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Listed 10 sub titles with search on: Biographies for destination: "MESSINA Ancient city SICILY".

Biographies (10)


Aristocles, peripatetic philosopher, 2nd c. A.D.

Aristocles of Messene, a Peripatetic philosopher, whose age is uncertain, some placing him three centuries before and others two centuries after Christ. But if the statement is correct, that he was the teacher of Alexander Aphrodisias (Cyrill. c. Jul. ii.), he must have lived about the beginning of the third century after Christ. According to Suidas (s. v.) and Eudocia, he wrote several works: 1. Poteron spoudaioteros Omeros e Platon. 2. Technai rhetorikai. 3. A work on the god Serapis. 4. A work on Ethics, in ten books: and 5. A work on Philosophy, likewise in ten books. The last of these works appears to have been a history of philosophy, in which he treated of the philosophers, their schools, and doctrines. Several fragments of it are preserved in Eusebius (Praep. Evang. xiv. 17-21, xv. 2, 14; Comp. Theodoret. Therap. Serm. 8, and Suidas, who also mentions some other works of his).

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


Dicaearchus, (Dikaiarchos). A celebrated Peripatetic philosopher, geographer, and historian, and a contemporary of Aristotle and Theophrastus. He was the son of one Pheidias, and born at Messana in Sicily, though he passed the greater part of his life in Greece Proper, and especially in Peloponnesus. He was a disciple of Aristotle (Cic. de Leg. iii. 6), and a friend of Theophrastus, to whom he dedicated some of his writings. Most of Aristotle's disciples are mentioned also among those of Plato, but as this is not the case with Dicaearchus, Osann (Beitrage zur Griech. u. Rom. Lit. ii.) justly infers that Dicaearchus was one of Aristotle's younger disciples. From some allusions which we meet with in the fragments of his works, we must conclude that he survived the year B. C. 296, and that he died about B. C. 285. Dicaearchus was highly esteemed by the ancients as a philosopher and as a man of most extensive information upon a great variety of things. (Cic. Tusc. i. 18, de Off. ii. 5; Varro, de Re Rust. i. 2.) His works, which were very numerous, are frequently referred to, and many fragments of them are still extant, which shew that their loss is one of the most severe in Greek literature. His works were partly geographical, partly political or historical, and partly philosophical; but it is difficult to draw up an accurate list of them, since many which are quoted as distinct works appear to have been only sections of greater ones. The fragments extant, moreover, do not always enable us to form a clear notion of the works to which they once belonged. Among his geographical works may be mentioned--1. On the heights of mountains. (Plin. H. N ii. 65; Geminus, Elem. Astron. 14.) Suidas (s. v. Dikaiarchos) mentions katametreseis ton en Peloponnesoi oron, but the quotations in Pliny and Geminus shew that Dicaearchus's measurements of heights were not confined to Peloponnesus, and Suidas therefore probably quotes only a section of the whole work. 2. Ges periodos (Lydus, de Mens., ed. Bekker). This work was probably the text written in explanation of the geographical maps which Dicaearchus had constructed and given to Theophrastus, and which seem to have comprised the whole world, as far as it was then known. (Cic. ad Att. vi. 2; comp. Diog. Laert. v. 51.) 3. Anagraphe tes Ellados. A work of this title, dedicated to Theophrastus, and consisting of 150 iambic verses, is stll extant under the name of Dicaearchus; but its form and spirit are both unworthy of Dicaearchus, and it is in all probability the production of a much later writer, who made a metrical paraphrase of that portion of the Ges periodos which referred to Greece. Buttmann is the only modern critic who has endeavoured to claim the work for Dicaearchus in his "de Dicaearcho ejusque operibus quae inscribuntur Bios Ellados et Anagraphe tes Hellados," Naumburg, 1832, 4to. But his attempt is not very successful, and has been ably refuted by Osann. (Allgem. Schulzeitung for 1833, No. 140, &c.) 4. Bios tes Hellados, was the most important among the works of Dicaearchus, and contained an account of the geographical position, the history, and the moral and religious condition of Greece. It contained, in short, all the information necessary to obtain a full knowledge of the Greeks, their life, and their manners. It was probably subdivided into sections; so that when we read of works of Dicaearchus peri mousikes, peri mousikon agonon, peri Dionusiakon agonon, and the like, we have probably