ALEXANDRIA (Ancient city) EGYPT
Bathyllus. Of Alexandria, the freedman and favourite of Maecenas, together with Pylades of Cilicia and Hylas the pupil of the latter, brought to perfection during the reign of Augustus the imitative dance or ballet called Pantomimus, which excited boundless enthusiasm among all classes at Rome, and formed one of the most admired public amusements until the downfall of the empire. Bathyllus excelled in comic, while Pylades was preeminent in tragic personifications ; each had a numerous train of disciples, each was the founder of a school which transmitted his fame to succeeding generations, and each was considered the head of a party among the citizens, resembling in its character the factions of the Circus, and the rivalry thus introduced stirred up angry passions and violent contests, which sometimes ended in open riot and bloodshed. The nature and peculiarities of these exhibitions are explained in the Dict. of Ant. s. v. Pantomimus. (Tac. Ann. i. 54; Senec. Quaest. Natur. vii. 32, Controv. v. praef. ; Juv. vi. 63; Suet. Octav. 45; Dion Cass. liv. 17; Plut. Symp. vii. 8; Macrob. ii. 7; Athen. i.; Zosimus, i. 6; Suid. s. vv. Orchesis and Athenodoros.)
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
Posidonius. An astronomer and mathematician of Alexandria. He was the disciple of Zeno, and contemporary with, or else a short time posterior to, Eratosthenes. He probably flourished about B.C. 260. He is particularly celebrated on account of his having employed himself in endeavouring to ascertain the measure of the circumference of the earth by means of the altitude of a fixed star.
Sosigenes. The Peripatetic philosopher, was the astronomer employed by Iulius Caesar to superintend the correction of the calendar (B.C. 46).
Herophilus was a Greek physician who became an anatomist in the Museum
at Alexandria. Unfortunately all of his writings have been lost. He dissected
human bodies following death to ascertain the “nature of the fatal malady.”
He was quoted frequently by Galen, Dioscorides, Pliny and Plutarch.
This text is cited July 2003 from the Malaspina Great Books URL below.
Ammonius (Ammonios). A physician of Alexandria, famous from his skill in cutting for the stone--an operation which, according to some, he first introduced. He invented an instrument for crushing the larger calculi while in the bladder. He was accustomed also to make use of caustic applications, especially red arsenic in hemorrhages.
Ammonius (Ammonios) Lithotomus, an eminent surgeon of Alexandria, mentioned by
Celsus (De Med. vii. Praef.), whose exact date is not known, but who probably
lived in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, B. C. 283--247, as his name occurs
in Celsus together with those of several other surgeons who lived at that time.
He is chiefly celebrated for having been the tist person who thought of breaking
a stone within the bladder when too large for extraction entire; on which account
he received the cognomen of lithotomos. An account of his mode of operation, as
described by Celsus (De Med. vii. 26), is given in the Dict. of Ant. p. 220. Some
medical preparations used by a physician of the same name occur also in Aetius
and Paulus Aegineta, but whether they all belong to the same person is uncertain.
Agapius (Agapios), an ancient physician of Alexandria, who taught and practised medicine at Byzantium with great success and reputation, and acquired immense riches. Of his date it can only be determined, that he must have lived before the end of the fifth century after Christ, as Damascius (from whom Photius, Biblioth. cod. 242, and Suidas have taken their account of him) lived about that time.
Hicesius, (Hikesios), a physician, who lived probably at the end of the first century B. C., as he is quoted by Crito (ap. Gal. De Compos. Medicam. sec. Gen. v. 3, vol. xiii.), and was shortly anterior to Strabo. He was a follower of Erasistratus, and was at the head of a celebrated medical school established at Smnyrna. (Strab. xii. 8, sub fin.) He is several times quoted by Athenaeus, who says (ii. p. 59) that he was a friend of the physician Menodorus; and also by Pliny, who calls him "a physician of no small authority." (H.N. xxvii. 14.) There are extant two coins, struck in his honour by the people of Smyrna, which are described and illustrated by Mead in his Dissert. de Numis quibusdam a Smyrnaeis in Medicorum Honorem percussis, Lond. 4to. 1724; see also Fabric. Bibl. Gr. vol. xiii., ed. vet.
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
Appianus. A Greek historian of Alexandria, who lived about the middle of the second century A.D. At first he pursued the calling of an advocate at Rome; in later life, on the recommendation of his friend the rhetorician Fronto, he obtained from Antoninus Pius the post of an imperial procurator in Egypt. He wrote an extensive work on the development of the Roman Empire from the earliest times down to Trajan, consisting of a number of special histories of the several periods and the several lands and peoples till the time when they fell under the Roman dominion. Of the twentyfour books of which it originally consisted, only eleven are preserved complete besides the Preface: Spain (book vi.), Hannibal (vii.), Carthage (viii.), Syria (xi.), Mithridates (xii.), the Roman Civil Wars (xiii.-xvii.), and Illyria (xxiii.), the rest being lost altogether or only surviving in fragments. Appianus's style is plain and bald, even to dryness, and his historical point of view is purely Roman. The book is a mere compilation, and is disfigured by many oversights and blunders, especially in chronology; nevertheless the use made by the writer of lost authorities lends it considerable worth, and for the history of the Civil Wars it is positively invaluable.
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
Appianus (Appianos), a native of Alexandria, lived at Rome during the reigns of
Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius, as we gather from various passages in his
work. We have hardly any particulars of his life, for his autobiography, to which
he refers at the end of the preface to his history, is now lost. In the same passage
he mentions, that he was a man of considerable distinction at Alexandria, and
afterwards removed to Rome, where he was engaged in pleading causes in the courts
of the emperors. He further states, that the emperors considered him worthy to
be entrusted with the management of their affairs (mechri me sphon epitropeuein
exiosan); which Schweighauser and others interpret to mean, that he was appointed
to the office of procurator or praefectus of Egypt. There is, however, no reason
for this supposition. We know, from a letter of Fronto, that it was the office
of procurator which he held (Fronto, Ep. ad Anton. Pium, 9); but whether he had
the management of the emperors' finances at Rome, or went to some province in
this capacity, is quite uncertain.
Appian wrote a Roman history (Pomaika, or Pomaike historia) in twenty-four books, on a plan different from that of most historians. He did not treat the history of the Roman empire as a whole in chronological order, following the series of events; but he gave a separate account of the affairs of each country from the time that it became connected with the Romans, till it was finally incorporated in the Roman empire. The first foreign people with whom the Romans came in contact were the Gauls; and consequently his history, according to his plan, would have begun with that people. But in order to make the work a complete history of Rome, he devoted the first three books to an account of the early times and of the various nations of Italy which Rome subdued.
The subjects of the different books were:
1. The kingly period (Hpomaikon basilike).
2. Italy (Italike).
3. The Samnites (Samnitike).
4. The Gauls or Celts (Keltike).
5. Sicily and the other islands (Sikelike kai Nesiotike).
6. Spain (Iberike).
7. Hannibal's wars (Annibaike).
8. Libya, Carthage, and Numidia (Libuke, Karchesonike kai Nomadike).
9. Macedonia (Makesonike).
10. Greece and the Greek states in Asia Minor (Ellenike kai Ionike).
11. Syria and Parthia (Suriake kai Parthike).
12. The war with Mithridates (Mithrisateios).
13-21. The civil wars (Emphulia), in nine books, from those of Marius and Sulla to the battle of Actium. The last four books also had the title of ta Aiguptiaka.
22. Hekatontaetia, comprised the history of a hundred years, from the battle of Actium to the beginning of Vespasian's reign.
23. The wars with Illyria (Illurike or Dakike).
24. Those with Arabia (Arabios).
We possess only eleven of these complete; namely, the sixth, seventh, eighth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, and twenty-third. There are also fragments of several of the others. The Parthian history, which has come down to us as part of the eleventh book, has been proved by Schweighauser to be no work of Appian, but merely a compilation from Plutarch's Lives of Antony and Crassus, probably made in the middle ages.
Appian's work is a mere compilation. In the early times he chiefly followed Dionysius, as far as the latter went, and his work makes up to a considerable extent for the books of Dionysius, which are lost. In the history of the second Punic war Fabius seems to have been his chief authority, and subsequently he made use of Polybius. His style is clear and simple; but he possesses few merits as an historian, and he frequently makes the most absurd blunders. Thus, for instance, he places Saguntum on the north of the Iberus (Iber. 7), and states that it takes only half a day to sail from Spain to Britain (Iber. 1).
Appian's history was first published in a barbarous Latin translation by Candidus, at Venice, in 1472. A part of the Greek text was first published by Carolus Stephanus, Paris, 1551; which was followed by an improved Latin version by Gelenius, which was published after the death of the latter at Basel, 1554. The Greek text of the Iberike kai Annibaike was published for the first time by H. Stephanus, Geneva, 1557. Ursinus published some fragments at Antwerp, 1582. The second edition of the Greek text was edited, with the Latin version of Gelenius, by H. Stephanus, Geneva, 1592. The twenty-third book of Appian, containing the wars witl Illyria, was first published by Hoeeschelius, Augsburg, 1599, and some additional fragments were added by Valesius, Paris, 1634. The third edition of Appian's work was published at Amsterdam in 1670, and is a mere reprint of the edition of H. Stephanus. The work bears on the title-page the name of Alexander Tollius, but he did absolutely nothing for the work, and allowed the typographical errors of the old edition to remain. The fourth edition, and infinitely the best, is that of Schweighauser, Leipzig, 1785.
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
SEBENNYTUS (Ancient city) EGYPT
(Manethos or Manethon). An Egyptian, a priest at Heliopolis in the reign of the first Ptolemy (B.C. 283-246), and who was the first Egyptian to give in Greek an account of the history and religion of his native country. One work was entitled Ton Phusikon Epitome, dealing with the theology of the Egyptians and with the origin of the world; the second was styled Aiguptiake Historia, and in three books treated of Aegyptian chronology and history. The first book covers the mythical period prior to the eleventh dynasty; the second, from the eleventh to the twentieth; the third, from the twentieth dynasty to the reign of Nectanebus, the last native Egyptian king. The original works of Manetho are lost, but copious extracts remain preserved by the ecclesiastical writers, especially Iulius Africanus, Eusebius, and Georgius Syncellus. The sources of Manetho's history were the early archives and sacred books of Egypt, and in recent years much corroborative evidence of the truth of what he wrote has been derived by Egyptologists from the hieroglyphics and other sources. The fragments of Manetho are collected and edited by C. Muller in his Frag. Hist. Graec. (Paris, 1856). A long astrological poem in six books and entitled Apotelesmatika, once ascribed to Manetho, is now regarded as written several centuries later than his time. It is edited by Axt and Rigler (Cologne, 1832), and Kochly (1858).
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
Manetho (Manethos or Manethon), an Egyptian priest of the town of Sebennytus, who lived
in the reign of Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, and probably also in that of his successor,
Ptolemy Philadelphus. He had in antiquity the reputation of having attained the
highest possible degree of wisdom (Syncellus, Chronogr.; Plut. de Is. et Os. 9;
Aelian, H. A. x. 16), and it seems to have been this very reputation which induced
later impostors to fabricate books, and publish them under his name. The fables
arid mystical fancies which thus became current as the productions of the Egyptian
sage, were the reason why Manetho was looked upon even by some of the ancients
themselves as a half mythical personage, like Epimienides of Crete, of whose personal
existence and history no one was able to form any distinct notion. The consequence
has been, that the fragments of his genuine work did not meet, down to the most
recent times, with that degree of attention which they deserved, although the
inscriptions on the Egyptian monuments furnish the most satisfactory confirmation
of some portions of his work that have come down to us. It was a further consequence
of this mythical uncertainty by which his personal existence became surrounded,
that some described him as a native of Diospolis (Thebes), the great centre of
priestly learning among the Egyptians, or as a high priest at Heliopolis (Suid.
s. v. Manethos). There can be no doubt that Manetho belonged to the class of priests,
but whether he was high-priest of Egypt is uncertain, since we read this statement
only in some MSS. of Suidas, and in one of the productions of the Pseudo-Manetho.
Respecting his personal history scarcely anything is known, beyond the fact that
he lived in the reign of the first Ptolemy, with whom he came in contact in consequence
of his wisdom and learning. Plutarch (de Is. et Osir. 28) informs us, that the
king was led by a dream to order a colossal statue of a god to be fetched from
Sinope to Egypt. When the statue arrived, Ptolemy requested his interpreter Timotheus
and Manetho of Sebennytus to inquire which god was represented in the statue.
Their declaration that the god represented was Serapis, the Osiris of the lower
world or Pluto, induced the king to build a temple to him, and establish his worship.
The circumstance to which Manetho owes his great reputation in antiquity as well as in modern times is, that he was the first Egyptian who gave in the Greek language an account of the doctrines, wisdom, history, and chronology of his country, and based his information upon the ancient works of the Egyptians themselves, and more especially upon their sacred books. The object of his works was thus of a twofold nature, being at once theological and historical. (Euseb. Praep. Ev. ii. init.; Theodoret. Serm. II. de Therap.)
The work in which he explained the doctrines of the Egyptians concerning the gods, the laws of morality, the origin of the gods and the world, seems to have borne the title of Ton phusikon epitome. (Diog. Laert. Prooem. 10, 11.) Various statements, which were derived either from this same or a similar work, are preserved in Plutarch's treatise De Iside et Osiri (cc. 8, 9, 49, 62, 73; comp. Procl. ad Hesiod. Op. et D. 767), and in some other writers, who confirm the statements of Plutarch. (Iamblich. de Myster. viii. 3; Aelian, H. A. x. 16; Porphyr. de Abstin. p. 199.)
Suidas mentions a work on (Cyphi, or the sacred incense of the Egyptians, its preparation and mixture, as taught in the sacred books of the Egyptians, and the same work is referred to by Plutarch at the end of his above-mentioned treatise. In all the passages in which statements from Manetho are preserved concerning the religious and moral doctrines of the Egyptians, he appears as a man of a sober and intelligent mind, and of profound knowledge of the religious affairs of his own country; and the presumption therefore must be, that in his historical works, too, his honesty was not inferior to his learning, and that he ought not to be made responsible for the blunders of transcribers and copyists, or the forgeries of later impostors.
The historical productions of Manetho, although lost, are far better known than his theological works. Josephus (Ant. Jud. i. 3. 9) mentions the great work under the title of History of Egypt, and quotes some passages verbatim from it, which show that it was a pleasing narrative in good Greek (c. Apion. i. 14, &c.). The same author informs us that Manetho controverted and corrected many of the statements of Herodotus. But whether this was done in a separate work, as we are told by some writers, who speak of a treatise Pros Herodoton (Eustath. ad Hom.; Etym. Magn. s. v. Leontokomos), or whether this treatise was merely an extract from the work of Manetho, made by later compilers or critics of Herodotus, is uncertain. The Egyptian history of Manetho was divided into three parts or books; the first contained the history of the country previous to the thirty dynasties, or what may be termed the mythology of Egypt, as it gave the dynasties of the gods, concluding with those of mortal kings, of whom the first eleven dynasties formed the conclusion of the first book. The second opened with the twelfth and concluded with the nineteenth dynasty, and the third gave the history of the remaining eleven dynasties, and concluded with an account of Nectanebus, the last of the native Egyptian kings. (Syncell. Chronog. p. 97, &c.) These dynasties are preserved in Julius Africanus and Eusebius (most correct in the Armenian version), who, however, has introduced various interpolations. A thirty-first dynasty, which is added under the name of Manetho, and carries the list of kings down to Dareius Codomannus, is undoubtedly a later fabrication. The duration of the first period described in the work of Manetho was calculated by him to be 24,900 years, and the thirty dynasties, beginning with Menes, filled a period of 3555 years. The lists of the Egyptian kings and the duration of their several reigns were undoubtedly derived by him from genuine documents, and their correctness, so far as they are not interpolated, is said to be confirmed by the inscribed monuments which it has been the privilege of our time to decipher. (Comp. Schell, Gesch. der Griech. Lit.; Bunsen, Aegypt. Stelle in der Weltgesch.)
There exists an astrological poem, entitled Apotelesmatika, in six books, which bears the name of Manetho; but it is now generally acknowledged that this poem, which is mentioned also by Suidas, cannot have been written before the fifth century of our era. A good edition of it was published some years ago by C. A. M. Axt and F. A. Rigler, Cologne, 1832, 8vo. Whether this poem was written with a view to deception, under the name of Manetho, or whether it is actually the production of a person of that name, is uncertain.
But there is a work which is undoubtedly a forgery, and was made with a view to harmonise the chronology of the Jews and Christians with that of the Egyptians. This work is often referred to by Syncellus (Chron. pp. 27, 30), who says that the author lived in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphs, and wrote a work on the Dog Star (he Biblos tes sotheos). which he dedicated to the king, whom he called Sebastos (Syncell. Chron.). The very introduction to this book, which Syncellus quotes, is so full of extraordinary things and absurdities, that it clearly betrays its late author, who, under the illustrious name of the Egyptian historian, hoped to deceive the world.
The work of the genuine Manetho was gradually superseded: first by epitomisers, by whom the genuine history and chronology were obscured; next by the hasty work of Eusebius, and the interpolations he made, for the purpose of supporting his system; afterwards by the impostor who assumed the name of Manetho of Sebennytus, and mixed truth with falsehood; and lastly by a chronicle, in which the dynasties of Manetho were arbitrarily arranged according to certain cycles (Syncell. Chron.). For a more minute account of the manner in which the chronology of Manetho was gradually corrupted see the excellent work of Bunsen above referred to, vol. i. p. 256, &c.
