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The writings of Timon are represented as very numerous. According to Diogenes, in the order of whose statement there appears to be some confusion, he composed err^, Kal rpaycpSias, Kal crarvpovs, Kal dpd]u.ara /cayu/ca rpiaKovra, rpayiKa 5e e|?7-/coj/ra, cri\\ovs re Kal KivalSovs. The double mention of his tragedies raises a suspicion that Diogenes may have combined two different accounts of liis writings in this sentence ; but perhaps it may be explained by supposing the words rpayiKa 5e e^Kovra to be inserted simply in order to put the number of his tragedies side by side with that of his comedies. Some may find another difficulty in the passage, on account of the great number and variety of the poetical works ascribed to Timon ; but this is nothing surprising in a writer of that age of universal imitative literature ; nor, when the early theatrical occupations of Timon are borne in mind, is it at all astonishing that his taste for the drama should have prompted him to the composition of sixty tragedies and thirty comedies,
-besides satyric dramas. One thing, however, it is important to observe. The composition of tragedies and comedies by the same author is an almost certain indication that his dramas were intended only to be read, and not to be acted. No remains of his dramas have come down to us.
Of his epic poems we know very little ; but it may be presumed that they were chiefly ludicrous
•or satirical poems in the epic form. Possibly his Python (IIu0&jj/), which contained a long account of a conversation with Pyrrhon, during a journey to Pytho, may be referred to this class ; unless it was in prose (Diog. ix. 64, 105; Euseb. Praep. Ev. adv. p. 761, a.). It appears probable that his
*ApK€(ri\dov TrepiSenrvov or Trp6dei.Trj/ov was a satirical poem in epic verse (Diog. ix. 115 ; Ath. ix. p. 406, e.). Whether he wrote parodies on Homer or whether he merely occasionally, in the course of
•his writings, parodied passages of the Homeric poems, cannot be determined with certainty from the lines in his extant fragments which are evident parodies of Homer, such, for example, as the verse preserved by Diogenes,
*E<nr€Te vvi/ /jLoi'6ffonro\VTrpjiyiJ.oves ecrre
-which is an obvious parody on the Homeric invocation (II. ii. 484),
vEcT7T6T6 vvv fji.oi Movarai '
The most celebrated of his poems, however, were the satiric compositions called Silli (fftAAot), a word of somewhat doubtful etymology, but which undoubtedly describes metrical compositions, of a character at once ludicrous and sarcastic. The invention of this species of poetry is ascribed to Xenophanes of Colophon. [xenophanes.] The Silli of Timon were in three books, in the first of which he spoke in his own person, and the other two are in the form of a dialogue between the author and Xenophanes of Colophon, in which Timon proposed questions, to which Xenophanes replied at length. The subject was a sarcastic account of the tenets of all philosophers, living and dead ; an unbounded field for scepticism and satire. They were in hexameter verse, and, from the way in which they are mentioned by the ancient writers, as well as from the few fragments of them which have come down to us, it is evident that they were
very admirable productions of their kind. (Diog. /. c.; Aristocles ap. Euseb. Praep. Ev. xiv. p. 763, c.; Suid. s. vv. <nAAa»>e/, T i/mow ; Ath. passim; Gell. iii. 17.) Commentaries were written on the Silli by Apollonides of Nicaea, as already men tioned, and also by Sotion of Alexandria. (Ath. viii. p. 336, d.) The poem entitled 'Iv$a\fjLoi9 in elegiac verse, appears to have been similar in its subject to the Silli (Diog. Laert. ix. 65). Diogenes also mentions Timon's la/j.€oi (ix. 110), but per haps the word is here merely used in the sense of satirical poems in general, without reference to the metre. ,
He also wrote in prose, to the quantity, Diogenes tells us, of twenty thousand lines. These works were no doubt on philosophical subjects, but all we know of their specific character is contained in the three references made by Diogenes to Timon's works irspl alffOfifftoas,, irepl ^r^fo'ews, and Kara aotyias.
The fragments of his poems have been collected by H. Stephanus, in his Poesis Philosophica, 1573, 8vo.; by J.F. Langenrich,at the end of \\isDisserta-tiones III. de Timone Sillographo, Lips. 1.720, 17*21, 1723, 4to. ; by Brunck, in his Analecta, vol. ii. pp. 67, foil.; by F. A. Wolke, in his monograph De Graecorum Syllis, Varsav. 1820, 8vo.; and by F. Paul, in his Dissertatio de Sillis9 Berol. 1821, 8vo. (See also Creuzer and Daub's Studien, vol. vi. pp. 302, foil.; Ant. Weland, Dissert, de praecip. Parodiarum Homericarum Scriptoribus apud GraecoSi pp. 50, foil. Getting. 1833, 8vo. ; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. iii. pp. 623-—625 ; Menag. ad Diog. Latrt. 1. c. ; Welcker, die GriecJi. Trayod. pp. 1268, 1269 ; Bode, GescJi. d. Hellen. Dtchtk. vol. ii. pt. i. pp. 345—347 ; Ulrici, vol. ii. p. 317; Clinton, F. H. vol. iii. p. 495).
2. tjmon the misanthrope (6 /.ucrdvOpooiros') is distinguished from Timon of Phlius by Diogenes (ix. 112), but, as has been remarked above, it is not clear how much, or whether any part, of the information Diogenes gives respecting Timon is to be referred to this Timon rather than the former. There was a certain distant resemblance between their characters, which may have led to a confusion of the one with the other. The great distinctions between them are, that Timon the misanthrope wrote nothing, and that he lived about a century and a half earlier than Timon of Phlius, namely, at the time of the Peloponnesian war. The few particulars that are known of Timon the misanthrope are contained in the passages in which he is attacked by Aristophanes (Lysist. 809, &c., Av. 1548) and the other comic poets in the dialogue of Lucian, which bears his name (Timon, c. 7), and in a few other passages of the ancient writers (Plut. Anton. 70 ; Tzetz. Chil. vii. 273; Suid. s. v.) The comic poets who mention him, besides Aristophanes, are Phrynichus, Plato, and Antiphanes, the last of whom made him the subject of one of his comedies. (See Meineke, Hist. Grit. Com, Graec. pp. 327, 328.) He was an Athenian, of the demos of Colyttus, and his father's name was Echecratides. In consequence of the ingratitude he experienced, and the disappointments he suf-ered, from his early friends and companions, he secluded himself entirely from the world, admitting no one to his society except Alcibiades, in whose reckless and variable disposition he probably found pleasure in tracing and studying an image of the world he had abandoned j and at last he is