to consider them only as portions of the great work, Bios tes Hellados. It is impossible to make out the plan of the work in detail with any accuracy : the attempt, however, has been made by Marx. (Crenzer's Meletem. iii. 4) We know that the work consisted of three books, of which the first contained the history and a geographical description of Greece, so as to form a sort of introduction to the whole work. The second gave an account of the condition of the several Greek states; and the third, of the private and domestic life, the theatres, games, religion, &c. of the Greeks. Of the second book a considerable fragment is still extant; but in its present form it cannot be considered the work of Dicaearchus himself, but it is a portion of an abridgment which some one made of the Bios tes Hellados. To this class of writings we may also refer--5. He eis Trophoniou katabasis, a work which consisted of several books, and, as we may infer from the fragments quoted from it, contained an account of the degenerate and licentious proceedings of the priests in the cave of Trophonius. (Cic. ad Alt. vi. 2, xiii. 31; Athen. xiii., xiv.) The geographical works of Dicaearchus were, according to Strabo (ii.), censured in many respects by Polybius; and Strabo himself (iii.) is dissatisfied with his descriptions of western and northern Europe, which countries Dicaearchus had never visited. Of a political nature was--6. Tripolitikos (Athen. iv.; Cic. ad Att. xiii. 32), a work which has been the subject of much dispute. Passow, in a programme (Breslau, 1829), endeavoured to establish the opinion that it was a reply to Anaxiimenes's Trikaranos or Tripolitikos, in which the Lacedaemonians, Athenians, and Thebans, had been calumniated. Buttmann thought it to have been a comparison of the constitutions of Pellene (Pallene), Corinth, and Athens (comp. Cic. ad Att. ii. 2), and that Dicaearchus inflicted severe censure upon those states for their corrupt morals and their vicious constitutions. A third opinion is maintained by Osann (l. c.), who taking his stand on a passage in Photius (Bibl. Cod. 37) where an eidos Dikaiarchikon of a state is mentioned as a combination of the three forms of government, the democratical, aristocratical, and monarchical, infers that Dicaearchus in his Tripolitikos, explained the nature of that mixed constitution, and illustrated it by the example of Sparta. This opinion is greatly supported by the contents of the fragments. Osann goes even so far as to think that the discussion on politics in the sixti book of Polybius is based upon the Tripolitikos of Dicaearchus. Cicero intended to make use of this work, which seems to have been written in the form of a dialogue, for his treatise de Gloria. (Ad Att. xiii. 30.) Among his philosophical works may be mentioned--7. Lesbiakoi, in three books, which derived its name from the fact that the scene of the philosophical dialogue was laid at Mytilene in Lesbos. In it Dicaearchus endeavored to prove that the soul was mortal. (Cic. Tusc. i. 31.) Cicero (ad Att. xiii. 12) when speaking of a work pepi psuches, probably means the Lesbiakoi. Another philosophical work,--8. Korinthiakoi, which likewise consisted of three books, was a sort of supplement to the former. (Cic. Tusc. i. 10.) It is probably the same work as the one which Cicero. in another passage (de Off. ii. 5), calls "de Interitu Hominum." Some other works, such as Politeia Spartiaton (Suid.), Olumpikos agon or logos (Athen. xiv. p. 620), Panathenaikos (Schol. ad Aristoph. Vesp. 564), and several others, seem to have been merely chapters of the Bios tes Hellados. A work peri tes en Ilioi Dnsias (Athen. xiii.) seems to have referred to the sacrifice which Alexander the Great performed at Ilium. The work Phaidron perisson has no foundation except a false reading in Cicero (ad Att. xiii. 39), which has been corrected by Petersen in his Phaedri Epicurei Fragm. p. 11. There are lastly some other works which are of a grammatical nature, and are usually believed to have been the productions of our philosopher, viz. Peri Alkaiou (Athen. xi., xv.), and hupotheseis ton Euripidou kai Sophokleons muthon (Sext. Empir. adv. Geometr.), but may have been the works of Dicaearchus, a grammarian of Lacedaemon, who, according to Suidas, was a disciple of Aristarchus, and seems to be alluded to in Apollonius. (De Pronom.) A valuable dissertation on the writings of Dicaearchus is contained in Osann (l. c.), and the fragments have been collected and accompanied by a very interesting discussion by Maximil. Fuhr, Dicaearchi Messenii quae supersunt composite, edita et illustrate, Darmstadt, 1841, 4to.

