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On this page: Syrinx – Syrmus – Syrus



his death he should be buried in the same tomb with Syrianus. Suidas attributes to Syrianus the following writings: — 1. Els 8/xrjpov '6\ov inr6-fiJ^a, in 7 books. 2. Els t^v rioArreuw UXdrw-vos, in 4 books. 3. Els t^v 'Optyews ®€o\oyiav, in 2 books. 4. Els ra Tlp6K\ov Trepl tu>v Trap' 'Ojj.'fjpcp ®ea)v. 5. ^vfjLcfxavtav 3Op<£eoos TLvday6pov Kal ti\<xtwvos. 6. Tlepl ra \6yia, in 10 books. 7. Various other works of an exegetical character. There is, however, a good deal of difficulty about this list. The very same series of works is assigned by Suidas himself to Proclus (s. v. IIpo/cA.), and we can hardly suppose that Syrianus wrote a commentary on a work of his successor, as Suidas states. On the other hand, Suidas makes no men­tion of works which we find Syrianus stated by other authorities to have written, or even of works by him which are still extant. No reliance what­ever, therefore, can be placed on the list of Suidas. Syrianus wrote commentaries on various parts of Aristotle's writings. 1. On the books De Caelo. (Fabr. BiJbl Gr. iii. p. 230.) 2. On the book De Interpretatione. (Ib. 213.) 3. A Commentary on the Metaphysics is still extant. The Latin trans­lation of the third, thirteenth, and fourteenth books, by Hieron. Bagolini has been published (Venet. 1558), and various portions of the Greek text are printed in the Scholia on Aristotle, edited by Brandis. From various references in the com­mentary of Proclus on the Timaeus of Plato, we learn that Syrianus also wrote a commentary on the same book, as well as ffv^oovias ypd^ara^ answering to the work of the same kind mentioned in the list of Suidas.

Theodoras Meliteniotes, in his Prooemium in Astronomiam (printed in Fabricius, Bibl. Gr. vol. x. pp. 401, &c.), mentions commentaries on the Mayna Syntaods of Ptolemaeus, by the philosopher Syrianus (/. c. p. 406). There is also extant a treatise by Syrianus on ideas (Svpiavov els rb irtpl tSewj/) published by Leonh. Spengel (2vv-ayay^ Ttyy&v, pp. 195—206), and a commen­tary on the Sracrets of Hermogenes, published in Greek in 1509 by Aldus (Rhetores, vol. ii.) and in 1833 by Walz (Rlietores, vol. iv.). The most va­luable remains that we possess, however, are the commentaries on the Metaphysics of Aristotle. In explaining the propositions of Aristotle, he appends the views held by his school on the subject in hand, and endeavours to establish the latter against the former. One of his fundamental principles is, that it is a proposition of general applicability, that the same cannot be both affirmed and denied at the same time of the same thing ; but that in any sense involving the truth of either the affirmation or the denial of a proposition, it applies only to existing things, but not to that which transcends speech and knowledge, for this admits neither of affirmation nor of denial, since every assertion re­specting it must be false. (In Met. ii. fol. 13, b.) On the whole, the doctrines laid down in this work are those of the Neo-Platonic school gene­rally. (Fabr. Bibl Gr. ix. p. 356, &c. ; Ritter, Gesch. der Pldlos. vol. iv. p. 697.) [C. P. M.]

SYRINX, an Arcadian nymph, who being pur­sued by Pan, fled into the river Ladon, and at her own request was metamorphosed into a reed, of which Pan then made his flute. (Ov. Met. i. 690, &c. ; comp. Voss. ad Virg. Ed. p. 55.) [L. S.]

SYRMUS (2%io«), a king of the Triballians, who, as soon as he was aware of the intention of


Alexander the Great to invade his territory, in b. c. 335, sent all the women and children of his nation to an island of the Danube, called Peuce, and afterwards, on the nearer approach of the Macedonians, took refuge there himself, with his personal followers. Alexander, having made an unsuccessful attempt to effect a landing on the island, crossed the river and attacked the Getae, whom he defeated ; and on his return Syrmus sent ambassadors to sue for peace, which was granted. Plutarch says that Syrmus was conquered by Alexander in a great battle, a statement which would contradict the account of Arrian, as given above, if we were to understand it of a personal defeat (Arr. Anab. i. 2—4 ; Plut. A lean. 11 ; Strab. vii. p. 301). [E.E.]

SYRUS, a slave brought to Rome some years before the downfal of the republic, and designated, according to the usual practice, from the country of his birth. He attracted attention while yet a youth, by his accomplishment and wit, was manu­mitted, in consequence of his pleasing talents, by his master, who probably belonged to the Clodia gens, assumed the name of Publius, from his patron, and soon became highly celebrated as a mimo-grapher. At the splendid games exhibited by Caesar in b. c. 45, he invited all the dramatists of the day to contend with him in extemporaneous effusions upon any given theme, and no one having declined the challenge, the foreign freedman bore away the palm from every competitor, including Laberius himself, who was taunted with this defeat by the dictator:—

" Favente tibi me victus es, Laberi, a Syro."

Publius is frequently mentioned with praise and repeatedly quoted by ancient writers, especially by the Senecas, by A. Gellius, and by Macrobius. Hence we conclude that his mimes must have been committed to writing, and extensively circulated at an early period ; and a collection of pithy moral sayings extracted from his works appears to have been used as a school-book in the boyhood of Hieronymus. A compilation of this description, ex­tending to upwards of a thousand lines in Iambic and Trochaic measures, every apophthegm being com­prised in a single line, and the whole ranged alpha­betically, according to the initial letter of the first word in each, is now extant under the title Publii Syri Sententiae. These proverbs, many of which exhibit much grace, both of thought and expression, have been drawn from various sources, and are evidently the work of many different hands ; but a considerable number may with considerable con­fidence be ascribed to Syrus and his contemporaries. In addition, a fragment upon luxury, extending to ten Iambic verses, has been preserved by Petro-nius (c. 55).

A portion of the Senteniiae was first published by Erasmus, from a Cambridge MS., in a volume containing also the distichs of Cato, and other opus-cula of a like character (4to. Argent. 1516) ; the number was increased by Fabricius in his Syn­tagma Sententiarum (8vo. Lips. 1550, i560), and still further extended in the collections of Gruterus (8vo. 1604), of Velserus (8vo. Ingolst. 1608), and of Havercamp (8vo. Lug. Bat. 1708, 1727). The best editions are those of Orellius (8vo. Lips. 1822) and of Bothe, in his Poetarum Latin. Sceni-corum Fragmenta, vol. ii. p. 219 (8vo. Lips. 1834), to which we may add a second impression, with

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