This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
ALEXANDRIA (Ancient city) EGYPT
Cleopatra. The most famous of the name was the daughter of Ptolemy Auletes, and remarkable for her beauty and personal accomplishments. According to the usage of the Alexandrian court, she married her young brother, Ptolemy XII., and began to reign with him in her seventeenth year. Both she and her husband, being minors, were placed by the will of their father under the guardianship of Rome, an office which the Senate assigned to Pompey. An insurrection breaking out in the Egyptian capital soon after the commencement of this reign, Cleopatra was compelled to yield to the tide of popular fury, and to flee into Syria, where she sought protection in temporary exile. The flight of this princess, though mainly arising from the tumult just mentioned, was unquestionably accelerated by the designs of the young king and his ambitious ministers. Their object became manifest when Cleopatra, after a few months' residence in Syria, returned towards her native country to resume her seat on the throne. Ptolemy prepared to oppose her by force of arms, and a civil war would inevitably have ensued, had not Caesar at that very juncture sailed to the coast of Egypt in pursuit of Pompey. A curious interview soon took place between Cleopatra and the Roman general. She placed herself on board a small skiff, under the protection of Apollodorus, a Sicilian Greek, set sail from the coast of Syria, reached the harbour of Alexandria in safety, and had herself conveyed naked into the chamber of the Roman commander in the form of a large package of goods. The stratagem proved completely successful. Cleopatra was now in her twentieth year, distinguished by extraordinary personal charms, and surrounded with all the graces which give to those charms their greatest power. Her voice was extremely sweet, and she spoke a variety of languages with propriety and ease. She could, it is said, assume all characters at will, which all alike became her, and the impression that was made by her beauty was confirmed by the fascinating brilliancy of her conversation. The day after this singular meeting, Caesar summoned before him the king, as well as the citizens of Alexandria, and made arrangements for the restoration of peace, procuring Cleopatra, at the same time, her share of the throne. Pothinus, however, one of Ptolemy's ministers, in whose intriguing spirit all the dissensions of the court had originated, soon stirred up a second revolt, upon which the Alexandrian War commenced, in which Ptolemy was defeated and lost his life by drowning. Caesar now proclaimed Cleopatra queen of Egypt; but she was compelled to take her brother, the younger Ptolemy, who was only eleven years old, as her husband and colleague on the throne. The Roman general continued for some time at her court, and she bore him a son, called, from the name of his putative father, Caesarion. During the six years which immediately followed these events, the reign of Cleopatra seems not to have been disturbed by insurrection, nor to have been assailed by foreign war. When her brother, at the age of fourteen, demanded his share in the government, Cleopatra poisoned him, and remained sole possessor of the regal authority. The dissensions among the rival leaders who divided the power of Caesar had no doubt nearly involved her in a contest with both parties; but the decisive issue of the battle of Philippi relieved her from the hesitation under which some of her measures appear to have been adopted, and determined her inclinations, as well as her interests, in favour of the conquerors. To afford her an opportunity of explaining her conduct, Antony summoned her to attend him in Cilicia, and the meeting which she gave him on the river Cydnus has employed the pen, not only of the historian, but of the prince of English dramatists.
The artifices of this fascinating princess, now in her twenty-seventh year, so far gained upon Antony as not only to divert his thoughts from his original purpose of subjecting her kingdom to the payment of tribute, but entirely to lull his ambition to sleep, and make him sacrifice his great stake as a candidate for the empire of the world. After a fruitless attack upon the territory of Palmyra, he hastened to forget his disgrace in the society of the Egyptian queen, passing several months at Alexandria in the wildest and most delirious dissipation. The death of his wife, and his subsequent marriage with Octavia, delayed for a time the crisis which his ungoverned passions were preparing for him. But, though he had thus extricated himself from the snares of Alexandria, his inclinations too soon returned to that unlucky city; for we find that when he left Rome to proceed against the Parthians, he despatched in advance his friend Fonteius Capito to conduct Cleopatra into Syria. On his return from this disgraceful campaign, he incurred still deeper dishonour by once more willingly submitting to that bondage which had rendered him contemptible in the eyes of most of his followers.
Passing over events which have been alluded to in the article Augustus Caesar, we come to the period that followed the battle of Actium, at which the desertion of Cleopatra with her galleys and the pursuit of her by the infatuated Antony changed the destiny of the Roman Empire (B.C. 30). When Octavianus advanced against Egypt, and Antony had been a second time defeated under the walls of Alexandria, Cleopatra shut herself up with a few at tendants and the most valuable part of her treasures in a strong building which appears to have been intended for a royal sepulchre. To prevent intrusion by friend or enemy she caused a report to be circulated that she had retired into the monument to put herself to death. Antony resolved to follow her example, and threw himself upon his sword; but being informed, before he expired, that Cleopatra was still living, he caused himself to be carried into her presence, and breathed his last in her arms. Octavianus, after this, succeeded in getting Cleopatra into his power, and the queen at first hoped to subdue him by her attractions; but finding at last that her efforts were unavailing, and suspecting that her life was spared only that she might grace the conqueror's triumph, she ended her days, if the common account is to be credited, by the bite of an asp; though some ascribed her death to poison administered internally. A small puncture in the arm was the only mark of violence which could be detected on the body of Cleopatra, and it was therefore believed that she had procured death either by the bite of a venomous reptile or by the use of a poisoned bodkin. She died in her thirty-ninth year, having reigned twenty-two years from the death of her father. Octavianus, it is said, though deprived by this act of suicide of the greatest ornament of his approaching triumph, gave orders that she should have a magnificent funeral, and that her body, as she desired, should be laid by that of Antony. Her two children by Antony were reared by the neglected wife Octavia.
The name of Cleopatra has been linked by romance and poetry with those of the most fascinating women the world has seen--Helen of Troy, Mary Stuart, and Ninon de Lenclos--and has always exercised a powerful influence upon the imagination of men. In English literature the genius of Shakespeare and of Dryden has made her story the theme of dramas; while the resources of art have been exhausted to produce types that should satisfy the eye and the mind of the critic.
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
Cleopatra. Third and eldest surviving daughter of Ptolemy Auletes, was born towards
the end of B. C. 69, and was consequently seventeen at the death of her father,
who in his will appointed her heir of his kingdom in conjunction with her younger
brother, Ptolemy, whom she was to marry. The personal charms, for which she was
so famed, shewed themselves in early youth, as we are told by Appian (B. C. v.
8), that she made an impression on the heart of Antony in her fifteenth year,
when he was at Alexandria with Gabinius. Her joint reign did not last long, as
Ptolemy, or rather Pothinus and Achillas, his chief advisers, expelled her from
the throne, about B. C. 49. She retreated into Syria, and there collected an army
with which she designed to force her brother to reinstate her. But an easier way
soon presented itself; for in the following year Caesar arrived in Egypt in pursuit
of Pompey, and took upon himself to arrange matters between Cleopatra and her
brother (Caes. B. C. iii. 103, 107). Being informed of Caesar's amatory disposition,
she resolved to avail herself of it, and, either at his request, according to
Plutarch, or of her own accord, clandestinely effected an entrance into the palace
where he was residing, and by the charms of her person and voice and the fascination
of her manner, obtained such an ascendancy over him, that, in the words of Dion
Cassius (xlii. 35), from being the judge between her and her brother, he became
her advocate. According to Plutarch, she made her entry into Caesar's apartment
in a bale of cloth, which was brought by Apollodorus, her attendant, as a present
to Caesar. However this may be, her plan fully succeeded, and we find her replaced
on the throne, much to the indignation of her brother and the Egyptians, who involved
Caesar in a war in which he ran great personal risk, but which ended in his favour.
In the course of it, young Ptolemy was killed, probably drowned in the Nile (Liv.
Ep. 112; Hirt. B. Alex. 31; Dion Cass. xlii. 43), and Cleopatra obtained the undivided
rule. She was however associated by Caesar with another brother of the same name,
and still quite a child, with a view to conciliate the Egyptians, with whom she
appears to have been very unpopular (Dion Cass. xlii. 34), and she was also nominally
married to him.
While Caesar was in Egypt, Cleopatra lived in undisguised connexion with him, and would have detained him there longer, or have accompanied him at once to Rome, but for the war with Pharnaces, which tore him from her arms. She however joined him in Rome, in company with her nominal husband, and there continued the same open intercourse with him, living in apartments in his house, much to the offence of the Romans (Doubts have been thrown on her visit to Rome, but the evidence of Cicero (ad Att. xiv. 8), of Dion Cassius (xliii. 27), and Suetonius (Caes. 35), seems to be conclusive). She was loaded with honours and presents by Caesar, and seems to have stayed at Rome till his death, B. C. 44. She had a son by him, named Caesarion, who was afterwards put to death by Augustus. Caesar at least owned him as his son, though the paternity was questioned by some contemporaries; and the character of Cleopatra perhaps favours the doubt. After the death of Caesar, she fled to Egypt, and in the troubles which ensued she took the side of the triumvirate, and assisted Dolabella both by sea and land, resisting the threats of Cassius, who was preparing to attack her when he was called away by the entreaties of Brutus. She also sailed in person with a considerable fleet to assist Antony after the defeat of Dolabella, but was prevented from joining him by a storm and the bad state of her health. She had however done sufficient to prove her attachment to Caesar's memory (which seems to have been sincere), and also to furnish her with arguments to use to Antony, who in the end of the year 41 came into Asia Minor, and there summoned Cleopatra to attend, on the charge of having failed to co-operate with the triumvirate against Caesar's murderers. She was now in her twenty-eighth year, and in the perfection of matured beauty, which in conjunction with her talents and eloquence, and perhaps the early impression which we have mentioned, completely won the heart of Antony, who henceforth appears as her devoted lover and slave. We read in Plutarch elaborate descriptions of her well-known voyage up the Cydnus in Cilicia to meet Antony, and the magnificent entertainments which she gave, which were remarkable not less for good taste and variety than splendour and profuse expense. One of these is also celebrated in Athenaeus (iv. 29). The first use Cleopatra made of her influence was to procure the death of her younger sister, ArsinoΓ«, who had once set up a claim to the kingdom (Appian, B. C. v. 8, 9; Dion Cass. xlviii. 24). Her brother, Ptolemy, she seems to have made away with before by poison. She also revenged herself on one of her generals, Serapion, who had assisted Cassius contrary to her orders, and got into her hands a person whom the people of Aradus had set up to counterfeit the elder of her two brothers, who perished in Egypt. All these were torn from the sanctuaries of temples; but Antony, we learn from both Dion and Appian, was so entirely enslaved by Cleopatra's charms, that he set at nought all ties of religion and humanity (Appian, B. C. v. 9; Dion Cass. xlviii. 24).
Cleopatra now returned to Egypt, where Antony spent some time in her company; and we read of the luxury of their mode of living, and the unbounded empire which she possessed over him. The ambition of her character, however, peeps out even in these scenes, particularly in the fishing anecdote recorded by Plutarch (Ant. 29). Her connexion with Antony was interrupted for a short time by his marriage with Octavia, but was renewed on his return from Italy, and again on his return from his Parthian expedition, when she went to meet him in Syria with money and provisions for his army. He then returned to Egypt, and gratified her ambition by assigning to her children by him many of the conquered provinces (Dion Cass. xlix. 32). According to Josephus (Ant. xv. 4.2), during Antony's expedition Cleopatra went into Judaea, part of which Antony had assigned to her and Herod necessarily ceded, and there attempted to win Herod by her charms, probably with a view to his ruin, but failed, and was in danger of being put to death by him. The report, however, of Octavia's having left Rome to join Antony, made Cleopatra tremble for her influence, and she therefore exerted all her powers of pleasing to endeavour to retain it, and bewailed her sad lot in being only regarded as his mistress, and therefore being liable to be deserted at pleasure. She feigned that her health was suffering -in short, put forth all her powers,and succeeded (Plut. Ant. 53). From this time Antony appears quite infatuated by his attachment, a nd willing to humour every caprice of Cleopatra. We find her assuming the title of Isis, and giving audience in that dress to ambassadors, that of Osiris being adopted by Antony, and their children called by the title of the sun and the moon, and declared heirs of unbounded territories (Dion Cass. xlix. 32, 33, 1. 4, 5). She was saluted by him with the title of Queen of Queens, attended by a Roman guard, and Artavasdes, the captive king of Armenia, was ordered to do her homage (Dion Cass. xlix. 39). One can hardly wonder that Augustus should represent Antony to the Romans as "bewitched by that accursed Egyptian" (Dion Cass. 1. 26); and he was not slow in availing himself of the disgust which Antony's conduct occasioned to make a determined effort to crush him. War, however, was declared against Cleopatra, and not against Antony, as a less invidious way (Dion Cass. 1. 6). Cleopatra insisted on accompanying Antony in the fleet; and we find them, after visiting Samos and Athens, where they repeated what Plutarch calls the farce of their public entertainments, opposed to Augustus at Actium. Cleopatra indeed persuaded Antony to retreat to Egypt, but the attack of Augustus frustrated this intention, and the famous battle took place (B. C. 31) in the midst of which, when fortune was wavering between the two parties, Cleopatra, weary of suspense, and alarmed at the intensity of the battle (Dion Cass. 1. 33), gave a signal of retreat to her fleet, and herself led the way. Augustus in vain pursued her, and she [p. 802] made her way to Alexandria, the harbour of which she entered with her prows crowned and music sounding, as if victorious, fearing an outbreak in the city. With the same view of retaining the Alexandrians in their allegiance, she and Antony (who soon joined her) proclaimed their children, Antyllus and Cleopatra, of age. She then prepared to defend herself in Alexandria, and also sent embassies to the neighbouring tribes for aid (Dion Cass. li. 6). She had also a plan of retiring to Spain, or to the Persian gulf; and either was building ships in the Red Sea, as Dion asserts, or, according to Plutarch, intended to draw her ships across the isthmus of Suez. Which-ever was the case, the ships were burnt by the Arabs of Petra, and this hope failed. She scrupled not to behead Artavasdes, and send his head as a bribe for aid to the king of Media, who was his enemy. Finding, however, no aid nigh, she prepared to negotiate with Augustus, and sent him on his approach her sceptre and throne (unknown to Antony), as thereby resigning her kingdom. His public answer required her to resign and submit to a trial; but he privately urged her to make away with Antony, and promised that she should retain her kingdom. On a subsequent occasion, Thyrsus, Caesar's freedman, brought similar terms, and represented Augustus as captivated by her, which she seems to have believed, and, seeing Antony's fortunes desperate, betrayed Pelusium to Augustus, prevented the Alexandrians from going out against him, and frustrated Antony's plan of escaping to Rome by persuading the fleet to desert him. She then fled to a mausoleum she had built, where she had collected her most valuable treasures, and proclaimed her intention of putting an end to her life, with a view to entice Antony thither, and thus ensure his capture (This is the account of Dion Cassius, li. 6, 8-11; the same facts for the most part are recorded by Plutarch, who however represents Cleopatra's perfidy as less glaring). She then had Antony informed of her death, as though to persuade him to die with her; and this stratagem, if indeed she had this object, fully succeeded, and he was drawn up into the unfinished mausoleum, and died in her arms. She did not however venture to meet Augustus, though his rival was dead, but remained in the mausoleum, ready if need was to put herself to death, for which purpose she had asps and other venomous animals in readiness. Augustus contrived to apprehend her, and had all instruments of death removed, and then requested an interview (for an account of which see Dion Cass. li. 12, 13, and Plut. Ant. 83). The charms of Cleopatra, however, failed in softening the colder heart of Augustus. He only "bade her be of good cheer, and fear no violence". Seeing that her case was desperate, and determined at all events not to be carried captive to Rome, she resolved on death; but in order to compass this, it was necessary to disarm the vigilance of her goalers, and she did this by feigning a readiness to go to Rome, and preparing presents for Livia, the wife of Augustus. This artifice succeeded, and she was thereby enabled to put an end to her life, either by the poison of an asp, or by a poisoned comb (Dion Cass. li. 14; Plut. Ant. 85, 86), the former supposition being adopted by most writers (Suet. Aug. 17; Galen. Tyheriac. ad Pis.l; Vell. Pat. ii. 87).
Cleopatra died in B. C. 30, in the thirty-ninth year of her age, and with her ended the dynasty of the Ptolemies in Egypt. She had three children by Antony: Alexander and Cleopatra, who were twins, and Ptolemy surnamed Philadelphus. The leading points of her character were, ambition and voluptuousness. History presents to us the former as the prevailing motive, the latter being frequently employed only as the means of gratifying it. In all the stories of her luxury and lavish expense, there is a splendour and a grandeur that somewhat refines them (See Plin. H. N. ix. 58). In the days of her prosperity, her arrogance was unbounded, and she loved to swear by the Capitol, in which she hoped to reign with Antony. She was avaricious, to supply her extravagance, and cruel, or at least had no regard for human life when her own objects were concerned -a Caesar with a woman's caprice. Her talents were great and varied; her knowledge of languages was peculiarly remarkable (Plut. Ant. 27), of which she had seven at command, and was the more remarkable from the fact, that her predecessors had not been able to master even the Egyptian, and some had forgotten their native Macedonian; and in the midst of the most luxurious scenes we see traces of a love of literature and critical research. She added the library of Pergamus, presented to her by Antony, to that of Alexandria. Her ready and versatile wit, her knowledge of human nature and powerof using it, her attractive manners, and her exquisitely musical and flexible voice, compared by Plutarch (Ant. 27) to a many-stringed instrument, are also the subjects of well-attested praise. The higher points in her character are admirably touched by Horace in the ode (i. 37) on her defeat.
