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On this page: Sphaerus – Sphettus – Sphinx


Minuc. Felix Octav. 19 ; Arist. Metapli. xii. 7 ; Ravaisson, pp.22,&c.), probably in order to explain how it could grow, by a process of self-develop­ ment, into the good, spirit, &c. ; for spirit also he distinguished from the one, as well as from the good, and the latter again from pleasure and pain (Stob. Eel. Pliys. i. 1 ; comp. Arist. Metapli. xiv. 4, Et/i. nic. vii. 14 ; Ravaisson, p. 20). Less worth notice is the attempt of Speusippus to find a more suitable expression for the material princi- pium, the indefinite duality of Plato (Metaph. xiv. 4, 5, comp. 2, 1, xiii. 9), and to connect the ideal numbers of Plato with mathematical numbers (comp. Ravaisson, pp. 29, &c., 35, 38, &c., 44). With his Pythagorizing mode of treating the doctrine of numbers we gain some acquaintance by means of the extracts of his treatise on the Py­ thagorean numbers. (Theologumena Arithmetica, ed. Paris, p. 61.) [Ch.A.B.]

SPHAERUS (2<£a?poy), the charioteer of Pe- lops, of whom there was a monument in the island of Sphaeria or Hiera, near Troezene. (Paus. ii. 33. § 1, v. 10. § 2.) [L.S.J

SPHAERUS (2(pc»)0os), called, apparently from the country of his birth, Boarnopiavus by Diogenes Laertius (vii. 177), and BopvaQeviTiis by Plutarch (Cledm. c. 2), was a philosopher of the Stoic school. He studied first under Zeno of Citium, and after­wards under Cleanthes. He lived at Alexandria during the reigns of the first two Ptolemies, having gone there apparently at the invitation of Ptolemy Philadelphus. He also taught at Lacedaemon, and was believed to have had considerable influence in moulding the character of Cleomenes. (Plut. I. c.) He was in considerable repute among the Stoics for the accuracy of his definitions (Cic. Tusc. iv. 24. § 53). Diogenes Laertius (1. c.) and Athenaeus (viii. p. 334. e.) tell a story of the dexterous manner in which, on one occasion, by the help of his subtle distinctions, he saved himself from the necessity of admitting that he had been deceived by a trick played upon him by king Ptolemy. He was, according to Diogenes Laertius, the author of the following works and treatises:—1. Tlepl /cooyxou. 2. Tlepl ffroi^icav (nrep/naros. 3. Tlepl rv^s. 4. Tlepl 6Aa%iW«i> (on the atomic theory). 5. Tlpos rets dro/AOvs Kal rd e?§a>Aa. 6. Tlepl alffOrjrTj-piuu. 7. Tlepl 'HpaKheirou € 5iarpl§coi^. 8. Tlepl rrjs iqdiKTJs Siard^cas. 9. Tlepl Ka6r}KOVTos. 10. Tlepl opiufjs. 11. Tlepl iraQuv, in two books. 12. Aiarptgai. 13. Tlepl Pacrt,\eias. 14. Tlepl hatcw-vik^s TToAiTeias. Athenaeus (iv. p. 141 b.) quotes from the third book of this work. 15. Tlepl Au-Kovpyov Kal Sw/cparofs, in three books. It does not appear whether it is this work or the preceding which is quoted by Plutarch (Lye. 5.) 16. Tlepl vo/uov. 17. Tlepl /navTtKTJs. 18. AiaAoyoi epcari-kol. 19. Tlepl too*/ 'EpeTpia/coSf QiXocrotyow. 20. Tlepl ouoiow. 21. Ilepi opc*>v. 22. Ilept e|ecos. 23. Tlepl tu>v dvn\eyoiJ,evwj/. 24. Tlepl \6yov. 25. TIcpl TrAourou. 26. Tlepl so|tjs. 27. Tlepl Qavdrov. 28. Tex^n StaAe/m/of, in two books. 29. Tlepl Karyyopri/u.dTWj'. 30. Tlepl au<pi§oAtc*>i'. 31. Epistles. None of these are now extant. Diogenes Laertius (vii. 178), mentions a treatise by Chrysippus' against some of the views enter­tained by Sphaerus. (Fabric. Bibl. Gr. vol. iii. p. 576 ; Vossius, -de Hist. Graec. p. 140 ; Schb'll Gesch. der Griech. Litt. vol. ii. p. 216.) [C. P. M.]

