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Biographies (6)

Seven Sages

Bias, 620-540 B.C.

   One of the Seven Wise Men of Greece. He was son of Teutamus, and was born at Priene, in Ionia, about B.C. 570. Bias was a practical philosopher, studied the laws of his country, and employed his knowledge in the service of his friends, defending them in the courts of justice, settling their disputes. He made a noble use of his wealth. His advice, that the Ionians should fly before the victorious Cyrus to Sardinia, was not followed, and the victory of the army of Cyrus confirmed the correctness of his opinion. The inhabitants of Priene, when besieged by Mazares, resolved to abandon the city with their property. On this occasion Bias replied to one of his fellow-citizens, who expressed astonishment that he made no preparations for his departure, "I carry everything with me." He remained in his native country, where he died at a very advanced age. His countrymen buried him with splendour, and honoured his memory. Some of his apophthegms are still preserved.

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

Bias, of Priene in Ionia, is always reckoned among the Seven Sages, and is mentioned by Dicaearchus (ap. Diog. Laert. i. 41) as one of the Four to whom alone that title was universally given - the remaining three being Thales, Pittacus, and Solon. We do not know the exact period at which Bias lived, but it appears from the reference made to him by the poet Hipponax, who flourished about the middle of the sixth century B. C. that he had by that time become distinguished for his skill as an advocate, and for his use of it in defence of the right. (Diog. Laert. i. 84, 88; Strab. xiv.) Diogenes Laertius informs us, that he died at a very advanced age, immediately after pleading successfully the cause of a friend: by the time the votes of the judges had been taken, he was found to have expired. Like the rest of the Seven Sages, with the exception of Thales, the fame of Bias was derived, not from philosophy, as the word is usually understood, but from a certain practical wisdom, moral and political, the fruit of experience. Many of his sayings and doings are recorded by Diogenes Laertius, in his rambling uncritical way, and by others. In particular, he suffers in character as the reputed author of the selfish maxim Philein Os misesontas ; and there is a certain ungallant dilemma on the subject of marriage, which we find fathered upon him in Aulus Gellius. (Herod. i. 27, 170 ; Aristot. Rhet. ii. 13.4; Cic. de Amic. 16, Parad. i.; Diod. Exc., ed. Wess; Gell. v. 11; Diog. Laert. i. 82-88; comp. Herod. i. 20-22; Plut. Sol. 4.)

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


Archelaus, 2nd c. B.C.

Archelaus (Archelaos), a Sculptor of Priene, the son of Apollonius, made the marble bas-relief representing the Apotheosis of Homer, which formerly belonged to the Colonna family at Rome, and is now in the Townley Gallery of the British Museum (Inscription on the work). The style of the basrclief, which is little, if at all, inferior to the best remains of Grecian art, confirms the supposition that Archelaus was the son of Apollonius of Rhodes, and that he flourished in the first century of the Christian aera. From the circumstance of the "Apotheosis" having been found in the palace of Claudius at Bovillae (now Frattocchi), coupled with the known admiration of that emperor for Homer (Suet. Claud. 42), it is generally supposed that the work was executed in his reign.

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


Pythios of Priene

4th c. B.C. architect of Mausolleion at Halikarnassos; sculptor and author of technical treatise on proportions.



A native of Priene, which suffers through him.



Diodorus. Of Priene, is mentioned as a writer upon agriculture, but is otherwise unknown. (Varro, de R. R. i. 1; Columella, i. 1; Plin. H. N. Elench. lib. xv. xvii. &c.)

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