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, 10 - 75
Heron of Alexandria, is called by Heron the younger a pupil of Ctesibius, and he lived in the reigns of the Ptolemies Philadelphus and Euergetes (B. C. 284-221). Of his life nothing is known; on his mechanical inventions we have but some scanty parts of his own writings, and some scattered notices. The common pneumatic experiment, called Hero's fountain, in which a jet of water is maintained by condensed air, has given a certain popular celebrity to his name. This has been increased by the discovery in his writings of a steam engine, that is, of an engine in which motion is produced by steam, and which must always be a part of the history of that agent. This engine acts precisely on the principle of what is called Barker's Mill : a boiler with arms having lateral orifices is capable of revolving round a vertical axis; the steam issues from the lateral orifices, and the uncompensated pressure upon the parts opposite to the orifices turns the boiler in the direction opposite to that of the issue of the steam. It is nearly the machine afterwards introduced by Avery, one of which, of six horse power, is, or lately was, at work near Edinburgh. Heron's engine is described in his pneumatics presently mentioned; as also a double forcing pump used for a fire engine, and various other applications of the elasticity of air and steam. It is, however, but recently, that the remarkable claims of Heron to success in such investigations have received any marked notice. In the "Origine des Decouvertes attributes aux modernes", (3rd edition, 1796), by M. Dutens, who tries, with great learning, to make the best possible case for the ancients, the name of Heron is not even mentioned.
The remaining works, or rather fragments, of Heron of Alexandria, are as follows:
1. Cheiroballistras kataskeue kai summetria, de Construction et Mensura Manubalistae. First published (Gr.) by Baldi at the end of the third work presently noted. Also (Gr. Lat.) by Thevenot, Boivin, and Lahire, in the "Veterum mathematicorum Athenaei, Apollodori, Philonis, Heronis et aliorum Opera", Paris, 1693.
2. Barulcus sive de Oneribus trahendis Libri tres, a treatise brought by J. Golius from the East in Arabic, not yet translated or published (Ephemerid. Litter. Gotting. ann. 1785).
3. Belotoiika, Belopoieka, or (Eutoc. in Arch. de Sph. et Cylind.) Belopoietika, on the manufacture of darts. Edited by Bernardino Baldi (Gr. Lat.) with notes, and a life of Heron, Augsburg, 1616; also in the Veter. Mathemat. &c. above mentioned.
4. Pneumatika, or Spiritalia, the most celebrated of his works. Edited by Commandine (Lat.) with notes, Urbino, 1575, Amsterdam, 1680, and Paris, 1683. It is also (Gr. Lat.) in the Veter. Mathemat. &c. above mentioned. It first appeared, however, in an Italian translation by Bernardo Aleotti, Bologna, 1547, Ferrara, 1589; and there is also (Murhard) an Italian translation, by Alessandro Giorgi, of Urbino, 1592, and by J. B. Porta, Naples, 1605, 4to. There is a German translation by Agathus Cario, with an appendix by Solomon de Caus, Bamberg, 1687, Frankfort, 1688.
5. Peri automatopoietikon, de Automatorum Fabrica Libri duo. Translated into Italian by B. Baldi. Venice, 1589, 1601, 1661: also (Gr. Lat.) in the Veter. Mathemat., &c. above mentioned. A fragment on dioptrics (Gr.) exists in manuscript, and two Latin fragments on military machines are given by Baldi at the end of the work on darts.
The following lost works are mentioned: Ta peri hudroskopeion, by Proclus, Pappus, and Heron himself; Mechanikai isogogai, by Eutocius, Pappus, and Heron himself; Peri metrikon, by Eutocius; Peri trochiodion, by Pappus; and a work Peri zugion, is mentioned by Pappus, and has been supposed to be by Heron.
This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Jan 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
Heron the younger, so called because we have not even an adjective of place to
distinguish him from Heron of Alexandria, is supposed to have lived under Heraclius
(A. D. 610-641). In his own work on Geodesy (a term used in the sense of practical
geometry), he says that in his own time the stars had altered their longitudes
by seven degrees since the time of Ptolemy: from which the above date must have
been framed. But if he spoke, as is likely enough, from Ptolemy's value of the
precession of the equinoxes, without observing the stars himself, he must have
been about two hundred years later. He was a Christian.
The writings attributed to Heron the younger are:
1. De Machinis bellicis, published (Lat.) by Barocius, Venice, 1572. There is one Greek manuscript at Bologna.
2. Geodaesia, published (Lat.) with the above by Barocius. Montucla notices this as the first treatise in which the mode of finding the area of a triangle by means of its sides occurs. Savile, who had a manuscript of this treatise, rejects with scorn the idea of its having been written by Heron; but we suspect that he supposed it to be attributed to Heron of Alexandria.
3. De Obsidione repellenda, hopos chre tonn tes poliorkoumenes toleos strategon pros ten poliorkian antitassesthui, published (Gr.) in the Veter. Mathemat. Opera, &c. mentioned in the life of Heron of Alexandria.
4. Parekbolai ek ton strategikon parataxeon, &c This exists only in manuscript.
5. Ek ton tou Heronos peri ton tes Geometrias kai Stereometrias onouaton, published lished (Gr. Lat.) with the first book of Euclid, by Dasypodius, Strasburg, 1571.
6. Excerpta de Mensuris (Gr. Lat.), in the Analecta Graeca of the Benedictines, vol. i. Paris, 1688.
7. Eisagoge ton geometroumenon, exists only in manuscript.
This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Jan 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
Hypatia, (Hupatia), a lady of Alexandria, daughter of Theon, by whom she was instructed in philosophy and mathematics. She soon made such immense progress in these branches of knowledge, that she is said to have presided over the Neoplatonician school of Plotinus at Alexandria, where she expounded the principles of his system to a numerous auditory. She appears to have been most graceful, modest, and beautiful, but nevertheless to have been a victim to slander and falsehood. She was accused of too much familiarity with Orestes, prefect of Alexandria, and the charge spread among the clergy, who took up the notion that she interrupted the friendship of Orestes with their archbishop, Cyril. In consequence of this, a number of them, at whose head was a reader named Peter, seized her in the street, and dragged her from her chariot into one of the churches, where they stripped her and tore her to pieces. Theodoret accuses Cyril of sanctioning this proceeding; but Cave (Script. Eccl. Hist. Lit. vol. i.) holds this to be incredible, though on no grounds except his own opinion of Cyril's general character. Philostorgius, the Arian historian, urges her death as a charge against the Ilomoousians. Synesius valued her greatly, and addressed to her several letters, inscribed tei philosophoi, in one of which he calls her mother, sister, mistress, and benefactress. Suidas says that she married Isidorus, and wrote some works on astronomy and other subjects. In Stephanus Baluzius (Concil. i. p. 216) an epistle is extant professing to be Hypatia's addressed to Cyril, in which she advocates the cause of Nestorius, and regrets his banishment; but this must be spurious, if it be true, as Socrates asserts that she was killed A. D. 415, for Nestorius was not banished till A. D. 436. (Socrat. vii. 15; Niceph. xiv. 16; Menage, Hist. Mulierum Philosoph. 49; Suidas, s. v.; J. Ch. Wernsdorf, Dissertat. Acad. IV. de Hypartia, Viteberg. 1747.)
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
Hypatia was the first notable woman in mathematics and philosophy.
Her death brought an end to the position of Alexandria as the centre of scientific
activity in the ancient world.
Hypatia was murdered because her humanistic philosophical ideas were resented by the Church. Hypatia was the daughter of a mathematician in Alexandria. She became the head of a Neoplatonist school of philosophy. She wrote commentaries on the “Arithmetica” of Diophant and on the astronomical works of Ptolemy. Learning and science was at that time identified by the early Christians with paganism. Hypatia was murdered by a fanatical mob of monks, which led to the departure of many scholars from Alexandria.
This text is cited July 2003 from the Hyperhistory Online URL below.
A mathematician of Alexandria, who, according to the most received
opinion, was contemporary with the emperor Julian. This opinion is founded upon
a passage of Abulfaraj, an Arabian author of the thirteenth century. He names,
among the contemporaries of the emperor Julian, Diophantes (for Diophantus) as
the author of a celebrated work on algebra and arithmetic; and he is thought to
have derived his information from an Arabic commentator on Diophantus, Muhammed
al Buziani, who flourished about the end of the eleventh century. The reputation
of Diophantus was so great among the ancients that they ranked him with Pythagoras
and Euclid. From his epitaph in the Anthology the following particulars of his
life have been collected: that he was married when thirty-three years old, and
had a son five years after; that the son died at the age of forty-two, and that
Diophantes did not survive him above four years; whence it appears that Diophantus
was eighty-four years old when he died.
Diophantus wrote a work entitled Arithmetika, in thirteen books, of which only six remain. It would seem that in the fifteenth, and even at the beginning of the seventeenth, century all the thirteen books still existed. The arithmetic of Diophantus is not merely [p. 526] important for the study of the history of mathematics, but is interesting also to the mathematician himself from its furnishing him with luminous methods for the resolution of analytical problems. We find in it, moreover, the first trace of that branch of the exact sciences called algebra. There exists also a second work of Diophantus, on Polygon Numbers (Peri Polugonon Arithmon). He himself cites a third, under the title of Porismata, or Corollaries.
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
Diophantus, (Diophantos), of Alexandria, the only Greek writer on Algebra. His
period is wholly unknown, which is not to be wondered at if we consider that he
stands quite alone as to the subject which he treated. But, looking at the improbability
of all mention of such a writer being omitted by Proclus and Pappus, we feel strongly
inclined to place him towards the end of the fifth century of our era at the earliest.
If the Diophantus, on whose astronomical work (according to Suidas) Hypatia wrote
a commentary, and whose arithmetic Theon mentions in his commentary on the Almagest,
be the subject of our article, he must have lived before the fifth century: but
it would be by no means safe to assume this identity. Abulpharagius, according
to Montucla, places him at A. D. 365. The first writer who mentions him, (if it
be not Theon) is John, patriarch of Jerusalem, in his life of Johannes Damascenus,
written in the eighth century. It matters not much where we place him, as far
as Greek literature is concerned: the question will only become of importance
when we have the means of investigating whether or not he derived his algebra,
or any of it, from an Indian source. Colebrooke, as to this matter, is content
that Diophantus should be placed in the fourth century.
It is singular that, though his date is uncertain to a couple of centuries at least, we have some reason to suppose that he married at the age of 33, and that in five years a son was born of this marriage, who died at the age of 42, four years before his father: so that Diophantus lived to 84. Bachet, his editor, found a problem proposed in verse, in an unpublished Greek anthology, like some of those which Diophantus himself proposed in verse, and composed in the manner of an epitaph. The unknown quantity is the age to which Diophantus lived, and the simple equation of condition to which it leads gives, when solved, the preceding information. But it is just as likely as not that the maker of the epigram invented the dates.
When the manuscripts of Diophantus came to light in the 16th century, it was said that there were thirteen books of the 'Arithmetica:' but no more than six have ever been produced with that title; besides which we have one book, 'De Multangulis Numeris,' on polygonal numbers. These books contain a system of reasoning on numbers by the aid of general symbols, and with some use of symbols of operation; so that, though the demonstrations are very much conducted in words at length, and arranged so as to remind us of Euclid, there is no question that the work is algebraical: not a treatise on algebra, but an algebraical treatise on the relations of integer numbers, and on the solution of equations of more than one variable in integers. Hence such questions obtained the name of Diophantine, and the modern works on that pecuculiar branch of numerical analysis which is called the theory of numbers, such as those of Gauss and Legendre, would have been said, a century ago, to be full of Diophantine analysis. As there are many classical students who will not see a copy of Diophantus in their lives, it may be desirable to give one simple proposition from that writer in modern words and symbols, annexing the algebraical phrases from the original.
Book i. qu. 30. Having given the sum of two numbers (20) and their product (96), required the numbers. Observe that the square of the half sum should be greater than the product. Let the difference of the numbers be 2s (ssoi B); then the sum being 20 (k?) and the half sum 10 (i) the greater number will be s+10 (tetachtho oun ho meizon sou henos kai mo i) and the less will be 10--s (mo i leipsei sou henos, which he would often write mo i ps sos a). But the product is 96 (gs?) which is also 100--s2 (r' leipsei dunameos mias, or r' ps du a). Hence s=2 (ginetai ho sos mo B?) &c.
A young algebraist of our day might hardly be inclined to give the name of algebraical notation to the preceding, though he might admit that there was algebraical reasoning. But if he had consulted the Hindu or Mahommedan writers, or Cardan, Tartaglia, Stevinus, and the other European algebraists, who preceded Vieta, he would see that he must either give the name to the notation above exemplified, or refuse it to everything which preceded the seventeenth century. Diophantus declines his letters, just as we now speak of m th or (m+ 1 ) th; and mo is an abbreviation of uonas or monados, as the case may be.
The question whether Diophantus was an original inventor, or whether he had received a hint from India, the only country we know of which could then have given one, is of great difficulty. We cannot enter into it at length: the very great similarity of the Diophantine and Hindu algebra (as far as the former goes) makes it almost certain that the two must have had a common origin, or have come one from the other; though it is clear that Diophantus, if a borrower, has completely recast the subject by the introduction of Euclid's form of demonstration. On this point we refer to the article of the Penny Cyclopaedia already cited.
There are many paraphrases, so-called translations, and abbreviations of Diophantus, but very few editions. Joseph Auria prepared an edition (Gr. Lat.) of the whole, with the Scholia of the monk Maximus Planudes on the first two books ; but it was never printed. The first edition is that of Xylander, Basle, 1575, folio, in Latin only, with the Scholia and notes. The first Greek edition, with Latin, (and original notes, the Scholia being rejected as useless,) is that of Bachet de Meziriac, Paris, 1621, folio. Fermat left materials for the second and best edition (Gr. Lat.), in which is preserved all that was good in Bachet, and in particular his Latin version, and most valuable comments and additions of his own (it being peculiarly his subject). These materials were collected by J. de Billy, and published by Fermat's son, Toulouse, 1670, folio. An English lady, the late Miss Abigail Baruch Lousada, whose successful cultivation of mathematics and close attention to this writer for many years was well known to scientific persons, left a complete translation of Diophantus, with notes: it has not yet been published, and we trust, will not be lost.
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
Euclides, (Eukleides). A celebrated mathematician of Alexandria, considered by some to have been a native of that city, though the more received opinion makes the place of his birth to have been unknown. He flourished B.C. 280, in the reign of Ptolemy Lagus, and was professor of mathematics in the capital of Egypt. His scholars were numerous, and among them was Ptolemy himself. It is related that the monarch having inquired of Euclid if there was not some mode of learning mathematics less barbarous and requiring less attention than the ordinary one, Euclid, though otherwise of an affable disposition, dryly answered that there was "no royal road to geometry" (me einai basiliken atrapon pros geometrian). Euclid was the first person who established a mathematical school at Alexandria, and it existed and maintained its reputation till the Mohammedan conquest of Egypt. Many of the fundamental principles of the pure mathematics had been discovered by Thales, Pythagoras, and other predecessors of Euclid; but to him is due the merit of having given a systematic form to the science, especially to that part of it which relates to geometry. He likewise studied the cognate sciences of Astronomy and Optics; and, according to Proclus, he was the author of "Elements" (Stoicheia), "Data" (Dedomena), "An Introduction to Harmony" (Eisagoge Harmonike), "Phaenomena" (Phainomena), "Optics" (Optika), "Catoptrics" (Katoptrika), "On the Division of the Scale" (Katatome Kanonos), and other works now lost. His most valuable work, "The Elements of Geometry," in thirteen books, with two additional books by Hypsicles, has been repeatedly published --the first edition at Venice (1482) in a Latin trans [p. 631] lation from the Arabic. The first Greek text appeared at Basle in 1533. The edition of Peyrard is among the best. It appeared at Paris in 1814- 16-18, in 3 vols. This edition is accompanied with a double translation--one in Latin and the other in French. M. Peyrard consulted a manuscript of the latter part of the ninth century, which had belonged to the Vatican library, and was at that time in the French capital. By the aid of this he was enabled to fill various lacunae, and to reestablish various passages which had been altered in all the other manuscripts and in all the editions anterior to his own.
Euclides, (Eukleides) of Alexandria. The length of this article will not be blamed
by any one who considers that, the sacred writers excepted, no Greek has been
so much read or so variously translated as Euclid. To this it may be added, that
there is hardly any book in our language in which the young scholar or the young
mathematician can find all the information about this name which its celebrity
would make him desire to have.