SPHETTUS (otto's), a son of Troezen, who, with his brother Anaphlystus, emigrated



from Troezene to Attica, where two demi were named after him. (Paus. ii. 30. § 8 ; Steph. Byz. s.v.) [L.S.]

SPHINX (5<^7£*), a monstrous being of Greek mythology, is said to have been a daughter of Orthus and Chimaera, born in the country of the Arimi(Hes. Theog. 326), or of Typhon and Echidna (Apollod. iii. 5. § 8 ; Schol. ad Eurip. Phoen. 4(5), or lastly of Typhon and Chimaera (Schol. ad Hes. and Eurip. L c.). Some call her a natural daughter of Laius (Paus. ix. 26. § 2). Respecting her stay at Thebes and her connection with the fate of the house of Laius, see oedipus. The riddle which she there proposed, she is said to have learnt from the Muses (Apollod. iii. 5. § 8), or Laius himself taught her the mysterious oracles which Cadmus had received at Delphi (Paus. ix. 26. § 2). Ac­cording to some she had been sent into Boeotia by Hera, who was angry with the Thebans for not having punished Laius, who had carried off Chry­sippus from Pisa. She is said to have come from the most distant part of Ethiopia (Apollod. I. c. ; Schol. ad Eurip. Phoen. 1760) ; according to others she was sent by Ares, who wanted to take revenge because Cadmus had slain his son, the dragon. (Argum. ad Eurip. Phoen.\ or by Dionysus (Schol. ad Hes. TJieog. 326), or by Hades (Eurip. Phoen. 810), and some lastly say that she was one of the women who, together with the daughters of Cadmus, were thrown into madness, and was me­tamorphosed into the monstrous figure. (Schol. ad Eurip. Phoen. 45.)

The legend itself clearly indicates from what quarter this being was believed to have been intro­duced into Greek mythology. The figure which she was conceived to have had is originally Egyptian or Ethiopian ; but after her incorporation with Grecian story, her figure was variously modified. The Egyptian Sphinx is the figure of an un winged lion in a lying attitude, but the upper part of the body is human. They appear in Egypt to have been set up in avenues forming the approaches to temples. The greatest among the Egyptian repre­sentations of Sphinxes is that of Ghizeh, which, with the exception of the paws, is of one block of stone. The Egyptian Sphinxes are often called dvo'poa-Qiyyes (Herod, ii. 175 ; Menandr. Fragm. p. 411, ed. Meineke), not describing them as male beings, but as lions with the upper part human, to distinguish them from those Sphinxes whose upper part was that of a sheep or ram. The common idea of a Greek Sphinx, on the other hand, is that of a winged body of a lion, having the breast and upper part of a woman (Aelian, H. A. xii. 7 ; Auson. Griph. 40 ; Apollod. iii. 5. § 8 ; Schol. ad Eurip. Phoen. 806). Greek Sphinxes, moreover, are not always represented in a lying attitude, but appear in different positions, as it might suit the fancy of the sculptor or poet. Thus they appear with the face of a maiden, the breast, feet, and claws of a lion, the tail of a serpent, and the wings of a bird (Schol. ad Aristoph. Ran. 1287 ; Soph. Oed. Tyr. 391 ; A then. vi. p. 253 ; Palaephat. 7) ; or the fore part of the body is that of a lion, and the lower part that of a man, with the claws of a vul­ture and the wings of an eagle (Tzetz. ad Lyeopli. 7). Sphinxes were frequently introduced by Greek

* In the Boeotian dialect the name was <pi£ (Hes. Theog. 326), whence the name of the Boeo­tian mountain, fyixiov opos. (Hes. Scut. Horc. 33.)

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