em­ ploy to demonstrate this last position are founded upon the second title of the Epistola ad Athana- sium as given above, but this title Galland, Schoene- mann, and others, hold to be the blunder of an ignorant transcriber. The Sermones will be found in Galland, and the discussions with regard to the real author in the Prolegomena to the volume, cap. x. p. xvii. [W. R.]

POTAMO, PAPI'RIUS, a scriba of Verres, and one of the instruments of his tyranny, is called by Cicero in irony "homo severus, ex vetere ilia equestri disciplina1' (Cic. Verr. iii. 60, 66). He was originally the scriba and friend of Q. Caecilius Niger, the quaestor of Verres, and he remained with Verres, when Caecilius left the island. (Cic. Div. in Caecil. 9.)

POTAMON (nora/jLuv). 1. Of Alexandria. Of this philosopher we have notices in Diogenes Laertius (Prooem. § 21), Porphyrius (de Vita Plotini) in Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. ii. p. 109, old ed.), and Suidas (s. vv. alpeais, IIoTcfy/.coj'). Many attempts have been made to reconcile, by emenda­tion and conjecture, the discrepancies found in these notices, or to ascertain the truth regarding him. Of these an elaborate account will be found in Brucker's Historia Criticae Pliilosopltiae (vol. ii. p. 193, &c.). This subject has also been investi­gated in a treatise by Gloeckrier, entitled, De Po-tamonis Alex.. Philosophia Edectica, recentiorum Platonicorum Disciplinae admodum dissimili, Dis-put. 4to. Lipsiae, 1745. Of this an excellent abs­tract is given by Harless (in Fabric, ibid. vol. iii. p. 184, &c.). What is chiefly interesting and im­portant regarding Potamon, is the fact recorded by Laertius, that, immediately before his time (irpo oAfyou), Potamon had introduced an eclectic sect of philosophy (e/cAe/m/of tis atpecns). Modern writers have made too much of this solitary fact, for we read nowhere else of this school of Potamon. The meaning of Porphyrius, in the passage referred to above, is by no means clear. It is impossible to tell whether he makes Potamon the occasional dis­ciple of Plotinus, or Plotinus of Potamon. Suidas, in the article aipcons, evidently quotes Laertius, but in IloTcfyuoi'he states, that he lived irp() Avyovarov, Kal ^uer* avrov. Whatever meaning these words may have—for that is one of the points of dis­cussion in this question—the two articles are irre-concileable. Indeed, Suidas exhibits his usual con­fusion in this name. He makes (&, v. AeaGticvaQ Potamon the rhetorician [No. 2], a philosopher, and we need not encumber the question with his unsupported authority on a point of chronology. Yet, to accommodate his statement with those of Laertius and Porphyrius, Gloeckner and Harless suppose three Potamons. For this, or even for the supposition that there were two, there seems no necessity. Setting aside the authority of Suidas, remembering the uncertainty of the time of Laertius — to determine which his mention of Potamon may furnish a new element, — we cannot but attach much weight to the statement of Porphyrius, the contemporary of Plotinus, and who refers to Pota­mon, as a well-known name. We should, there­fore, conclude that the Potamon mentioned by Laertius and Porphyrius are the same, and, on a minute investigation of the passage where he is mentioned by the latter author, that he was older than Plotinus, and entrusted his children to his guardianship. He may have brought from Alex-




andria to Rome the idea of an eclectic school. But he had no followers in his peculiar combina­tions. They were supplanted by the school that endeavoured to ingraft Christianity upon the older systems of philosophy. Indeed, the short notice given by Laertius does not entitle Potamon to the distinction invariably conferred upon him, that he was the first to introduce an eclectic school ; though, probably, he was the first who taught at Rome a system so called.

Laertius states briefly a few of his tenets, de­rived from his writings, from which we can only learn that he combined the doctrines of Plato with the Stoical and Aristotelian, and not without ori­ginal views of his own. According to Suidas he wrote a commentary on the Republic of Plato.

2. Of Mytilene (Strab. xiii. p. 617), son of Les-bonax the rhetorician, was himself a rhetorician, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, whose favour he en­joyed (Suidas, s. v.). Westermann, indeed, makes him a teacher of Tiberius, but this is stated nowhere else (Geschichte Griech. Bered. p. 106). He is mentioned as an authority regarding Alexander the Great, by Plutarch (Alex. 61). It is, probably, he whom Lucian states to have attained the age of ninety (Macrob. § 23). Suidas informs us that, in addition to his life of Alexander the Great, he wrote several other works, namely, "flpoi Sa^tuW, Bpourov eyK<v(j.Lov, Tlepl reAetov ptfropos. And, to the treatises mentioned by Suidas, should probably be added that irepl ttjs 5*a$opas, quoted by Am-monius in his treatise Trfpl opoiuv Kal SicKpopw Ae£ecoj/, s. v. epwryv. (Suidas, s. vv. ®eo5co/3os Ta-

3. A poet, sneered at by Lucillius. (Anth. Grace. vol. iii. p. 44, Jacobs.) [W. M. G.]

POTHAEUS (no0cuos), a Greek architect, of unknown age and country, trho, in conjunction with Antiphilus and Megacles, made the treasury of the Carthaginians at Olympia. (Paus. vi. 19. §4.s.7.) [P. S.]

POTHEINUS (IIo0e«/os), artists. 1. An Athe­nian sculptor, whose name is preserved on an in­scription which was affixed to the portrait-statue of a certain Nymphodotus, in the palaestra at Athens. (Bockh, Corp. Jnscr. No. '270, vol. i. p. 375. The inscription, as explained by Bockh, reads thus, Ei/coVa TTjj/Se TloOt'ivos .... reugas &?f/caTo, which can only mean that Potheinus was both the sculptor and the dedicator of the statue. That artists not unfrequently dedicated their own works, is shown by Welcker, Kunstblatt, 1827, No. 83 ; comp. R. Rochette, Lettre a M. Schorn, p. 392).

2. A vase-painter, whose name appears on a beautiful vessel, in the ancient style, representing the contest of Thetis and Peleus, which was found in 1833 at Ponte delP Abbadia, and is now in the museum at Berlin. It is doubtful whether the name inscribed on the vase is no0etVos or Heidivos ; but it looks more like the latter. (Levezow, Ver- zeichniss. No. 1005, p. 246 ; Gerhard, Berlins Ant. Bildwerke, No. 1005, p. 291 ; R. Rochette, Lettre a M. Schorn, pp. 56, 57.) [P. S.J

POTHINUS, an eunuch, the guardian of the young king Ptolemy, and the regent of the king­dom, recommended the assassination of Pompey, when the latter fled for refuge to Egypt after the loss of the battle of Pharsalia in b.c. 48 (Lucan, viii. 484, &c.). He plotted against Caesar when he came to Alexandria, later the same year. It


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