Euclid has almost given his own name to the science of geometry, in every country in which his writings are studied; and yet all we know of his private history amounts to very little. He lived, according to Proclus (Comm. in Eucl. ii. 4), in the time of the first Ptolemy, B. C. 323-283. The forty years of Ptolemy's reign are probably those of Euclid's age, not of his youth; for had he been trained in the school of Alexandria formed by Ptolemy, who invited thither men of note, Proclus would probably have given us the name of his teacher: but tradition rather makes Euclid the founder of the Alexandrian mathematical school than its pupil. This point is very material to the foinnation of a just opinion of Euclid's writings; he was, we see, a younger contemporary of Aristotle (B. C. 384-322) if we suppose him to have been of mature age when Ptolemy began to patronise literature. and on this supposition it is not likely that Aristotle's writings, and his logic in particular, should have been read by Euclid in his youth, if at all. To us it seems almost certain, from the structure of Euclid's writings, that he had not read Aristotle: on this supposition, we pass over, as perfectly natural, things which, on the contrary one, would have seemed to shew great want of judgment.
Euclid, says Proclus, was younger than Plato, and older than Eratosthenes and Archimedes, the latter of whom mentions him. He was of the Platonic sect, and well read in its doctrines. He collected the Elements, put into order much of what Eudoxus had done, completed many things of Theaetetus, and was the first who reduced to unobjectionable demonstration the imperfect attempts of his predecessors. It was his answer to Ptolemy, who asked if geometry could not be made easier, that there was no royal road (me einai basiliken atrapon pros geometrian).(1) This piece of wit has had many imitators; " Quel diable" said a French nobleman to Rohault, his teacher of geometry, "pourrait entendre cela?" to which the answer was "Ce serait un diable qui aurait de la patience". A story similar to that of Euclid is related by Seneca (Ep. 91, cited by August) of Alexander.
Pappus (lib. vii. in praef.) states that Euclid was distinguished by the fairness and kindness of his disposition, particularly towards those who could do anything to advance the mathematical sciences: but as he is here evidently making a contrast to Apollonius, of whom he more than insinuates a directly contrary character, and as he lived more than four centuries after both, it is difficult to give credence to his means of knowing so much about either. At the same time we are to remember that he had access to many records which are now lost. On the same principle, perhaps, the account of Nasir-eddin and other Easterns is not to be entirely rejected, who state that Euclid was sprung of Greek parents, settled at Tyre; that he lived, at one time, at Damascus; that his father's name was Naucrates, and grandfather's Zenarchus (August, who cites Gartz, De Interpr. Eucl. Arab.). It is against this account that Eutocius of Ascalon never hints at it.
At one time Euclid was universally confounded with Euclid of Megara, who lived near a century before him, and heard Socrates. Valerius Maximus has a story (viii. 12) that those who came to Plato about the construction of the celebrated Delian altar were referred by him to Euclid the geometer. This story, which must needs be false, since Euclid of Megara, the contemporary of Plato, was not a geometer, is probably the crigin of the confusion. Harless thinks that Eudoxus should be read for Euclid in the passage of Valerius.
In the frontispiece to Whiston's translation of Tacquet's Euclid there is a bust, which is said to be taken from a brass coin in the possession of Christina of Sweden; but no such coin appears in the published collection of those in the cabinet of the queen of Sweden. Sidonius Apollinaris says (Epist. xi. 9) that it was the custom to paint Euclid with the fingers extended (laxatis,) as if in the act of measurement.
The history of geometry before the time of Euclid is given by Proclus, in a manner which shews that he is merely making a summary of well known or at least generally received facts. He begins with the absurd stories so often repeated, that the Aegyptians were obliged to invent geometry in order to recover the landmarks which the Nile destroyed year by year, and that the Phoenicians were equally obliged to invent arithmetic for the wants of their commerce. Thales, he goes on to say, brought this knowledge into Greece, and added many things, attempting some in a general manner (katholikoteron) and some in a perceptive or sensible manner (aisthetikoteron). Proclus clearly refers to physical discovery in geometry, by measurement of instances. Next is mentioned Ameristus, the brother of Stesichorus the poet. Then Pythagoras changed it into the form of a liberal science (paideias eleutheron), took higher views of the subject, and investigated his theorems immaterially and intellectually (an+los kai noeros): he also wrote on incommensurable quantities (alogon), and on the mundane figures (the five regular solids).
Barocius, whose Latin edition of Proclus has been generally followed, singularly enough trans lates aloga bps (quae non exlpicari possunt, and Taylor follows him with "such things as cannot be explained". It is strange that two really learned editors of Euclid's commentator should have been ignorant of one of Euclid's technical terms. Then come Anaxagoras of Clazomenae, and a little after him Oenopides of Chios; then Hippocrates of Chios, who squared the lunule, and then Theodorus of Cyrene. Hippocrates is the first writer of elements who is recorded. Plato then did much for geometry by the mathematical character of his writings; then Leodamos of Thasus, Archytas of Tarentum, and Theaetetus of Athens, gave a more scientific basis (epistemonikoteran sustasin) to various theorenms; Neocleides and his disciple Leon came after the preceding, the latter of whom increased both the extent and utility of the science, in particular by finding a test (diorismon) of whether the thing proposed be possible or (2) impossible. Eudoxus of Cnidus, a little younger than Leon, and the companion of those about Plato, increased the number of general theorems, added three proportions to the three already existing, and in the things which concern the section (of the cone, no doubt) which was started by Plato himself, much increased their number, aud employed analyses upon them. Amyclas Heracleotes, the companion of Plato, Menaechmus, the disciple of Eudoxus and of Plato, and his brother Deinostratus, made geometry more perfect. Theudius of Magnesia generalized many particular propositions. Cyzicinus of Athens was his contemporary; they took different sides on many common inquiries. Hermotimus of Colophon added to what had been done by Eudoxus and Theaetetus, discovered elementary propositions, and wrote something on loci. Philip (ho Metaios, others read Medmaios, Barocius reads Mendaeus), the follower of Plato, made many mathematical inquiries connected with his master's philosophy. Those who write on the history of geo.netry bring the completion of this science thus far. Here Proclus expressly refers to written history, and in another place he particularly mentions the history of Eudemus the Peripatetic.
This history of Proclus has been much kept in the background, we should almost say discredited, by editors, who seem to wish it should be thought that a finished and unassailable system sprung at once from the brain of Euclid; an armed Minerva from the head of a Jupiter. But Proclus, as much a worshipper as any of them, must have had the same bias, and is therefore particularly worthy of confidence when he cites written history as to what was not done by Euclid. Make the most we can of his preliminaries, still the thirteen books of the Elements must have been a tremendous advance, probably even greater than that contained in the Principia of Newton. But still, to bring the state of our opinion of this progress down to something short of painful wonder, we are told that demonstration had been given, that something had been written on proportion, something on incommensurables, something on loci, something on solids; that analysis had been applied, that the conic sections had been thought of, that the Elements had been distinguished from the rest and written on. From what Hippocrates had done, we know that the important property of the right-angled triangle was known; we rely much more on the lunules than on the story about Pythagoras. The dispute about the famous Delian problem had arisen, and some conventional limit to the instruments of geometry must have been adopted; for on keeping within then, the difficulty of this problem depends.
It will be convenient to speak separately of the Elements of Euclid, as to their contents; and afterwards to mention them bibliographically, among the other writings. The book which passes under this name, as given by Robert Simson, unexceptionable as Elements of Geometry, is not calculated to give the scholar a proper idea of the elements of Euclid; but it is admirably adapted to confuse, in the mind of the young student, all those notions of sound criticism which his other instructors are endeavouring to instil. The idea that Euclid must be perfect had got possession of the geometrical world; accordingly each editor, when lie made what he took to be an alteration for the better, assumed that he was restoring, not aumending the original. If the books of Livy were to be rewritten upon the basis of Niebuhr, and the result declared to be the real text, then Livy would no more than share the fate of Euclid; the only difference being, that the former would undergo a larger quantity of alteration than editors have seen fit to inflict upon the latter. This is no caricature; e.g., Euclid, says Robert Simson, gave, without doubt, a definition of compound ratio at the beginniing of the fifth book, and accordingly he there inserts, not merely a definition, but, he assures us, the very one which Fuclid gave. Not a single manuscript supports him : how, then, did he know ? He saw that there ought to have been such a detinition, and he concluded that, therefore, there had been one. Now we by no means uphold Euclid as an all-sufficient guide to geometry, though we feel that it is to himself that we owe the power of amending his writings; and we hope we may protest against the assumption that he could not have erred, whether by omission or commission.
Some of the characteristics of the Elements are briefly as follows:
First. There is a total absence of distinction between the various ways in which we know the meaning of terms: certainty, and nothing more, is the thing sought. The definition of straightness, an idea which it is impossible to put into simpler words, and which is therefore described by a more difficult circumlocution, comes under the same heading as the explanation of the word "parallel" hence disputes about the correctness or incorrectness of many of the definitions.
Secondly. There is no distinction between propositions which require demonstration, and those which a logician would see to be nothing but different modes of starting a preceding proposition. When Euclid has proved that everything which is not A is not B, he does not hold himself entitled to infer that every B is A, though the two propositions are identically the same. Thus, having shewn that every point of a circle which is not the centre is not one from which three equal straight lines can be drawn, he cannot infer that any point from which three equal straight lines are drawn is the centre, but has need of a new demonstration. Thus, long before lie wants to use book i. prop. 6, he has proved it again, and independently.
Thirdly. He has not the smallest notion of admitting any generalized use of a word, or of parting with any ordinary notion attached to it. Setting out with the conception of an angle rather as the sharp corner made by the meeting of two lines than as the magnitude which he afterwards shews how to measure, he never gets rid of that corner, never admits two right angles to make one angle, and still less is able to arrive at the idea of an angle greater than two right angles. And when, in the last proposition of the sixth book, his definition of proportion absolutely requires that he should reason on angles of even more than four rifht angles, he takes no notice of this necessity, and no one cantellwhether it was an overshigt, whether Euclid thought the extension one which the student could make for himself, or whether (which has sometimes struck us as not unlikely) the elements were his last work, and he did not live to revise them.
In one solitary case, Euclid seems to have made an omission implying that he recognized that natural extension of language by which unity is considered as a number, and Simson has thought it necessary to supply the omission, and has shewn himself more Euclid tian Euclid upon the point of all others in which Euclid's philosophy is defective.
Fourthly. There is none of that attention to the forms of accuracy with which translators have endeavoured to invest the Elements, thereby giving them that appearance which has made many teachers think it meritorious to insist upon their pupils remembering the very words of Simson. Theorems are found among the definitions : assumptions are made which are not formally set down among the postulates. Things which really ought to have been proved are sometimes passed over, and whether this is by mistake, or by intention of supposing them self-evident, cannot now be known: for Euclid never refers to previous propositions by name or number, but only by simple re-assertion without reference; except that occasionally, and chiefly when a negative proposition is referred to, such words as "it has been demonstrated" are employed, without further specification.
Fifthly. Euclid never condescends to hint at the reason why he finds himself obliged to adopt any particular course. Be the difficulty ever so great, he removes it without mention of its existence. Accordingly, in many places, the unassisted student can only see that much trouble is taken, without being able to guess why.
What, then, it may be asked, is the peculiar merit of the Elements which has caused them to retain their ground to this day? the answer is, that the preceding objections refer to matters which can be easily mended, without any alteration of the main parts of the work, and that no one has ever given so easy and natural a chain of geometrical consequences. There is a never erring truth in the results; and, though there may be here and there a self-evident assumption used in demonstration, but not formally noted, there is never any the smallest departure from the limitations of construction which geometers had, from the time of Plato, imposed upon themselves. The strong inclination of editors, already mentioned, to consider Euclid as perfect, and all negligences as the work of unskilful commentators or interpolators, is in itself a proof of the approximate truth of the character they give the work; to which it may be added that editors in general prefer Euclid as he stands to the alterations of other editors.
The Elements consist of thirteen books written by Euclid, and two of which it is supposed that Hypsicles is the author. The first four and the sixth are on plane geometry; the fifth is on the theory of proportion, and applies to magnitude in general; the seventh, eighth, and ninth, are on arithmetic; the tenth is on the arithmetical characteristics of the divisions of a straight line; the eleventh and twelfth are on the elements of solid geometry; the thirteenth (and also the fourteenth and fifteenth) are on the regular solids, which were so much studied among the Platonists as to bear the name of Platonic, and which, according to Proclus, were the objects on which the Elements were really meant to be written.
At the commencement of the first book, under the name of definitions (horoi, are contained the assumption of such notions as the point, line, &c.. and a number of verbal explanations. Then follow, under the name of postulates or demands (aitemata), all that it is thought necessary to state as assumed in geometry. There are six postulates, three of which restrict the amount of construction granted to the joining two points by a straight line, the indefinite lengthening of a terminated straight line, and the drawing of a circle with a given centre, and a given distance measured from that centre as a radius; the other three assume the equality of all right angles, the much disputed property of two lines, which meet a third at angles less than two right angles (we mean, of course, much disputed as to its propriety as an assumption, not as to its truth), and that two straight lines cannot inclose a space. Lastly, under the name of common notions (koinai ennoiai) are given, either as conmmin to all men or to all sciences, such assertions as that-things equal to the same are equal to one another-the whole is greater than its part-&c. Modern editors have put the last three postulates at the end of the common notions, and applied the term axiom (which was not used till after Euclid) to them all. The intention of Euclid seems to have been, to disinguish between that which his reader must grant, or seek another system, whatever may be his opinion as to the propriety of the assumption, and that which there is no question every one will grant. The modern editor merely distinguishes the assumed problem (or construction) from the assumed theorem. Now there is no such distinction in Euclid as that of problem and theorem ; the common term protasis, translated proposition, includes both, and is the only one used. An immense preponderance of manuscripts, the testimony of Proclus, the Arabic translations, the summary of Boethius, place the assumptions about right angles and parallels (and most of them, that about two straight lines) among the postulates; and this seems most reasonable, for it is certain that the first two assumptions can have no claim to rank among common notions or to be placed in the same list with "the whole is greater than its part".
Without describing mintutely the contents of the first book of the Elements, we may observe that there is an arrangement of the propositions, which will enable any teacher to divide it into sections. Thus propp. 1-3 extend the power of construction to the drawing of a circle with any centre and any radius; 4-8 are the basis of the theory of equal triangles; 9-12 increase the power of construction; 13-15 are solely on relatiolis of angles; 16-21 examine the relations of parts of one triangle; 22-23 are additional constructios ; 23-26 augment the doctrine of equal triangles; 27-31 contain the theory of parallels; (3) 32 stands alone, and gives the relation between the angles of a triangle; 33-34 give the first properties of a parallelogram; 35-41 consider parallelograms and triangles of equal areas, but different forms; 42-46 apply what precedes to augmenting power of construction; 47-48 give the celebrated property of a right angled triangle and its converse. The other books are all capable of a similar species of subdivision.
The second book shews those properties of the rectangles contained by the parts of divided straight lines, which are so closely connected with the common arithmetical operations of multiplication and division, that a student or a teacher who is not fully alive to the existence and difficulty of incommensurables is apt to think that common arithmetic would be as rigorous as geometry. Euclid knew better.
The third book is devoted to the consideration of the properties of the circle, and is much cramped in several places by the imperfect idea already alluded to, which Euclid took of an angle. There are some places in which lie clearly drew upon experimental knowledge of the form of a circle, and made tacit assumptions of a kind which are rarely met with in his writings.
The fourth book treats of regular figures. Euclid's original postulates of construction give him, by this time, the power of drawing them of 3, 4, 5, and 15 sides, or of double, quadruple, &c., any of these numbers, as 6, 12, 24, &c., 8, 16;, &c. &c.
The fifth book is on the theory of proportion. It refers to all kinds of magnitude, and is wholly independent of those which precede. The existence of incommensurable quantities obliges him to introduce a definition of proportion which seems at first not only difficult, but uncouth and inelegant; those who have examined other definitions know that all which are not defective are but various readings of that of Euclid. The reasons for this difficult definition are not alluded to, according to his custom; few students therefore understand the fifth book at first, and many teachers decidedly object to make it a part of the course. A distinction should be drawn between Euclid's definition and his manner of applying it. Every one who understands it must see that it is an application of arithmetic, and that the defective and unwieldy forms of arithmetical expression which never were banished from Greek science, need not be the necessary accompaniments of the modern use of the fifth book. For ourselves, we are satisfied that the only rigorous road to proportion is either through the fifth book, or else through something much more difficult than the fifth book need be.
The sixth book applies the theory of proportion, and adds to the first four books the propositions which, for want of it, they could not contain. It discusses the theory of figures of the same form, technically called similar. To give an idea of the advance which it makes, we may state that the first book has for its highest point of constructive power the formation of a rectangle upon a given base, equal to a given rectilinear figure; that the second book enables us to turn this rectangle into a square; but the sixth book empowers us to make a figure of any given rectilinear shape equal to a rectilinear figure of given size, or briefly, to construct a figure of the form of one given figure, and of the size of another. It also supplies the geometrical form of the solution of a quadratic equation.
The seventh, eighth, and ninth books cannot have their subjects usefully separated. They treat of arithmetic, that is, of the fundamental properties of numbers, on which the rules of arithmetic must be founded. But Euclid goes further than is necessary merely to construct a system of computation, about which the Greeks had little anxiety. Lie is able to succeed in shewing that numbers which are prime to one another are the least in their ratio, to prove that the number of primes is infinite, and to point out the rule for constructing what are called perfect numbers. When the modern systems began to prevail, these books of Euclid were abandoned to the antiquary: our elementary books of arithmetic, which till lately were all, and now are mostly, systems of mechanical rules, tell us what would have become of geometry if the earlier books had shared the same fate.
