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On this page: Sopolis – Sopylus – Soranus


ander's life [hermolaus]. (Arr. Anab. i. 2, iii. 11, iv. 13; Curt. viii. 7.) [E. E.]

SOPOLIS, a distinguished painter, who flou­rished at Rome in the middle of the first century B. c., is mentioned with Dionysius by Pliny, who says, that their works filled the picture galleries. (//. N. xxxv. 11. s. 40. § 43.) In some MSS. of this passage the name is written Sopylus. From a passage of Cicero (ad Att. iv. 16), which has been first pointed out by R. Rochette (Lettre a M. Schorn, pp. 315, 404, 2d ed.), we learn that Sopo-lis was at the head of a school of painters. [P. S.]

SOPOLIS (ScoTroAfs) a physician who instructed Aetius (the heretic, not the physician) in medi­ cine, in the former half of the fourth century after Christ. A high character is given him by Philo- storgius, who says he was inferior to none of his contemporaries (Hist. Eccles. iii. 15, p. 52) ; St. Gregory of Nyssa, on the other hand, without naming Sopolis, says that Aetius became servant to a quack doctor (dyvpTris), from whom he picked up his knowledge of physic. (Cont. Eunom. i. p. 293.) [W. A. G.]

SOPYLUS. [sopolis.] ,

SORANUS, a Sabine divinity of the lower world. Mount Soracte, which probably derived its name from him, was, according to Servius (ad Aen. xi. 785), sacred to the infernal gods, especially to Diespiter; and it is related that during a sacrifice offered to Soranus, wolves snatched away the entrails of the victims from the altar, and that the shepherds pursuing the wolves came to a cave, the poisonous vapours of which caused a pestilence among them. An oracle then ordered them to live, like wolves, on prey, and hence those people are called Hirpini, from the Sabine word hirpus, a wolf, which was joined to that of Soranus, so that their full name was Hirpini Sorani. It was a custom observed down to a comparatively late period that the Hir^i or Hirpini (probably some ancient Sabine families) at the festival on mount Soracte, walked with bare feet upon the glowing coals of fir-wood, carrying about the entrails of the victims (Serv. ad Aen. xi. 784, &c.; Plin. H. N. vii. 2; Sil. Ital. v. 174; Strab. v. p. 226). Strabo connects this ceremony with the worship of Feronia, and this circumstance, as well as the proximity of the sanctuary of the two divinities, shows, that Soranus and Feronia probably belonged to the same religion. Roman poets sometimes identified Soranus with the Greek Apollo. (Virg. Aen. xi. 786 ; comp. M'uller, Etrusk, vol. ii. p. 67, &c.; Hartung, Die Religion der Romer, vol. ii. p. 191, &c.) [L. S.]

SORANUS (2wpavbs\ the name of several physicians, whom it is difficult (if not impossible) to distinguish with certainty. The following are enumerated by Fabricius (Bill. Or. vol. xii. p. 684, ed. vet. See also vol. xiii. p. 426.)

1. A native of Cos, who appears to have written an account of Hippocrates, and is said to have examined the libraries and official records at Cos, in search of materials. His date is unknown, but he may perhaps have lived in the third or second century b. c. He is quoted by Soranus, the author of the Life of Hippocrates.* (§ 1.)

2. A native of Mallus in Cilicia*, whose date is


unknown, but wno is mentioned by Suidas as one of the " more ancient" physicians (Trpecrgvrepoi). He appears to have been eminent in his profession ; and as he lived after the time of Hippocrates, he may perhaps be placed in the fourth or third cen­tury b.c. (Suid. s. v. 3copa»/os.)

3. A native of Ephesus, whose father's name was Menander, and his mother's Phoebe. He first practised his profession at Alexandria, and afterwards at Rome, in the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian, a. d. 98—138. Suidas (who gives the above account of him) adds that he composed se­veral excellent works.

4. Another native of Ephesus, who lived later, and who (according to Suidas) wrote TwaiKtionv &i€\ta Tto-ffapa, Biovs 'larpwv, Kal Alptaeis, Kal SwTcfy/^ara, Pi€\ia Se/ca, and other \yorks.

Now it is quite possible that Suidas may be correct in stating that there were twoAphysicians of the name of Soranus, both of whom were natives of Ephesus ; but at any rate those modern writers who have attempted to distinguish them by assigning to each his proper writings, have decidedly failed, as is evident since the publication of the treatise riepi Tvva.iK.sfav Ilaflwf, in 1838. For instance, Fabricius considers that the elder Soranus (No. 3) is the physician belonging to the sect of the Me-thodici who is frequently quoted by Caelius Aure-lianus, and who wrote a work, " De Coenotetis," consisting of at least two books ; and he thinks that the younger Soranus (No. 4) is the author who is frequently quoted by Aetius, to whom belongs the short fragment Hep! M^rpas koi Tvvai-Keiov AtSotov, which is still extant. It is, however, now quite clear, first, that the fragment in question forms part of the published treatise " De Morbis Mulierum ;" 2. that the writer of this Avork be­longed to the sect of the Methodici (see Dietz's Notes at pp. 4, 21) ; 3. that this is the work fre­quently quoted by Aetius ; and 4. that the writer of this work was also the author of a work Ilepl oii/ottjtwj/, consisting of at least two books. Upon the whole, therefore, it seems more probable that Dietz (note to Sor. p. 23) and Dr. Ermerins (Observ. Grit, in Sor. appended to his ed. of Hippocr. De Viet, Rat. in Morb. Acut. p. 372) are correct in supposing that the two physicians of the name of Soranus, mentioned by Suidas as being natives of Ephesus, were, in fact, one and the same individual. The only objection to this hypothesis, of which the writer is aware, arises from the fact that in the treatise "De Morbis Mulierum" the names of several physicians occur who lived later than the time of Soranus ; and this difficulty would of course be insuperable if the text in these passages were genuine and correct. But the text of the whole treatise is at present in a very unsatisfactory state, and contains many words, &c., that are un­doubtedly spurious ; so that (until the whole ques­tion has been thoroughly examined by some future editor of Soranus) we are quite justified in be­lieving the passages in question to be interpolations. (See Ermerins, /. c. p. 371, &c.)

If, therefore, we suppose that there was only one physician of the name of Soranus who was born at Ephesus, the date assigned by Suidas to the son of Menander will agree tolerably well with that which we gather from other sources; he is quoted by Caelius

* Haller seems to consider this Soranus to be the same as one of the following (Bibl. Medic.

Pract. vol. i. p. 207), but probably without sufficient reason.

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