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On this page: Soteridas – Sotion – Sozomenus




SOTERIDAS (ZaTTjpiSas), a grammarian of Epidaurus, the husband of Pamphila, under whose name he published an historical work in three books. He also wrote a work on Orthography (6pOoypa(f)iai'\ Homeric questions (fo-Hjcrefs '0^77-piKds), a Commentary on Menander (]^oL els Mei/cwSpoj/), on Metres (irept /^erpwv), on Comedy (irepl /co^Sms), and on Euripides (ets

Suidas has two articles on Soteridas, which so nearly resemble each other, that there can be no doubt of their referring to one and the same person, especially when we bear in mind the constant practice of Suidas to make different articles out of the statements of different writers concerning one person, without troubling himself much about their consistency. The above account is taken from the one of Suidas's articles which appears to be copied from the better authority. In the other (and s. v* IIaju.</>iA,ij) he makes Soteridas the father, instead of the husband, of Pamphila ; but the fact of his writing under her name appears more con­sistent with his being her husband than her father. Also, the Commentary on Menander is called, in

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the second article, a Commentary on Homer and Menander ; a curious conjunction, unless the Homer referred to be the poet of the Tragic Pleiad. These variations are of little consequence in themselves ; but they furnish a good example of the sort of materials out of which much of the minor Greek literary history has to be constructed. (Fabric. Bibl Grace, vol. ii. p. 496, vol. vi. p. 379.) [P. S.]

SOTION (^cotiwi/). There appear to have been three or four philosophers of this name. The fol­lowing alone are worth noticing: —

1. A native of Alexandria, who flourished at the close of the third century B. c. (Clinton, Fasti Hellen. vol. iii. p. 526.) Nothing is known of his personal history. He is chiefly remarkable as the author of a work, entitled AtaSo^ai, on the suc­cessive teachers in the different philosophical schools. It is quoted very frequently by Diogenes Laertius (ii. 12, 26. v. 86, &c.), and Athenaeus (iv. p. 162, e., &c.) It consisted of at least 23 books (Diog. Laert. prooem. 1. 7). He was also, appa­rently, the author of a work, irepl T<av T/^wvos c>i\\(*)V (A then. viii. p. 336, d.), and of a work entitled A.ioK\€ioi €\eyxoi (Diog. Laert. x. 4).

2. Also a native of Alexandria, who lived in the age of Tiberius. He was the instructor of Seneca, who derived from him his admiration of Pythagoras (Seneca, Epist. 108). It was perhaps this Sotion who was the author of a treatise on anger, quoted by Stobaeus (Floril. xiv. 10, xx. 53, Ixxxiv. 6 — 8, 17, 18, cviii. 59, cxiii. 15). Plutarch also quotes him (Alex. c. 61), as the authority for certain statements respecting towns founded by Alexander the Great in India, which he had heard from his contemporary Potamon the Lesbian. Vossius conjectures that it is the same Sotion who is quoted by Tzetzes (Chiliad, vii. 144) as the authority for some other statements relating to India, which he probably drew from the same source.

3. The Peripatetic philosopher, mentioned by A. Gellius (N. A. i. 8) as the author of a miscellaneous work entitled Kepas 'A^aAflefas, is probably a different person from either of the pre­ceding. (Vossius, de Hist. Graec. p. 233, &c. ; Scholl, Gcsch. der griech. Lit. vol. ii, pp. 221, 576,

641 ; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. i. p. 874, vol. iii. pp. 52, 505, 576.) [C. P. M.]

SOZOMENUS, HERMEIAS, SALAMA-NES, or SALAMINIUS (SoAa^wjs 'Efluefas 2«fo/uer'os, Phot. Bibl. Cod. 30 ; comp. Sozomeri, H. E. lib. vi. c. 32: 'Epiuefay Sw^o/uews, d /cal SaAaytuV/os, Niceph. Callist. H. E. lib. i. c. i.), with the additional epithet scholasticus ; usually called in English sozomen ; a Greek ecclesiastical historian of the fifth century. He was probably a native of Bethelia or Bethel, a populous village in the territory of Gaza in Palestine. His grand­father was the first of his family who embraced the Christian religion, being influenced thereto by the wonderful recovery of Alaphion, a person of pro­perty in the same village, and a demoniac, who had been relieved by the prayers of the monk Hilarion, after he had resorted in vain to Jewish and Heathen exorcists. The grandfather of Sozomen, witji some of his kindred, fled from Bethelia during the reign of Julian, fearing the violence of the heathen multitude : but they appear to have returned ; and the grandfather being a person of some education, and skilled in the exposition of the Scriptures, and especially in solving difficulties, was much esteemed by the Christians of Ascalon, Gaza, and the neighbouring parts (Sozom. II. E. lib. v. c.-'15). That Sozomen was born and educated at Bethelia is inferred from his familiarity with the locality (ibid.), and from his intimacy, when quite young, with some persons of the family of Alaphion, who were the first to build churches and monas­teries near Bethelia, and were pre-eminent in sanctity (ibid.) ; a description which, as Valesius notices, appears to identify them with the four brothers, Salamanes, Physcon, Malachion or Mal-chion, and Crispion, mentioned by him in another place (lib. vi. c. 32). Valesius supposes Sozomen to have derived that great admiration of the mo­nastic life which he shows in various parts of his work from his early intercourse with these monks; and it was perhaps from the first-mentioned of them that he derived his own name of Salamanes. That the early life of Sozomen was spent in the neigh­bourhood of Gaza, appears also from his familiar acquaintance with the deportment of Zeno, the aged bishop of Maiuma, the port of that city (lib. vii. c. 28). The statement of some writers that Sozomen was a native of Cyprus is an error, arising apparently from the corrupt form 2a\ct[j.ii>ios, Sa-laminius, in which Nicephorus has given his name. According to Valesius, whom Cave follows, Sozo­men studied civil law at Berytus ; but we have not been able to trace any reference to this cir-


cumstance in Sozomen's history : he practised at the bar at Constantinople, and was still engaged in his profession when he wrote his history (lib. ii. c. 3). Of his subsequent life nothing appears to be known. As he mentions, in the prefatory epistle to his history, an incident which probably occurred in A. d. 443, he must have survived that year ; and Ceillier thinks that, from the manner in which he speaks of Proclus of Constantinople (lib. ix. c. 2, ad fin., IIpoKAou eTnTpoTreiWros tt)v c*)V<TTavTLVovir6\e(A)s e/CKArjo'iai/, " in the episcopate of Proclus of Constantinople"), he must have written after the death of that prelate in a. d. 446 ; but we think the words do not necessarily lead to that conclusion.

The only work of Sozomen which has come down to our time is his 'EitKArjcriaff rt/c?) i

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