The tenth book is the development of all the power of the preceding ones, geometrical and arithmetical. It is one of the most curious of the Greek speculations: the reader will find a synoptical account of it in the Penny Cyelopacdia, article, "Irrational Quantities". Euclid has evidently in his mind the intention of classifying inco'nmmensurable quantities: perhaps the circumference of the circle, which we know had been an object of inquiry, was suspected of being incommensurable with its diameter; and hopes were perhaps entertained that a searching attempt to arrange the incommensurables which ordinary geometry presents might enable the geometer to say finally to which of them, if any, the circle belongs. However this may be, Euclid investigates, by isolated methods, and in a manner which, unless he had a concealed algebra, is more astonishing to us than anything in the Elements, every possible variety of lines which cant be represented by? (?a ± ?b), a and b representing two commensurable lines. He divides lines which can be represented by this formula into 25 species, and he succeeds in detecting every possible species. He shews that every individual of every species is incommensurable with all the individuals of every other species; and also that no line of any species can belong to that species in two different ways, or for two different sets of values of a and l. He shews how to form other classes of incommensurables, in number how many soever, no one of which can contain an individual line which is commensurable with an individual of any other class; and he demonstrates the incommensurability of a square and its diagonal. This book has a completeiness which none of the others (not even the fifth) can boast of: and we could almost suspect that Euclid, having arranged his materials in his own mind, and having completely elaborated the tenth book, wrote the preceding books after it, and did not live to revise them thoroughly.
The eleventh and twelfth books contain the elements of solid geosnetry, as to prisms, pyramids, &c. The duplicate ratio of the diameters is shewn to be that of two circles, the triplicate ratio that of two spheres. Instances occur of the method of exhaustions, as it has been called, which in the. hands of Archimedes became an instrument of discovery, producing results which are now usually referred to the differential calculus: while in those of Euclid it was only the mode of proving propositions which must have been seen and believed before they were proved. The method of these books is clear and elegant, with some striking imperfections, which have caused many to abandon them, even among those who allow no substitute for the first six books. The thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth books are on the five regular solids: and even had they all been written by Euclid (the last two are attributed to Hypsicles), they would but ill bear out the assertion of Proclus, that the regular solids were the objects with a view to which the Elements were written: unless indeed we are to suppose that Euclid died before he could complete his intended structure. Proclus was an enthusiastic Platonist: Euclid was of that school; and the former accordingly attributes to the latter a particular regard for what were sometimes called the Platonic bodies. But we think that the author himself of the Elements could hardly have considered them as a mere introduction to a favourite speculation : if he were so blind, we have every reason to suppose that his own contemporaries could have set him right. From various indications, it can be collected that the fame of the Elements was almost coeval with their publication; and by the time of Marinus we learn from that writer that Euclid was called kurios stoicheiotes.
The Data of Euclid should be mentioned in connection with the Elements. This is a book containing a hundred propositions of a peculiar and limited intent. Some writers have professed to see in it a key to the geometrical analysis of the ancients, in which they have greatly the advantage of us. When there is a problem to solve, it is undoubtedly advantageous to have a rapid perception of the steps which will reach the result, if they can be successively made. Given A, B, and C, to find D: one person may be completely at a loss how to proceed; another may see almost intuitively that when A, B, and C are given, E can be found; from which it may be that the first person, had he perceived it, would have immediately found D. The formation of data consequential, as our ancestors would perhaps have called them, things not absolutely given, but the gift of which is implied in, and necessarily follows from, that which is given, is the object of the hundred propositions above mentioned. Thus, when a straight line of given length is intercepted between two given parallels, one of these propositions shews that the angle it makes with the parallels is given in magnitude. There is not much more in this book of Data than an intelligent student picks up from the Elements themselves; on which account we cannot consider it as a great step in geometrical analysis. The operations of thought which it requires are indispensable, but they are contained elsewhere. At the same time we cannot deny that the Data might have fixed in the mind of a Greek, with greater strength than the Elements themselves, notions upon consequential data which the moderns acquire from the application of arithmetic and algebra: perhaps it was the perception of this which dictated the opinion about the value of the book of Data in analysis.
While on this subject, it may be useful to remind the reader how difficult it is to judge of the character of Euclid's writings, as far as his own merits are concerned, ignorant as we are of the precise purpose with which any one was written. For instance: was he merely shewing his contemporaries that a connected system of demonstration might be made without taking more than a certain number of postulates out of a collection, the necessity of each of which had been advocated by some and denied by others? We then understand why lie placed his six postulates in the prominent position which they occupy, and we can find no fault with his tacit admission of many others, the necessity of which had perhaps never been questioned. But if we are to consider him as meaning to be what his commentators have taken him to be, a model of the most scrupulous formal rigour, we can then deny that he has altogether succeeded, though we may admit that he has made the nearest approach.
The literary history of the writings of Euclid would contain that of the rise and progress of geometry in every Christian and Mohammedan nation: our notice, therefore, must be but slight, and various points of it will be confirmed by the bibliographical account which will follow.
In Greece, including Asia Minor, Alexandria, and the Italian colonies, the Elements soon became the universal study of geometers. Commentators were not wanting; Proclus mentions Heron and Pappus, and Aeneas of Hierapolis, who made an epitome of the whole. Theon the younger (of Alexandria) lived a little before Proclus (who died about A. D. 485). The latter has made his feeble commentary on the first book valuable by its historical information, and was something of a luminary in ages more dark than his own. But Theon was a light of another sort, and his name has played a conspicuous and singular part in the history of Euclid's writings. He gave a new edition of Euclid, with some slight additions and alterations: he tells us so himself, and uses the word ekdosis, as applied to his own edition, in his commentary on Ptolemy. He also informs us that the part which relates to the sectors in the last proposition of the sixth book is his own addition: and it is found in all the manuscripts following the hoper edei deixai with which Euclid always ends. Alexander Aphrodisiensis (Comment. in priora Analyt. Aristot.) mentions as the fourth of the tenth book that which is the fifth in all manuscripts. Again, in several manuscripts the whole work is headed as ek ton Theonos sunousion. We shall presently see to what this led: but now we must remark that Proclus does not mention Theon at all; from which, since both were Platonists residing at Alexandria, and Proclus had probably seen Theon in his younger days, we must either inter some quarrel between the two, or, which is perhaps more likely, presume that Theon's alterations were very slight.
The two books of Geometry left by Boethius contain nothing but enunciations and diagrams from the first four books of Euclid. The assertion of Boethius that Euclid only arranged, and that the discovery and demonstration were the work of others, probably contributed to the notions about Then presently described. Until the restoration of the Elements by translation from the Arabic, this work of Boethius was the only European treatise on geometry, as far as is known.
The Arabic translations of Euclid began to be made under the caliphs Haroun al Raschid and Al Mamun; by their time, the very name of Euclid had almost disappeared from the West. But nearly one hundred and fifty years followed the capture of Egypt by the Mohammeddans before the latter began to profit by the knowledge of the Greeks. After this time, the works of the geometers were sedulously translated, and a great impulse was given by them. Commentaries, and even original writings, followed; but so few of these are known among us, that it is only from the Saracen writings on astronomy (a science which always carries its own history along with it) that we can form a good idea of the very striking progress which the Mohammedans nade under their Greek teachers. Some writers speak slightingly of this progress, the results of which they are too apt to compare with those of our own time: they ought rather to place the Saracens by the side of their own Gothic ancestors, and, making some allowance for the more advantageous circumstances under which the first started, they should view the second systematically dispersing the remains of (Greek civilization, while the first were concentrating the geometry of Alexandria, the arithmetic and algebra of India, and the astronomy of both, to form a nucleus for the present state of science.
The Elements of Euclid were restored to Europe by translation from the Arabic. In connection With this restoration four Eastern editors may be mentioned. Honein ben Ishak (died A. D. 873) published an edition which was afterwards corrected by Thabet ben Corrah, a well-known astronomer. After him, according to D'Herbelot, Othman of Damascus (of uncertain date, but before the thirteenth century) saw at Rome a Greek manuscript containing many more propositions than he had been accustomed to find: he had been used to 190 diagrams, and the manuscript contained 40 more. If these numbers be correct, Honein could only have had the first six books; and the new translation which Othman immediately made must have been afterwards augmented. A little after A. D. 1260, the astronomer Nasireddin gave another edition, which is now accessible, having been printed in Arabic at Rome in 1594. It is tolerably complete, but yet it is not the edition from which the earliest European translation was made, as Peyrard found by comparing the same proposition in the two.
The first European who found Euclid in Arabic, and translated the Elements into Latin, was Athelard or Adelard, of Bath, who was certainly alive in 1130. This writer probably obtained his original in Spain: and his translation is the one which became current in Europe, and is the first which was printed, though under the name of Campanus. Till very lately, Campanus was supposed to have been the translator. Tiraboschi takes it to have been Adelard, as a matter of course; Libri pronounces the same opinion after inquiry; and Scheibel states that in his copy of Campanus the authorship of Adelard was asserted in a handwriting as old as the work itself (A. D. 1482). Some of the manuscripts which bear the name of Adelard have that of Campanus attached to the commentary. There are several of these manuscripts in existence; and a comparison of any one of them with the printed book which was attributed to Campanus would settle the question.
The seed thus brought by Adelard into Europe was sown with good effect. In the next century Roger Bacon quotes Euclid, and when he cites Boethius, it is not for his geometry. Up to the time of printing, there was at least as much dispersion of the Elements as of any other book : after this period, Euclid was, as we shall see, an early and frequent product of the press. Where science flourished, Euclid was found; and wherever he was found, science flourished more or less according as more or less attention was paid to his Elements. As to writing another work on geometry, the middle ages would as soon have thought of composing another New Testament: not only did Euclid preserve his right to the title of kurios stoicheiotes down to the end of the seventeenth century, and that in so absolute a manner, that then, as sometimes now, the young beginner imagined the name of the man to be a synonyme for the science; but his order of demonstration was thought to be necessary, and founded in the nature of our minds. Tartaglia, whose bias we might suppose would have been shaken by his knowledge of Indian arithmetic and algebra, calls Euclid solo introdultore delle scientie mathematice: and algebra was not at that time considered as entitled to the name of a science by those who had been formed on the Greek model; "arte maggiore" was its designation. The story about Pascal's discovery of geometry in his boyhoud (A. D. 1635) contains the statement that he had got "as far as the 32nd proposition of the first book" before he wits detected, the exaggerators (for much exaggerated this very circumstance shews the truth must have been) not having the slightest idea that a new invented system could proceed in any other order than that of Euclid.
The vernacular translations of the Elements date from the middle of the sixteenth century,from which time the history of mathematical science divides itself into that of the several countries where it flourished. By slow steps, the continent of Europe has almost entirely abandoned the ancient Elements, and substituted systems of geometry more in accordance with the tastes which algebra has introduced : but in England, down to the present time, Euclid has held his ground. There is not in our country any system of geometry twenty years old, which has pretensions to anything like currency, but it is either Euclid, or something so fashioned upon Euclid that the resemblance is as close as that of some of his professed editors. We cannot here go into the reasons of our opinion; but we have no doubt that the love of accuracy in mathematical reasoning has declined wherever Euclid has been abandoned. We are not so much of tile old opinion as to say that this must necessarily have happened; but, feeling quite sure that all the alterations have had their origin in the desire for more facility than could be obtained by rigorous deduction from postulates both true and evident, we see what has happened, and why, without being at all inclined to dispute that a disposition to depart from the letter, carrying off the spirit, would have been attended with very different results. Of the two best foreign books of geometry which we know, and which are not Euclidean, one demands a right to "imagine" a thing which the writer himself knew perfectly well was not true; and the other is content to shew that the theorems are so nearly true that their error, if any, is imperceptible to the senses. It must be admitted that both these absurdities are committed to avoid the fifth book, and that English teachers have, of late years, been much inclined to do something of the same sort, less openly. But here, at least, writers have left it to teachers to shirk (4) truth, if they like, without being wilful accomplices before the fact. In an English translation of one of the preceding works, the means of correcting the error were given: and the original work of most note, not Euclidean, which has appeared of late years, does not attempt to get over the difficulty by any false assumption.
At the time of the invention of printing, two errors were current with respect to Euclid personally. The first was that he was Euclid of Megara, a totally different person. This confusion has been said to take its rise from a passage in Plutarch, but we cannot find the reference. Boethius perpetuated it. The second was that Theon was the demonstrator of all the propositions, and that Euclid only left the definitions, postulates, &c., with the enunciations in their present order. So completely was this notion received, that editions of Euclid, so called, contained only enunciations; all that contained demonstrations were said to be Euclid with the commentary of Theon, Campanus, Zambertus, or some other. Also, when the enunciations were given in Greek and Latin, and the demonstrations in Latin only, this was said to constitute an edition of Euclid in the original Greek, which has occasioned a host of bibliographical errors. We have already seen that Theon did edit Euclid, and that manuscripts have described this editorship in a manner calculated to lead to the mistake: but Proclus, who not only describes Euclid as ta malakoteron deiknumena tois emprosthen eis anelenktous apodeixeis anagagon, and comments on the very demonstrations which we now have, as on those of Euclid, is an unanswerable witness; the order of the propositions themselves, connected as it is with the mode of demonstration, is another ; and finally, Theon himself, in stating, as before noted, that a particular part of a certain demonstration is his own, states as distinctly that the rest is not. Sir Henry Savile (the founder of the Savilian chairs at Oxford), in the lectures (5) on Euclid with which he opened his own chair of geometry before he resigned it to Briggs (who is said to have taken up the course where his founder left off, at book i. prop. 9), notes that much discussion had taken place on the subject, and gives three opinions. The first, that of quidam stulti et perridiculi, above discussed: the second, that of Peter Ramus, who held the whole to be absolutely due to Theon, propositions as well as demonstrations, false, quis negat? the third, that of Buteo of Dauphiny, a geometer of merit, who attributes the whole to Euclid, quae opinio aut vera est, aut veritati certe proxima. It is not useless to remind the classical student of these things : the middle ages may be called the "ages of faith " in their views of criticism. Whatever was written was received without examination ; and the endorsement of an obscure scholiast, which was perhaps the mere whim of a transcriber, was allowed to rank with the clearest assertions of the commentators and scholars who had before them more works, now lost, written by the contemporaries of the author in question, than there were letters in the stupid sentence which was allowed to overbalance their testimony. From such practices we are now, it may well be hoped, finally delivered: but the time is not yet come when refntation of " the scholiast " may be safely abandoned.
(1) This celebrated anecdote breaks off in the middle of the sentence in the Basle edition of Proclus. Barocius, who had better manuscripts, supplies the Latin of it; and Sir Henry Savile, who had manuscripts of all kinds in his own library, quotes it as above, with only epi for pros. August, in his edition of Euclid, has given this chapter of Proclus in Greek, but without saying from whence he has taken it.
(2) We cannot well understand whether by dunaton proxlus means geometrically soluble, or possible in the common sense of the word.
(3) See Penni Cyclopaedia, art. "Parallels," for some account of this well-worn subject.
(4) We must not be understood as objecting to the teacher's right to make his pupil assume anything he likes, provided only that the latter knows what he is about. Our contemptuous expression (for such we mean it to be) is directed against those who substitute assumption for demonstration, or the particular for the general, and leave the student in ignorance of what has been done.
(5) Praelectiones tresdecim in prineipium elementorum Euclidis; Oxonu habitae M.DC.XX. Oxoniae, 1621.
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
All the works that have been attributed to Euclid are as follows:
1. Stoicheia, the Elements, in 13 books, with a 14th and 15th added by Hypsicles.
2. Dedomena, the Data, which has a preface by Marines of Naples.
3. Eisagoge, Harmonike, a Treatise on Music ; and 4. Katatome Kanonos, the Division of the Scale : one of these works, most likely the former, must be rejected. Proclus says that Euclid wrote kata mousiken stoicheioseiss.
5. Phainomena, the Appearances (of the heavens). Pappus mentions them.
6. Optika, on Optics ; and 7. Katoetrika, on Catoptrics. Proclus mentions both.
The preceding works are in existence; the following are either lost, or do not remain in the original Greek.
8. Peri diaireseon Biblion, On Divisions. Proclus (l. c.) There is a translation from the Arabic, with the name of Mohammed of Bagdad attached, which has been suspected of being a translation of the book of Euclid : of this we shall see more.
9. Konikon Biblia d, Four books on Conic Sections. Pappus (lib. vii. pruef.) affirms that Euclid wrote four books on conics, which Apollonius enlarged, adding four others. Archimedes refers to the elements of conic sections in a manner which shews that he could not be mentioning the new work of his contemporary Apollonius (which it is most likely he never saw). Euclid may possibly have written on conic sections; but it is impossible that the first four books of Apollonius (see his life) can have been those of Euclid.
10. Porismaton Biblia g, Three books of Porisms. These are mentioned by Proclus and by Pappus (l. c.), the latter of whom gives a description which is so corrupt as to be unintelligible.
11. Topon Epipedon Biblia B, Two books on Plane Loci. Pappus mentions these, but not Eutocius, as Fabricius affirms. (Comment. in Apoll. lib. i. lemm.)
12. Topon pros Epiphaneian Biblia B, mentioned by Pappus. What these Topoi pros Epiphaneian, or Loci ad Superfuiem, were, neither Pappus nor Eutocius inform us; the latter says they derive their name from their own idiotes, which there is no reason to doubt. We suspect that the books and the meaning of the title were as much lost in the time of Eutocius as now.