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



Botrys, (Botrus), a native of Messana in Sicily, was the inventor of the lascivious poems called Paignia. (Athen. vii.; Polyb. xii. 13; Suidas, s. v. Demochares.)


Etruscus, (Etrouskos), of Messene, the author of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. (Brunck, Anal. vol.ii; Jacobs, vol.iii.) Nothing more is known of him. Martial (vi. 83, vii. 39) mentions an Etruscus who was banished by Domitian. (Jacobs, Anth. Graec. vol. xiii.)



Evemerus, or Eumerus (Euemeros), a Sicilian author of the time of Alexander the Great and his immediate successors. Most writers call him a native of Messene in Sicily (Plut. de Is. et Os. 23; Lactant. de Fals. Relig. i. 11; Etym. M. s. v. Brotos), while Arnobius (iv. 15) calls him an Agrigentine, and others mention either Tegea in Arcadia or the island of Cos as his native place. (Athen. xv.). His mind was trained in the philosophical school of the Cyrenaics, who had before his time become notorious for their scepticism in matters connected with the popular religion, and one of whom, Theodorus, is frequently called an atheist by the ancients. The influence of this school upon Evemerus seems to have been very great, for he subsequently became the founder of a peculiar method of interpreting the legends and mythi of the popular religion, which has often and not unjustly been compared with the rationalism of some modern theologians in Germany. About B. C. 316 we find Evemerus at the court of Cassander in Macedonia, with whom he was connected by friendship, and who, according to Eusebius (Praep. Evany. ii. 2), senthim out on an exploring expedition. Evemerus is said to have sailed down the Red Sea and round the southern coasts of Asia to a very great distance, until lie came to an island called Panchaea. After his return from this voyage lie wrote a work entitled Hiera Anagraphe, which consisted of at least nine books. The title of this "Sacred History," as we may term it, was taken from the anagraphai, or the inscriptions on columns and walls, which existed in great numbers in the temples of Greece, and Evemerus chose it because lie pretended to have derived his information from public documents of that kind, which he had discovered in his travels, especially in the island of Panchaea. The work contained accounts of the several gods, whom Evemerus represented as having originally been men who had distinguished themselves either as warriors, kings, inventors, or benefactors of man, and who after their death were worshipped as gods by the grateful people. Zeus, for example, was, according to him, a king of Crete, who had been a great conqueror; and he asserted that he had seen in the temple of Zeus Triphyiius a column with an inscription detailing all the exploits of the kings Uranus, Cronus, and Zeus. (Euseb. l. c; Sext. Empir. ix. 17.) This book, which seems to have been written in a popular style, must have been very attractive; for all the fables of mythology were dressed up in it as so many true and historical narratives; and many of the subsequent historians, such as the uncritical Diodorius (see Fragm. lib. vi.) adopted his mode of dealing with myths, or at least followed in his track, as we find to be the case with Polybius and Dionysius. Traces of such a method of treating mythology occur, it is true, even in Herodotus and Thucvdides; but Evemerus was the first who carried it out systematically, and after his time it found numerous admirers. In the work of Diodorus and other historians and mythographers, we meet with innumerable stories which have all the appearance of being nothing but Evemeristic interpretations of ancient myths, though they are frequently taken by modern critics for genuine legends. Evemerus was much attacked and treated within contempt, and Eratosthenes called him a Bergaean, that is, as great a liar as Antiphanes of Berga (Polyb. xxxiii. 12, xxxiv. 5; Strab. i., ii., vii.); but the ridicule with which he is treated refers almost entirely to his pretending to have visited the island of Panchaea, a sort of Thule of the southern ocean; whereas his method of treating mythology is passed over unnoticed, and is even adopted. His method, in fact, became so firmly rooted, that even down to the end of the last century there were writers who acquiesced in it. The pious believers among the ancients, on the other hand, called Evemerus an atheist. (Plut. de Place. Philos. i. 7; Aelian, V. H. ii. 31; Theophil. ad Autolyc. iii. 6.) The great popularity of the work is attested by the circumstance that Eunius made a Latin translation of it. (Cic. de Nat. Deor. i. 42; Lactant. de Fals. Relig. i. 11; Varro, de Re Rust. i. 48.) The Christian writers often refer to Evemerus as their most useful ally to prove that the pagan mythology was nothing but a heap of fables invented by mortal men. (Hieron. Columna, Prolegom. in Evemerum, in his Q. Ennii quae supersunt Fragm. p. 482, &c., ed. Naples, 1590; Sevin, in the Mem. de l'Acad. des Inscript. viii.; Fourmont, ibid. xv.; Foucher, ibid. xxxiv., xxxv.; Lobeck, Aglaoph. i.)

