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Biographies (7)

Philosophers

Menedemus

, , 340 - 265

   Menedemus, (Menedemos). A Greek philosopher, a native of Eretria. Though of noble birth, he was poor, and worked for a livelihood either as a builder or as a tent-maker. According to one story, he seized the opportunity afforded by his being sent on some military service to Megara to hear Plato, and abandoned the army to addict himself to philosophy; but it may be questioned whether he was old enough to have heard Plato before the death of the latter. According to another story, he and his friend Asclepiades got their livelihood as millers, working during the night that they might have leisure for philosophy in the day. The two friends afterwards became disciples of Stilpo at Megara. From Megara they went to Elis, and placed themselves under the instruction of some disciples of Phaedo. On his return to Eretria Menedemus established a school of philosophy, which was called the Eretrian. He did not, however, confine himself to philosophical pursuits, but took an active part in the political affairs of his native city, and came to be the leading man in the State. He went on various embassies to Lysimachus, Demetrius, and others; but being suspected of the treacherous intention of betraying Eretria into the power of Antigonus, he quitted his native city secretly, and took refuge with Antigonus in Asia. Here he starved himself to death in the seventy-fourth year of his age, probably about B.C. 277. Of the philosophy of Menedemus little is known, except that it closely resembled that of the Megarian School.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks



Poets

Achaeus

, , 484 - 401

Achaeus. A Greek tragic poet of Eretria, born about B.C. 484, a contemporary of Sophocles, and especially famous in the line of satyric drama. He wrote about forty plays, of which only small fragments are preserved. These have been edited by Urlichs (Bonn, 1834).


Achaeus (Achaios) of Eretria in Euboea, a tragic poet, was born B. C. 484, the year in which Aeschylus gained his first victory, and four years before the birth of Euripides. In B. C. 477, he contended with Sophocles and Euripides, and though he subsequently brought out many dramas, according to some as many as thirty or forty, he nevertheless only gained the prize once. The fragments of Achaeus contain much strange mythology, and his expressions were often forced and obscure (Athen. x.). Still in the satyrical drama he must have possessed considerable merit, for in this department some ancient critics thought him inferior only to Aeschylus (Diog. Laer. ii. 133). The titles of seven of his satyrical dramas and of ten of his tragedies are still known. The extant fragments of his pieces have been collected, and edited by Urlichs, Bonn, 1834. (Suidas, s. v.) This Achaeus should not be confounded with a later tragic writer of the same name, who was a native of Syracuse. According to Suidas and Phavorinus he wrote ten, according to Eudocia fourteen tragedies.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Sep 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Tyrants

Cleitarchus

Cleitarchus (Kleitarchos), tyrant of Eretria in Euboea. After Plutarchus had been expelled from the tyranny of Eretria by Phocion, B. C. 350, popular government was at first established; but strong party struggles ensued, in which the adherents of Athens were at length overpowered by those of Macedonia, and Philip then sent Hipponicus, one of his generals, to destroy the walls of Porthmus, the harbour of Eretria, and to set up Hipparchus, Automedon, and Cleitarchus as tyrants (Plut. Phoc. 13; Dem. (de Cor.86, Philipp. iii.68, 69). This was subsequent to the peace between Athens and Philip in B. C. 346, since Demosthenes adduces it as one of the proofs of a breach of the peace on the part of Macedon (Philipp. iii.23). The tyrants, however, were not suffered to retain their power quietly, for Demosthenes (Philip. iii.69) mentions two armaments sent by Philip for their support, at different times, under Eurylochus and Parmenion respectively. Soon after, we find Cleitarchus in sole possession of the government; but he does not seem to have been at open hostility with Athens, though he held Eretria for Philip, for we hear of the Athenians sending ambassadors to request his consent to the arrangement for uniting Euboea under one federative government, having its congress at Chalcis, to which Athens was also to transfer the annual contributions from Oreus and Eretria. Aeschines says, that a talent from Cleitarchus was part of the bribe which he alleges that Demosthenes received for procuring the decree in question. Cleitarchus appears therefore to have come into the above project of Demosthenes and Callias, to whom he would naturally be opposed; but he thought it perhaps a point gained if he could get rid of the remnant of Atheian influence in Eretria. The plan, however, seems to have fallen to the ground, and Demosthenes in B. C. 341 carried a decree for an expedition to Euboea with the view of putting down the Macedonian interest in the island. On this, Cleitarchus and Philistides, the tyrant of Oreus, sent ambassadors to Athens to prevent, if possible, the threatened invasion; and Aeschines, at whose house the envoys were entertained, appears to have supported their cause in the assembly. But the decree was carried into effect, and the command of the armament was given to Phocion, by whom Cleitarchus and Philistides were expelled from their respective cities (Aesch. c. Ctes.85-103; Dem. de Cor.; Diod. xvi. 74; Plut. Demi. 17).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


But here was a man annexing Euboea and making it a basis of operations against Attica, attacking Megara, occupying Oreus, demolishing Porthmus, establishing the tyranny of Philistides at Oreus and of Cleitarchus at Eretria, subjugating the Hellespont, besieging Byzantium, destroying some of the Greek cities, reinstating exiled traitors in others: by these acts was he, or was he not, committing injustice, breaking treaty, and violating the terms of peace? (Demosthenes, Speeches 11-20: speech 18, section 71 [On the Crown])


Plutarch

Of Euboea: aided by Athenians.


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