13. Peri Pseudarion, On Fallacies. On this work Proclus says, " He gave methods of clear judgment (dioratikes phroneseos) the possession of which enables us to exercise those who are beginning geometry in the detection of false reasonings, and to keep them free from delusion. And the book which gives us this preparation is called Pseudarion, in which he enumerates the species of fallacies, and exercises the mental faculty on each species by all manner of theorems. He places truth side by side with falsehood, and connects the confutation of falsehood with experience." It thus appears that Euclid did not intend his Elements to be studied without any preparation, but that he had himself prepared a treatise on fallacious reasoning, to precede, or at least to accompany, the Elements. The loss of this book is much to be regretted, particularly on account of the explanations of the course adopted in the Elements which it cannot but have contained.
We now proceed to some bibliographical account of the writings of Euclid. In every case in which we do not mention the source of information, it is to be presumed that we take it from the edition itself.
The first, or editio princeps, of the Elements is that printed by Erhard Ratdolt at Venice in 1482, black letter, folio. It is the Latin of the fifteen books of the Elements, from Adelard, with the commentary of Campanus following the demonstrations. It has no title, but, after a short introduction by the printer, opens thus: "Preclarissimus liber elementorum Euclidis perspicacissimi: in artem geometrie incipit qua foelicissime: Punctus est cujus ps nn est" &c. Ratdolt states in the introduction that the difficulty of printing diagrams had prevented books of geometry from going through the press, but that he had so completely overcome it, by great pains, that "qua facilitate litterarum elementa imprimuntur, ea etiam geometrice figure conficerentur". These diagrams are printed on the margin, and though at first sight they seem to be woodcuts, yet a closer inspection makes it probable that they are produced from metal lines. The number of propositions in Euclid (15 books) is 485, of which 18 are wanting here, and 30 appear which are not in Euclid; so that there are 497 propositions. The preface to the 14th book, by which it is made almost certain that Euclid did not write it (for Euclid's books have no prefaces) is omitted. Its Arabic origin is visible in the words helmuaym and helmuariphe, which are used for a rhombus and a trapezium. This edition is not very scarce in England; we have seen at least four copies for sale in the last ten years.
The second edition bears "Vincentiae 1491", Roman letter, folio, and was printed "per magistrum Leonardum de Basilea et Gulielmum de Papia socios." It is entirely a reprint, with the introduction omitted (unless indeed it be torn out in the only copy we ever saw), and is but a poor specimen, both as to letter-press and diagrams, when compared with the first edition, than which it is very much scarcer. Both these editions call Euclid Megarensis.
The third edition (also Latin, Roman letter, folio,) containing the Elements, the Phaenomena, the two Optics (under the names of Specularia and Perspectiva), and the Data with the preface of Marinus, being the editio princeps of all but the Elements, has thle title Euclidis Megarensis philosophici Platonici, mathemalicarum disciplinaru janitoris: habent in hoc voltumine quicuque ad mathematica substantia aspirat: elemetorum libros, (&c. &c. Zamberto Veneto Interprete. At the end is Impressum Venetis, &c. in edibus Joannis Tacuini, &c., M. D. V. VIII. Klendas Novebris -- that is, 1505, often read 1508 by an obvious mistake. Zambertus has given a long preface and a life of Euclid: he professes to have translated from a Greek text, and this a very little inspection will show he must have done; but he does not give any information upon his manuscripts. He states that the propositions have the exposition of Theon or Hypsicles, by which he probably means that Theon or Hypsicles gave the demonstrations. The preceding editors, whatever their opinions may have been, do not expressly state Theon or any other to have been the author of tile demonstrations: but by 1505 the Greek manuscripts which bear the name of Theon had probably come to light. For Zambertus Fabricius cites Goetz mem. bibl. Dresd. ii. p. 213: his edition is beautifully printed, and is rare. lie exposes the translations from the Arabic with unceasing severity. Fabricius mentions (from Scheibel) two small works, the four books of the Elements by Ambr. Jocher, 1506, and something called "Geometria Euclidis," which accompanies an edition of Sacrobosco, Paris, H. Stephens, 1507. Of these we know nothing.
The fourth edition (Latin, black letter, folio, 1509), containing the Elements only, is the work of the celebrated Lucas Paciolus (de Burgo Sancti Sepulchri), better known as Lucas di Borgo, the first who printed a work on algebra. The title is Euclidis Megarensis philosophi aculissimi mathematicorumque omnium sine controversia principis opera, &c. At the end, Venetus impressum per ... Payaninum de Payaninis ... anno...MDVIIII... Paciolus adopts the Latin of Adelard, and occasionally quotes the comment of Campanus, introducing his own additional comments with the head " Castigator". He opens the fifth book with the account of a lecture which he gave on that book in a church at Venice, August 11, 1508, giving the names of those present, and some subsequent laudatory correspondence. This edition is less loaded with comment than either of those which precede. It is extremely scarce, and is beautifully printed : the letter is a curious intermediate step between the old thick black letter and that of the Roman type, and makes the derivation of the latter from the former very clear.
The fifth edition (Elements, Latin, Roman letter, folio), edited by Jacobus Faber, and printed by Henry Stephens at Paris in 1516, has the title Contenta followed by beads of the contents. There are the fifteen books of Euclid, by which are meant the Enunciations (see the preceding remarks on this subject); the Comment of Campanus, meaning the demonstrations in Adelard's Latin ; the Comment of Theon as given by Zambertus, meaning the demonstration in the Latin of Zambertus ; and the Comment of Hypsicles as given by Zambertus upon the last two books, meaning the demonstrations of those two books. This edition is fairly printed, and is moderately scarce. From it we date the time when a list of enunciations merely was universally called the complete work of Euclid.
With these editions the ancient series, as we may call it, terminates, meaning the complete Latin editions which preceded the publication of the Greek text. Thus we see five folio editions of the Elements produced in thirty-four years.
The first Greek text was published by Simon Gryne, or Grynoeus, Basle, 1533, folio: (1) containing, ek ton Theonos sunousion (the title-page has this statement), the fifteen books of the Elements, and the commentary of Proclus added at the end, so far as it remains; all Greek, without Latin. On Grynoeus and his reverend (2) care of manuscripts, see Anthony Wood. (Athen. Oxon. in verb.) The Oxford editor is studiously silent about this Basle edition, which, though not obtained from many manuscripts, is even now of some value, and was for a century and three-quarters the only printed Greek text of all the books.
With regard to Greek texts, the student must be on his guard against bibliographers. For instance, Harless (3) gives, from good catalogues, Eukleidou Stoicheion Biblia ie, Rome, 1545, 8vo., printed by Antonius Bladus Asulanus, containing enunciations only, without demonstrations or diagrams, edited by Angelus Cujanus, and dedicated to Antonius Altovitus. We happen to possess a little volume agreeing in every particular with this description, except only that it is in Italian, being "I quindici libri degli element di Euclide, di Greco tradotti in lingua Thoscana". Here is another instance in which the editor believed he had given the whole of Euclid in giving the enunciations. From this edition another Greek text, Florence, 1545, was invented by another mistake. All the Greek and Latin editions which Fabricius, Murhard, &c., attribute to Dasypodius (Conrad Rauchfuss), only give the enunciations in Greek. The same may be said of Scheubel's edition of the first six books (Basle, folio, 1550), which nevertheless professes in the title-page to give Eutclid, Gr. Lat. There is an anonymous complete Greek and Latin text, London, printed by William Jones, 1620, which has thirteen books in the title-page, but contains only six in all copies that we have seen : it is attributed to the celebrated mathematician Briggs.
The Oxford edition, folio, 1703, published by David Gregory, with the title Eukleidou ta sozomena, took its rise in the collection of manuscripts bequeathed by Sir Henry Savile to the University, and was a part of Dr. Edward Bernard's plan (see his life in the Penny Cyclopaedia) for a large republication of the Greek geometers. His intention was, that the first four volumes should contain Euclid, Apollonius, Archimedes, Pappus, and Heron ; and, by an undesigned coincidence, the University has actually published the first three volumes in the order intended: we hope Pappus and Heron will be edited in time. In this Oxford text a large additional supply of manuscripts was consulted, but various readings are not given. It contains all the reputed works of Euclid, the Latin work of Mohammed of Bagdad, above mentioned as attributed by some to Euclid, and a Latin fragment De Levi et Ponderoso, which is wholly unworthy of notice, but which some had given to Euclid. The Latin of this edition is mostly from Commandine, with the help of Henry Savile's papers, which seem to have nearly amounted to a complete version. As an edition of the whole of Euclid's works, this stands alone, there being no other in Greek. Peyrard, who examined it with every desire to find errors of the press, produced only at the rate of ten for each book of the Elements.
The Paris edition was produced under singular circumstances. It is Greek, Latin, and French, in 3 vols. 4to. Paris, 1814-16-18, and it contains fifteen books of the Elements and the Data; for, though professing to give a complete edition of Euclid, Peyrard would not admit anything else to be genuine. F. Peyrard had published a translation of some books of Euclid in 1804, and a complete translation of Archimedes. It was his intention to publish the texts of Euclid, Apollonius, and Archimedes; and beginning to examine the manuscripts of Euclid in the Royal Library at Paris, 23 in number, he found one, marked No. 190, which had the appearance of being written in the ninth century, and which seemed more complete and trustworthy than any single known manuscript. This document was part of the plunder sent from Rome to Paris by Napoleon, and had belonged to the Vatican Library. When restitution was enforced by the allied armies in 1815, a special permission was given to Peyrard to retain this manuscript till he had finished the edition on which lie was then engaged, and of which one volume had already appeared. Peyrard was a worshipper of this manuscript, No. 190, and had a contempt for all previous editions of Euclid. He gives at the end of each volume a comparison of the Paris edition with the Oxford, specifying what has been derived from the Vatican manuscript, and making a selection from tile various readings of the other 22 manuscripts which were before him. This edition is therefore very valuable; but it is very incorrectly printed: and the editor's strictures upon his predecessors seem to us to require the support of better scholarship thin lie could bring to bear upon the subject.
The Berlin edition, Greek only, one volume in two parts, octavo, Berlin, 1826, is the work of E. F. August, and contains the thirteen books of the Elements, with various readings from Peyrard, and from three additional manuscripts at Munich (making altogether about 35 manuscripts consulted by the four editors). To the scholar who wants one edition of the Elements, we should decidedly recommend this, as bringing together all that has been done for the text of Euclid's greatest work.
We mention here, out of its place, The Elments of Euclid with disseritatios, by James Williamson, B.D. 2 vols. 4to., Oxford, 1781, and London, 1788. This is an English translation of thirteen books, made in the closest manner from the Oxford edition, being Euclid word for word, with the additional words required by the English idiom given in Italics. This edition is valuable, and not very scarce: the dissertations may be read with profit by a modern algebraist, if it be true that equal and opposite errors destroy one another.
Camerer and Hauber published the first six books in Greek and Latin, with good notes, Berlin, 8vo. 1824.
We believe we have mentioned all the Greek texts of the Elements; the liberal supply with which the bibliographers have furnished the world, and which Fabricius and others have perpetuated, is, as we have no doubt, a series of mistakes arising for the most part out of the belief about Euclid the enunciator and Thcon the demonstrator, which we have described. Of Latin editions, which must have a slight notice, we have tile six books by Orontius Finoeus, Paris, 1536, folio (Fabr., Murhard) ; the same by Joachim Camerarius, Leipsic, 1549, 8vo (Fabr., Murhard); the fifteen books by Steph. Gracilis, Paris, 1557, 4to. (Fabr., who calls it Gr. Lat., Murhard); the fifteen books of Franc. de Foix de Can dale (Flussas Candalla), who adds a sixteenth, Paris, 1566, folio, and promises a seventeenth and eighteenth, which he gave in a subsequent edition, Paris,. 1578. folio (Fabr., Murhard); Frederic Commandine's first edition of the fifteen books, with commentaries, Pisauri, 1572, fol. (Fabr., Murhard); tile fifteen books of Christopher Clavius, with conmmentary, and Candalla's sixteenth book annexed, Rome, 1574, fol. (Fabr., Murhard); thirteen books, by Ambrosius Rhodius, Witteberg, 1609, 8vo. (Fabr., Murh.); thirteen books by the Jesuit Claude Richard, Antwerp, 1645, folio (Murh.); twelvebooks by Horsley, Oxford, 1802. We have not thought it necessary to swell this article with the various reprints of these and the old Latin editions, nor with editions which, though called Elements of Euclid, have the demonstrations given in the editor's own manner, as those of Maurolycus, Barrow, Cotes, &c., &c., nor with the editions contained in ancient courses of mathematics, such as those of Herigonius, Dechales, Schott, &c., &c., which generally gave a tolerably complete edition of the Elements. Commandine and Clavius are tile progenitors of a large school of editors, among whom Robert Simson stands conspicuous.
We now proceed to English translations. We find in Tanner (Bibl. Brit. Hib. p. 149) the following short statement: "Candish, Richardus, patria Suffolciensis, in linguam patriam transtulit Euclidis geometriam, lib. xv. Claruit (4) A. D. MDLVI. Bal. par. post. p. 111". Richard Candish is mentioned elsewhere as a translator, but we are confident that his translation was never published. Before 1570, all that had been published in English was Robert Recorde's Pathlway to Knowledge, 1551, containing enunciations only of the first four books, not in Euclid's order. Recorde considers demonstration to be the work of Theon. In 1570 appeared Henry Billingsley's translation of the fifteen books, with Candalla's sixteenth, London, folio. This book has a long preface by John Dee, the magician, whose picture is at the beginning : so that it has often been taken for Dee's translation ; but he himself, in a list of his own works, ascribes it to Billingsley. The latter was a rich citizen, and was mayor (with knighthood) in 1591. We always had doubts whether he was the real translator, imagining that Dee had done the drudgery at least. On looking into Anthony Wood's account of Billingsley (Ath. Oxon. in verb.) we find it stated (and also how the information was obtained) that he studied three years at Oxford before he was apprenticed to a haberdasher, and there made acquaintance with all "eminent mathematician" called Whytehead, an Augustine friar. When the friar was "put to his shifts" by the dissolution of the monasteries, Billingsley received and maintained him, and learnt mathematics from him. "When Whytehead died, he gave his scholar all his mathematical observations that lie had made and collected, together with his notes on Euclid's Elements". This was the foundation of the translation, on which we have only to say that it was certainly made from the Greek, and not from any of the Arabico-Latin versions, and is, for the time, a very good one. It was reprinted, London, folio, 1661. Billingsley died in 1606, at a great age.
Edmund Scarburgh (Oxford, folio, 1705) translated six books, with copious annotations. We omit detailed mention of Whiston's translation of Tacquet, of Keill, Cunn, Stone, and other editors, whose editions have not much to do with the pro gress of opinion about the Elementts.
Dr. Robert Simson published the first six, and eleventh and twelfth books, in two separate quarto editions. (Latin, Glasgow, 1756. English, London, 1756.) The translation of the Data was added to the first octavo edition (called 2nd edition), Glasgow, 1762: other matters unconnected with Euclid have been added to the numerous succeeding editions. With the exception of the editorial fancy about the perfect restoration of Euclid, there is little to object to in this celebrated edition. It might indeed have been expected that sone notice would have been taken of various points on which Euclid has evidently fallen short of that formality of rigour which is tacitly claimed for him. We prefer this edition very much to many which have been fashioned upon it, particularly to those which have introduced algebraical symbols into the demonstrations in such a manner as to confuse geometrical demonstration with algebraical operation. Simson was first translated into German by J. A. Matthias, Magdeburgh, 1799, 8vo.
Professor John Playfair's Elements of Geometry contains the first six books of Euclid; but the solid geometry is supplied from other sources. The first edition is of Edinburgh, 1795, octavo. This is a valuable edition, and the treatment of the fifth book, in particular, is much simplified by the abandonment of Euclid's notation, though his definition and method are retained.
Eaclid's Elements of Plane Geometry, by John Walker, London, 18127, is a collection containing very excellent materials and valuable thoughts, but it is hardly an edition of Euclid.
We ought perhaps to mention W. Halifax, whose English Euclid Schweiger puts down as printed eight times in London, between 1685 and 1752. But we never met with it, and cannot find it in any sale (5) catalogue, nor in any Elglish enumeration of editors. The Diagrams of Euclid's Elements by the Rev. W. Taylor, York, 1828, 8vo. size (part i. containing the first book; we do not know of any more), is a collection of lettered diagrams stamped in relief, for the use of the blind.
The earliest German print of Euclid is an edition by Scheubel or Scheybl, who published the seventh, eighth, and ninth books, Augsburgh, 1555, 4to. (Fabr. from his own copy); the first six books by W. Holtzmann, better known as Xylander, were published at Basle, 1562, folio (Fabr., Murhard, Kastner). In French we have Errard, nine books, Paris, 1598, 8vo. (Fabr.); fifteen books by Henrion, Paris, 1615 ((Fabr.), 1623 (Murh.), about 1627 (necessary inference from the preface of the fifth edition, of 1649, in our possession). It is a close translation, with a comment. In Dutch, six books by J. Petersz Dou, Leyden, 1606 (Fabr.), 1608 (Murh.). Dou was translated into German, Amsterdam, 1634, 8vo. Also an anonymous translation of Clavius, 1663 (Murh.). In Italian, Tartaglia's edition, Venice, 1543 and 1565. (Murh., Fabr.) In Spanish, by Joseph Saragoza, Valentia 1673, 4to. (Murh.) In Swedish, the first six books, by Martin Stromer, Upsal, 1753. (Murh.)