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



Hippon, tyrant of Messana at the time that Timoleon landed in Sicily. After the defeat of Mamercus of Catana (B. C. 338), that tyrant took refuge with Hippon; Timoleon followed him, and besieged Messana so vigorously both by sea and land, that Hippon, despairing of holding out, attempted to escape by sea, but was seized on board ship, and executed by the Messanians in the public theatre. (Plut. Timol. 34.)

Famous families


Heius, (Heeios), the name of an ancient and noble family at Messana in Sicily. They were probably hereditary clients of the Claudii. (Cic. in Verr. iv. 3; comp. c. 17.)

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Hannibal. A Carthaginian general, who happened to be stationed with a fleet at Lipara, when Hieron, after gaining a great victory over the Mamertines, was preparing to follow up his advantage, and besiege Messana itself. The Carthaginians were at this time hostile to the Mamertines, and, in name at least, friendly to Hieron; but Hannibal was alarmed at the prospect of the latter obtaining so important an accession of power; he therefore hastened to the camp of Hieron, and induced him to grant terms to the Mamertines, while he himself succeeded in introducing a Carthaginian garrison into the city of Messana. (Diod. Exc. Hoeschcl. xxii. 15) These events must have occurred in 270 B. C. It may probably have been this same Hannibal who is mentioned by Diodorus (Exc. Hoeschel. xxiii. 5) as arriving at Xiphonias with a naval force to the support of Hieron, but too late to prevent that prince from concluding peace with the Romans, B. C. 263.

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


Hanno. Commander of the Carthaginian garrison at Messana, at the beginning of the first Punic war, B. C. 264. It appears that while one party of the Mamertines had sent to request assistance from Rome, the adverse faction had had recourse to Carthage, and had actually put Hanno with a body of Carthaginian troops in possession of the citadel. Hence, when the Roman officer, C. Claudius, came to announce to the Mamertines that the Romans were sending a force to their support, and called on them to eject the Carthaginians, no answer was returned. On this, Claudius retired to Rhegium, where he collected a few ships, with which he attempted to pass into Sicily. His first attempt was easily baffled, and some of his ships fell into the hands of Hanno, who sent them back to him with a friendly message; but, on receiving a haughty answer, he declared that he would not suffer the Romans even to wash their hands in the sea. Nevertheless, Claudius eluded his vigilance, and landed at Messana, where he held a conference with the Mamertines, in which Hanno having been incautiously induced to take a part, was treacherously seized by the Romans and detained a prisoner. In order to procure his liberty, he consented to withdraw the garrison from the citadel, and surrender it to the Romans; a concession, for which, on his return to Carthage, the council of elders condemned him to be crucified. (Dion Cass. Fr. Vut. 59, 60; Zonar. viii. 8, 9; Polyb. i. 11.)

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

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