The remaining writings of Euclid are of small interest compared with the Elements, and a shorter account of them will be sufficient.
The first Greek edition of the Dala is Eukleidon dedomena, &c., by Clandius Hardy, Paris, 1625, 4to., Gr. Lat., with the preface of Marinus prefixed. Murhard speaks of a second edition, Paris. 1695, 4to. Dasypodius had previously puilished them in Latin, Strasburg, 1570. (Fabr.) We have already spoken of Zamberti's Latin, and of the Greek of Gregory and Peyrard. There is also Euclidis Dalorum Liber by Horsley, Oxford, 1803, 8vo.
The Phaenomena is an astronomical work, containing 25 geometrical propositions on the doctrine of the sphere. Pappus (lib. vi. praef.) refers to the second proposition of this work of Euclid, and the second proposition of the book which has come down to us contains the matter of the reference. We have referred to the Latin of Zamberti and the Greek of Gregory. Dasypodius gave an edition (Gr. Lat., so said; but we suppose with only the enunciations Greek), Strasburg, 1 .571, 4to. (?) (Weidler), and another appeared (Lat.) by Joseph Auria, with the comment of Maurolycus, Rome, 1591, 4to. (Lalande and Weidler) The book is also in Mersenne's Synopsis, Paris, 1644, 4to. (Weidler.) Lalande names it (Bibl. Asttron. p. 188) as part of a very ill-described astronomical collection, in 3 vols. Paris, 1626, 16mo.
Of the two works on music, the Harmonies and the Division of the (Canon (or scale), it is unlikely that Euclid should have been tile author of both. The former is a very dry description of the interminable musical nomenclature of the Greeks, and of their modes. It is called Aristoxenean: it does not contain any discussion of the proper ultimate authority in musical matters, though it does, in its wearisome enumeration, adopt some of those intervals which Aristoxenus retained, and the Pythagoreans rejected. The style and matter of this treatise, we strongly susspect, belong to a later period than that of Euclid. The second treatise is an arithmetical description and demonstration of the mode of dividing the scale. Gregory is inclined to think this treatise cannot be Euclid's, and one of his reasons is that Ptolemy does not mention it; another, that the theory followed in it is such as is rarely, if ever, mentioned before the time of Ptolemy. If Euclid did write either of these treatises, we are satisfied it must have been the second. Both are contained in Gregory (Gr. Lat.) as already noted; in the collection of Greek musical authors by Meibomius (Gr. Lat.), Amsterdam, 1652, 4to.; and in a separate edition (also Gr. Lat.) by J. Pena, Paris, 1537, 4to. (Fabr.), 1557 (Schweiger). Possevinus has also a corrected Latin edition of the first in his Bibl. Set. Colon. 1657. Forcadel translated one treatise into French, Paris, 1566, 8vo. (Schweiger.)
The book on Optics treats, in 61 propositions, on the simplest geometrical characteristics of vision and perspective: the Catoptries have 31 propositions on the law of reflexion as exemplified in plane and spherical mirrors. We have referred to the Gr. Lat. of Gregory and the Latin of Zamberti ; there is also the edition of J. Pena (Gr. Lat.), Paris, 1557, 4to. (Fabr.); that of Dasypodius (Latin only, we suppose, with Greek enunciations), Strasburg, 1557, 4to. (Fabr.); a reprint of the Latin of Pena, Leyden, 1599, 4to. (Fabr.) ; and some other reprint, Leipsic, 1607. (Fabr.) There is a French translation by Rol. Freart Mans, 1663, 4to.; and an Italian one by Egnatic Danti, Florence. 1573, 4to. (Schweiger.)
(Proclus Pappus; August ed cit.; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. iv. p. 44, &c.; Gregory, Pracf. edit. cit.; Murhard, Bibl. Math. ; Zamberti, ed. cit.; Savile, Prelect. in Eucl.; Heilbronner, Hist. Mathes. Unit. ; Schweiger, Handb. der Classisch. Bibl. ; Peyrard, ed. cit., &c. &c.: tall editions to which a reference is not added having been actually consulted.)
(1) Fabricius sets down an edition of 1530, by the same editor: this is a misprint.
(2) " Sure I am, that while he continued there (i. e. at Oxford), lie visited and studied in most of the libraries, searched after rare books of the Greek tongue, particularly after some of the books of commentaries of Proclus Diadoch. Lycius, and having found several, and the owners to be careless of them, he took some away, and conveyed them with him beyond the seas, as in an epistle by him written to John the son of Thos. More, he confesseth." Wood
(3) Schweiger, in his Handbuch (Leipsig, 18130), gives this same edition as a Greek one, and makes the same mistake with regard to those of Dasypodius, Scheubel, &c. We have no doubt that the classical bibliographers are trustwrorthy as to writers with whom a scholar is more conversant than with Euclid. It is much that a Fabricius should enter upon Euclid or Archimedes at all, and he may well be excused for simply copying from bibliographical lists. But the mathematical bibliographers, Heilbronner, Murhard, &c., are inexcusable for copying from, and perpetuating, the almost unavoidable mistakes of Fabricius.
(4) Hence Schweiger has it that R. Candish published a translation of Euclid in 1556.
(5) These are the catalogues in which the appearance of a book is proof of its existence.
Editor’s Information: The e-texts of the works by Euclid are found in Greece (ancient country) under the category Ancient Greek Writings.
, 335 - 405
Of Alexandria. One of the last students at the Alexandrian Museum, born about A.D. 365. He is the author of a commentary on Euclid and on the astronomical tables of Ptolemaeus. He was the father of the celebrated Hypatia.
, 70 - 130
Pappus (Pappos). A geometrician of Alexandria who flourished in the fourth century A.D. A treatise of his on mathematical collections (Mathematikon Sunagogon biblia) is still in existence, and has been edited by Hultsch (Berlin, 1875-78). It was originally in eight books, but the first and part of the second are lost. The work was intended to be a synopsis of Greek mathematics.
, 290 - 350
Chryses (Chruses), of Alexandria, a skilful mechanician, flourished about the middle of the sixth century after Christ. (Procop. de Aedif. Justin. iii. 3)
Ctesibius (Ktesibios), celebrated for his mechanical inventions, was born at Alexandria, and lived probably about B. C. 250, in the reigns of Ptolemy Philadelphus and Euergetes, though Athenaeus (iv.) says, that he flourished in the time of the second Euergetes. His father was a barber, but his own taste led him to devote himself to mechanics. He is said to have invented a clepsydra or water-clock, a hydraulic organ (hudraulis) and other machines, and to have been the first to discover the elastic force of air and apply it as a moving power. Vitruvius (lib. vii. praef.) mentions him as an author, but none of his works remain. He was the teacher, and has been supposed to have been the father, of Hero Alexandrinus, whose treatise called Belopoiika has also sometimes been attributed to him. (Vitruv. ix. 9, x. 12; Plin. H. N. vii. 37; Athen. iv., xi.; Philo Byzant., ap. Vet. Math.)
Alypius (Alupios), the author of a Greek musical treatise entitled eisagoge mousike.
There are no tolerably sure grounds for identifying him with any one of the various
persons who bore the name in the times of the later emperors, and of whose history
anything is known. According to the most plausible conjecture, he was that Alypius
whom Eunapius, in his Life of Iamblichus, celebrates for his acute intellect (ho
dialektikotatos Alupios) and diminutive stature, and who, being a friend of Iamblichus,
probably flourished under Julian and his immediate successors. This Alypius was
a native of Alexandria, and died there at an advanced age, and therefore can hardly
have been the person called by Ammianus Marcellinus Alypius Antiochensis, who
was first prefect of Britain, and afterwards employed by Julian in his attempt
to rebuild the Jewish temple. Julian addresses two epistles (29 and 30) to Alypius
(Ioulianos Alupioi adelphoi Kaisariou), in one of which he thanks him for a geographical
treatise or chart; it would seem more likely that this was the Antiochian than
that he was the Alexandrian Alypius as Meursius supposes, if indeed he was either
one or the other. Iamblichus wrote a life, not now extant, of the Alexandrian.
The work of Alypius consists wholly, with the exception of a short introduction, of lists of the symbols used (both for voice and instrument) to denote all the sounds in the forty-five scales produced by taking each of the fifteen modes in the three genera. (Diatonic, Chromatic, Enharmonic.) It treats, therefore, in fact, of only one (the fifth, namely) of the seven branches into which the subject is, as usual, divided in the introduction; and may possibly be merely a fragment of a larger work. It would have been most valuable if any considerable number of examples had been left us of the actual use of the system of notation described in it; unfortunately very few remain, and they seem to belong to an earlier stage of the science. However, the work serves to throw some light on the obscure history of the modes. The text, which seemed hopelessly corrupt to Meursius, its first editor, was restored, apparently with success, by the labours of the learned and indefatigable Meibomius. (Antiquae Musicae Auctores Septem, ed. Marc. Meibomius, Amstel. 1652; Aristoxenus, Nicomachus, Alypius, ed. Joh. Meursilus, Lugd. Bat. 1616.)
ALEXANDRIA (Ancient city) EGYPT
Timagenes. A rhetorician and an historian, who was a native of Alexandria, from which place he was carried as a prisoner to Rome, where he opened a school of rhetoric, and taught with great success. ( Suid. s. h. v.)
Achilles Tatius (Achilleus tatios), or as Suidas and Eudocia call him Achilles
Statius, an Alexandrine rhetorician, who was formerly believed to have lived in
the second or third century of our aera. But as it is a well-known fact, which
is also acknowledged by Photius, that he imitated Heliodorus of Emesa, he must
have lived after this writer, and therefore belongs either to the latter half
of the fifth or the beginning of the sixth century of our aera. Suidas states
that he was originally a Pagan, and that subsequently he was converted to Christianity.
The truth of this assertion, as far as Achilles Tatius, the author of the romance,
is concerned, is not supported by the work of Achilles, which bears no marks of
Christian thoughts, while it would not be difficult to prove from it that he was
a heathen. This romance is a history of the adventures of two lovers, Cleitophon
and Leucippe. It bears the title Ta kata Lenkippen kai Kleitophonta, and consists
of eight books. Notwithstanding all its defects, it is one of the best love-stories
of the Greeks. Cleitophon is represented in it relating to a friend the whole
course of the events from beginning to end, a plan which renders the story rather
tedious, and makes the narrator appear affected and insipid. Achilles, like his
predecessor Heliodorus, disdained having recourse to what is marvellous and improbable
in itself, but the accumulation of adventures and of physical as well as moral
difficulties, which the lovers have to overcome, before they are happily united,
is too great and renders the story improbable, though their arrangement and succession
are skilfully managed by the author. Numerous parts of the work however are written
without taste and judgment, and do not appear connected with the story by any
internal necessity. Besides these, the work has a great many digressions, which,
although interesting in themselves and containing curious information, interrupt
and impede the progress of the narrative. The work is full of imitations of other
writers from the time of Plato to that of Achilles himself, and while he thus
trusts to his books and his learning, he appears ignorant of human nature and
the affairs of real life. The laws of decency and morality are not always paid
due regard to, a defect which is even noticed by Photius. The style of the work,
on which the author seems to have bestowed his principal care, is thoroughly rhetorical:
there is a perpetual striving after elegance and beauty, after images, puns, and
antitheses. These things, however, were just what the age of Achilles required,
and that his novel was much read, is attested by the number of MSS. still extant.
A part of it was first printed in a Latin translation by Annibal della Croce (Crucejus), Leyden, 1544; a complete translation appeared at Basel in 1554. The first edition of the Greek original appeared at Heidelberg, 1601, 8vo, printed together with similar works of Longus and Parthenius. An edition, with a voluminous though rather careless commentary, was published by Salmasius, Leyden, 1640, 8vo. The best and most recent edition is by Fr. Jacobs, Leipzig, 1821, in 2 vols. 8vo. The first volume contains the prolegomena, the text and the Latin translation by Crucejus, and the second the commentary. There is an English translation of the work, by A. H. (Anthony Hodges), Oxford, 1638, 8vo.
Suidas ascribes to this same Achilles Tatius, a work on the sphere (peri sphairas), a fragment of which professing to be an introduction to the Phaenomena of Aratus (Eisagoge eis ta Aratou Phainomena) is still extant. But as this work is referred to by Firmicus (Mathes. iv. 10), who lived earlier than the time we have assigned to Achilles, the author of the work on the Sphere must have lived before the time of the writer of the romance. The work itself is of no particular value. It is printed in Petavius, Uranologia, Paris, 1630, and Amsterdam, 1703, fol. Suidas also mentions a work of Achilles Tatius on Etymology
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
Antiphilus (Antiphilos). A Greek painter born in Egypt in the latter half of the fourth century B.C., a contemporary and rival of Apelles; he probably spent the last part of his life at the court of the first Ptolemy. The ancients praise the lightness and dexterity with which he handled subjects of high art, as well as scenes in daily life. Two of his pictures in the latter kind were especially famous, one of a boy blowing a fire, and another of women dressing wool. From his having painted a man named Gryllus (pig) with playful allusions to the sitter's name, caricatures in general came to be called grylli (Pliny , Pliny H. N.xxxv. 114Pliny H. N., 138).
Antiphilus was by birth an Hellenistic Egyptian, who was already established at Alexandria when Apelles went there. Quintilian calls him facilitate praestantissimus, and his versatility is shown in the subjects of his works: these included large pictures in tempera, genre pictures, such as a boy blowing the fire (probably encaustic), and even caricature. The type of one of his works, a Satyr probably dancing, with a panther-skin, and snapping his fingers (quem aposcopeuonta appellant), is probably reflected in statuary, for example in the bronze Dancing Faun found in the Casa del Fauno at Pompeii
This extract is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
Antiphilus of Egypt, a very distinguished painter, was the pupil of Ctesidemus,
and the contemporary and rival of Apelles (Lucian, de Calumn. lix. 1-5). Having
been born in Egypt, he went when young to the court of Macedonia, where he painted
portraits of Philip and Alexander. The latter part of his life was spent in Egypt,
under the patronage of Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, whom he painted hunting. He
flourished, therefore, during the latter half of the 4th century B. C. Concerning
his false accusation against Apelles before Ptolemy, see Apelles.
The quality in which he most excelled is thus described by Quintilian, who mentions him among the greatest painters of the age of Philip and Alexander (xii. 10.6): "facilitate Antiphilus, concipiendis visionibus, quas phantasias vocant". which expressions seem to describe a light and airy elegance. In the list of his works given by Pliny are some which answer exactly in subject to the "phantasiai" of Quintilian (Plin. xxxv. 37, 40). Varro (R. R. iii. 2.5, Schn.) names him with Lysippus.
Ctesidemus, a painter celebrated for two pictures, representing the conquest of Oechalia and the story of Laodamia. (Plin. H. N. xxxv. 40.33). He was the master of Antiphilus (Plin. xxxv. 37), a contemporary of Apelles.
Helena, (Helene), the daughter of Timon of Egypt, painted the battle of Issus about the time of its occurrence (B. C. 333). In the reign of Vespasian this picture was placed in the Temple of Peace at Rome. (Ptol. Hephaest. ap. Phot. cod. 190, p. 149, b. 30, ed. Bekker.) It is supposed by some scholars that the well-known mosaic found at Pompeii is a copy of this picture, while others believe it to represent the battle at the Granicus, others that at Arbela. All that can be safely said is, that the mosaic represents one of Alexander's battles, and that in all probability the person in the chariot is Dareius. (Muller, Archaol. d. Kunst, § 163. n. 1, 6.)
Aedesta (Aidesia),a female philosopher of the new Platonic school, lived in the fifth century after Christ at Alexandria. She was a relation of Syrianus and the wife of Hermeias, and was equally celebrated for her beauty and her virtues. After the death of her husband, she devoted herself to relieving the wants of the distressed and the education of her children. She accompanied the latter to Athens, where they went to study philosophy, and was received with great distinction by all the philosophers there, and especially by Proclus, to whom she had been betrothed by Syrianus, when she was quite young. She lived to a considerable age, and her funeral oration was pronounced by Damascius, who was then a young man, in hexameter verses. The names of her sons were Ammonius and Heliodorus. (Suidas, s. v.; Damascius, ap. Phot. cod. 242)
A cynic philosopher.
Ammonius. The son of Hermias, so called for distinction's sake from other individuals of the name, was a native of Alexandria, and a disciple of Proclus. He taught philosophy at Alexandria about the beginning of the sixth century. His system was an eclectic one, embracing principles derived from both Aristotle and Plato. He cannot be regarded as an original thinker: he was very strong, however, in mathematics, and in the study of the exact sciences, which rectified his judgment, and preserved him, no doubt, from the extravagances of the New Platonism. Ammonius has left commentaries on the Introduction of Porphyry; on the Categories of Aristotle, together with a life of that philosopher; on his treatise Of Interpretation; and scholia on the first seven books of the Metaphysics. The scholia on the Metaphysics have never been edited.
Ammonius (Ammonios), son of Herimeas, studied with his brother Heliodorus at Athens under Proclus (who died A. D. 484), and was the master of Simplicius, Asclepius Trallianus, John Philoponus, and Damascius. His Commentaries (in Greek) on Plato and Ptolemy are lost, as well as many on Aristotle. His extant works are Commentaries on the Isagoge of Porphyry, or the Five Predicables, first published at Venice in 1500, and On the Categories of Aristotle, and De Intterpretatione, first published at Venice in 1503.
Ammonius (Ammonios). Saccas or Saccophorus (so called because in early life he had been a porter), a celebrated philosopher, who flourished about the beginning of the third century. He was born at Alexandria, of Christian parents, and was early instructed in the catechetical schools established in that city. Here, under the Christian preceptors, Athenagoras, Pantoenus, and Clemens Alexandrinus, he acquired a strong propensity towards philosophical studies, and became exceedingly desirous of reconciling the different opinions which at that time subsisted among philosophers. Porphyry relates that Ammonius passed over to the legal establishment-- that is, apostatized to the pagan religion. Eusebius and Jerome, on the contrary, assert that Ammonius continued in the Christian faith until the end of his life. But it is probable that those Christian fathers refer to another Ammonius, who, in the third century, wrote a Harmony of the Gospels, or to some other person of this name, for they refer to the sacred books of Ammonius; whereas Ammonius Saccas, as his pupil Longinus attests, wrote nothing. It is not easy, indeed, to account for the particulars related of this philosopher, but upon the supposition of his having renounced the Christian faith. According to Hierocles, Ammonius was induced to adopt the plan of a distinct eclectic school, by a desire of putting an end to those contentions which had so long distracted the philosophical world. Ammonius had many eminent followers and hearers, both pagan and Christian, who all, doubtless, promised themselves much illumination from a preceptor who undertook to collect into a focus all the rays of ancient wisdom. He taught his select disciples certain sublime doctrines and mystical practices, and was called theodidaktos, "the heaven-taught philosopher." These mysteries were communicated to them under a solemn injunction of secrecy. Porphyry relates that Plotinus, with the rest of the disciples of Ammonius, promised not to divulge certain dogmas which they learned in his school, but to lodge them safely in their purified minds. This circumstance accounts for the fact mentioned on the authority of Longinus that he left nothing in writing. Ammonius probably died about the year 243.
Ammonius, called Saccas (Ammonios Sakkas, i. e. Sakkophoros), or sack-carrier, because his official employment was carrying the corn, landed at Alexandria, as a public porter, was born of Christian parents. Porphyry asserts, Eusebius and St. Jerome (Vir. Ill.55) deny, that he apostatized from the faith. At any rate he combined the study of philosophy with Christianity, and is regarded by those who maintain his apostasy as the founder of the later Platonic School. Among his disciples are mentioned Longinus, Herennius, Plotinus (Amm. Marcell. xxii.), both Origens, and St. Heraclas. He died A. D. 243, at the age of more than 80 years. A life of Aristotle, prefixed to the Commentary of his namesake on the Categories, has been ascribed to him, but it is probably the work of John Philoponus. The Pagan disciples of Ammonius held a kind of philosophical theology. Faith was derived by inward perception; God was threefold in escence, intelligence, (viz. in knowledge of himself) and power (viz. in activity), the two latter notions being inferior to the tirst; the care of the world was entrusted to gods of an inferior race, below those again were daemons, good and bad; an ascetic life and theurgy led to the knowledge of the Infinite, who was worshipped by the vulgar, only in their national deities. The Alexandrian physics and psychology were in accordance with these principles. If we are to consider him a Christian, he was, besides his philosophy (which would, of course, then be represented by Origen, and not by the pagan Alexandrian school as above described) noted for his writings (Euseb. H. E. vi. 19), especially on the Scriptures. He composed a Diatessaron, or Harmony of the Gospels, which exists in the Latin version of Victor, bishop of Capua (in the 6th cent., who wrongly ascribed it to Tatian) and of Luscinius. Besides the Harmony, Ammonius wrote De Consensu Moysis et Jesu (Euseb. H. E. vi. 19), which is praised by St. Jerome (Vir. Illustr.55), but is lost.
Areius or Arius (Areios), a citizen of Alexandria, a Pythagorean or Stoic philosopher
in the time of Augustus, who esteemed him so highly, that after the conquest of
Alexandria, he declared that he spared the city chiefly for the sake of Areius
(Plut. Ant. 80, Apophth.; Dion Cass. li. 16; Julian. Epist. 51; comp. Strab. xiv.).
Areius as well as his two sons, Dionysius and Nicanor, are said to have instructed
Augustus in philosophy (Suet. Aug. 89). He is frequently mentioned by Themistius,
who says that Augustus valued him not less than Agrippa (Themist. Orat. v. p.
63, d. viii., x., xiii.). From Quintilian (ii. 15.36, iii. 1.16) it appears, that
Areius also taught or wrote on rhetoric (Comp. Senec. consol. ad Marc. 4; Aelian,
V. H. xii. 25; Suid. s. v. Theon.).
Ariston, of Alexandria, likewise a Peripatetic philosopher, was a contemporary of Strabo, and wrote a work on the Nile. (Diog. Laert. vii. 164; Strab. xvii.) Eudorus, a contemporary of his, wrote a book on the same subject, and the two works were so much alike, that the authors charged each other with plagiarism. Who was right is not said, though Strabo seems to be inclined to think that Eudorus was the guilty party.
Aristobulus. An Alexandrine Jew, and a Peripatetic philosopher, who is supposed to have lived under Ptolemy Philometor (began to reign B. C. 180), and to have been the same as the teacher of Ptolemy Evergetes (2 Maccab. i. 10). He is said to have been the author of commentaries upon the books of Moses (Exegeseis tes Mouseos graphes), addressed to Ptolemy Philometor, which are referred to by Clemens Alexandrinus (Strom. i., v.), Eusebius (Praep. Ev. vii. 13, viii. 9, ix. 6, xiii. 12), and other ecclesiastical writers. The object of this work was to prove that the Peripatetic philosophy, and in fact almost all the Greek philosophy, was taken from the books of Moses. It is now, however, admitted that this work was not written by the Aristobulus whose name it bears, but by some later and unknown writer, whose object was to induce the Greeks to pay respect to the Jewish literature. (Valckenaer, Diatribe de Aristobulo, Judaeo, &c. edita post auctoris mortem ab J. Luzacio, Lugd. Bat. 1806.)
Asclepiodotus, of Alexandria, the most distinguished among the disciples of Proclus, and the teacher of Damascius, was one of the most zealous champions of Paganism. He wrote a commentary on the Timaeus of Plato, which however is lost. (Olympiod. Meteorolog. 4; Suidas, s. v. Asklepodotos; Damascius, Vit. Isid. ap. Phot.)
Of Alexandria, was one of the earliest and most eminent leaders of the Gnostics. The time when he lived is not ascertained with certainty, but it was probably about 120 A. D. He professed to have received from Glaucias, a disciple of St. Peter, the esoteric doctrine of that apostle. (Clem. Alex. Strom. vii., ed. Potter.) No other Christian writer makes any mention of Glaucias. Basileides was the disciple of Menander and the fellow-disciple of Saturninus. He is said to have spent some time at Antioch with Saturninus, when the latter was commencing his heretical teaching, and then to have proceeded to Persia, where he sowed the seeds of Gnosticism, which ripened under Manes. Thence he returned to Egypt, and publicly taught his heretical doctrines at Alexandria. He appears to have lived till after the accession of Antoninus Pius in 138 A. D. He made additions to the doctrines of Menander and Saturninus. A complete account of his system of theology and cosmogony is given by Mosheim (Eccles. Hist. bk. i. pt. ii. c. 5.1-13, and de Reb. Christ. ante Constant.), Lardner (History of Heretics, bk. ii. c. 2), and Walch. (Hist. der Ketzer. i. 281-309.) Basileides was the author of Commentaries on the Gospel, in twenty-four books, fragments of which are preserved in Grabe, Spicileg, ii. Origen, Ambrose, and Jerome mention a " gospel of Basileides," which may perhaps mean nothing more than his Commentaries.
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
Hierocles. A New Platonist, who flourished at Alexandria about the middle of the fifth century A.D. He has left a commentary on the Golden Verses of Pythagoras and a treatise on Providence, Destiny, and Free-will. The aim of Hierocles is to show the agreement which exists in respect of these doctrines between Plato and Aristotle and to refute the systems of Epicurus and the Stoics. We have only extracts from this latter work made by Photius and an abridgment by an unknown hand. Stobaeus has preserved for us fragments of a work of Hierocles on the worship of the gods and of several other productions of his. There exists also, under the name of Hierocles, a collection of amusing anecdotes (Asteia, Facetiae), giving an account of the ridiculous actions and sayings of book-learned men and pedants (scholastikoi). Among them are to be found the originals of several professedly modern jokes, and they furnish a model for the innumerable German witticisms at the expense of the typical Herr Professor.
Hierocles. A New Platonist, who lived at Alexandria about the middle of the fifth
century, and enjoyed a very great reputation. He is commonly considered to be
the author of a commentary on the golden verses of Pythagoras, which is still
extant, and in which the author endeavours to give an intelligible account of
the philosophy of Pythagoras. The verses of Pythagoras form the basis, but the
commentator endeavours to give a succinct view of the whole philosophy of Pythagoras,
whence his work is of some importance to us, and may serve as a guide in the study
of the Pythagorean philosophy. This commentary was first published in a Latin
translation by J. Aurispa, Padua, 1474, 4to., and afterwards at Rome, 1475, 1493,
1495, 4to., and at Basel, 1543, 8vo. The Greek original with a new Latin version
was first edited by J. Curterius, Paris, 1583, 12mo. A better edition, incorporating
also the fragments of other works of Hierocles, was published by J. Pearson, London,
1654 and 1655, 4to., and with additions and improvements by P. Needham, Cambridge,
1709, 8vo. A still better edition of the commentary alone is that by R. Warren,
London, 1742, 8vo.
Hierocles was further the author of an extensive work entitled Peri pronoas kai heimarmenes kai tou eph' hemin pros ten Deian hegemonian suntaxeos, that is, On Providence, Fate, and the reconciliation of man?s free will with the divine government of the world. The whole consisted of seven books, and was dedicated to Olympiodorus; but the work is now lost, and all that has come down to us consists of some extracts from it preserved in Photius (Bibl. Cod. 214, 251). These extracts are also found separately in some MSS., and were published by F. Morelli at Paris, 1593 and 1597, 8vo. They are also contained in Pearson's and Needham?s editions of the Commentary on Pythagoras. From these extracts we see that Hierocles endeavored to show the agreement between Plato and Aristotle against the doctrines of the Stoics and Epicureans, and to refute those who attempted to deny the Divine Providence.
A third work of an ethical nature is known to us from a number of extracts in Stobaeus (see the passages referred to above, under No. 3), on justice, on reverence towards the gods, on the conduct towards parents and relations, towards one?s country, on marriage, &c. The maxims they inculcate are of a highly estimable kind. The work to which these extracts belonged probably bore the title Ta philosophoumena (Suid. s. v. Empodon; Apostol. Prov. ix. 90). These extracts are likewise contained in Pearson's and Needham's editions of the Commentary. There is another work, which is referred to under the title of Oikonomikos, but which probably formed only a part of the Ta philosophoumena.
Lastly, we have to notice that Theosebius, a disciple of Hierocles, published a commentary on the Gorgias of Plato, which consisted of notes taken down by the disciple in the lectures of Hierocles. (Phot. Bibl. Cod. 292.)
There is extant a work called Asteia, a collection of ludicrous tales and anecdotes, droll ideas, and silly speeches of school pedants, &c., which was formerly ascribed to Hierocles the New Platonist ; but it is obviously the production of a very insignificant person, who must have lived at a later time than the New Platonist. It was first published by Marq. Freherus, Ladenburg, 1605, 8vo., and afterwards by J. A. Schier, Leipzig, 1750, 8vo.; it is also contained in Pearson's and Needham's editions of the Commentary on Pythagoras, and in J. de Rhoer's Observationes Philologicae, Groningen, 1768, 8vo.
Jewish-Hellenistic philosopher from Alexandria who was educated both in Jewish and Greek tradition. He held that the Jewish God was the basis of all philosophy, and that God was without attributes and so high above everything earthly that intermediate beings had to interact between Man and God. These beings he called logos, and they were to be found in the spiritual world of ideas.
This text is cited Sept 2003 from the In2Greece URL below.
Philon. Called Iudaeus, "the Jew." Born of a priestly family at Alexandria, about B.C. 25, he carefully studied the different branches of Greek culture, and, in particular, acquired a knowledge of the Platonic philosophy, while in no way abandoning the study of the Scriptures or the creed of his nation. In A.D. 39 he went to Rome as an emissary to the emperor Caligula in the interest of his fellow-countrymen, whose religious feelings were offended by a decree ordering them to place the statue of the deified emperor in their synagogues. This embassy, which led to no result, is described by him in a work which is still extant, though in an incomplete form. Philo is the chief representative of the Graeco-Judaic philosophy. He wrote numerous Greek works in a style modelled on that of Plato. These are remarkable for moral earnestness, passionate enthusiasm, and vigour of thought. They include allegorical expositions of portions of the Scriptures, as well as works of ethical, historical, or political purport. Several of his works only survive in Armenian versions. His philosophy, especially his theology, is an endeavour to reconcile Platonism with Judaism.
Philo of Alexandria was a Greek-speaking Jewish philosopher who attempted
to synthesize faith and philosophical reason. In his philosophy Philo was prepared
to concede a good deal to Hellenism in his interpretation of the Bible.
He was the first to distinguish between the knowability of God's existence and the unknowability of his essence.
This text is cited July 2003 from the Hyperhistory Online URL below.
1. An Alexandrian philosopher, who flourished about the year B.C. 430. He is celebrated for his knowledge of the Aristotelian doctrines, and was the master of Proclus, who attended upon his school before he was twenty years of age.
2. A Platonic philosopher, who flourished towards the close of the sixth century. He was the author of commentaries on four of Plato's dialogues--the First Alcibiades, the Phaedon, Gorgias, and Philebus. The first of these contains a life of Plato, in which we meet with certain particulars relative to the philosopher not to be found elsewhere. This Olympiodorus was a native of Alexandria. The title which his commentaries bear appears to indicate by the words apo phones ("from the mouth" of Olympiodorus) that they were copied down by the hearers of the philosopher.
3. A native of Alexandria, a Peripatetic, who flourished during the latter half of the sixth century A.D. He was the author of a commentary on the meteorology of Aristotle, still extant.
Euphrates. A Stoic philosopher and native of Alexandria, who flourished in the second century. He was a friend of the philosopher Apollonius of Tyana, who introduced him to Vespasian. Pliny the Younger (Epist. i. 10) speaks highly of his character. When he found his strength worn out by disease and old age, he voluntarily put a period to his life by drinking hemlock, having first, for some unknown reason, obtained permission from the emperor Hadrian.
Syrianus (Surianos). A Greek philosopher of the Neo-Platonic School. He was a native of Alexandria, and studied at Athens under Plutarchus, whom he succeeded as head of the NeoPlatonic School in the early part of the fifth century A.D. The most distinguished of his disciples was Proclus, who regarded him with the greatest veneration, and gave directions that at his death he should be buried in the same tomb with Syrianus. Syrianus wrote several works, some of which are extant. Of these the most valuable are the commentaries on the Metaphysics of Aristotle.
Sotion. An Alexandrian philosopher of the third century B.C., who wrote a work called Diadochai on the different teachers of the schools of philosophy ( Diog. Laert.v. 86).
Demetrius. Of Alexandria, a Peripatetic philosopher. (Diog. Laert. v. 84.) There is a work entitled peri ermeneias, which has come down to us under the name of Demetrius Phalereus, which however, for various reasons, cannot be his production: writers of a later age are referred to in it, and there are also words and expressions which prove it to be a later work. Most critics are therefore inclined to ascribe it to our Demetrius of Alexandria. It is written with considerable taste, and with reference to the best authors, and is a rich source of information on the main points of oratory. If the work is the production of our Demetrius, who is known to have written on oratory (technai retorikai, Diog. Laert. l. c.), it must have been written in the time of the Antonines. It was first printed in Aldus's Rhetores Graeci, i. Separate modern editions were made by J. G. Schneider, Altenburg, 1779, 8vo., and Fr. Goller, Lips. 1837, 8vo. The best critical text is that in Walz's Rhetor. Graec. vol. ix. init., who has prefixed valuable prolegomena.
Demetrius. Of Alexandria, a Cynic philosopher, and a disciple of Theombrotus. (Diog. Laert. v. 95.)
Demetrius, surnamed Chytras, a Cynic philosopher at Alexandria, in the reign of
Constantius, who, suspecting him guilty of forbidden practices, ordered him to
be tortured. The Cynic bore the pain inflicted on him as a true philosopher, and
was afterwards set free again. (Ammian. Marc. xix. 12.) He is probably the same
as the person mentioned by the emperor Julian (Orat. vii.) by the name of Chytron.
(Vales. ad Ammian. Marc. l. c.)
Dion. Of Alexandria, an Academic philosopher and a friend of Antiochus. He was sent by his fellow-citizens as ambassador to Rome, to complain of the conduct of their king, Ptolemy Auletes. On his arrival at Rome he was poisoned by the king's secret agents, and the strongest suspicion of the murder fell upon M. Caelius. (Cic. Acad. iv. 4, pro Cael. 10, 21; Strab. xvii.)
Chaeremon of Alexandria, a Stoic philosopher and grammarian, and an historical
writer, was the chief librarian of the Alexandrian library, or at least of that
part of it which was kept in the temple of Serapis. He is called hierogrammateus,
that is, keeper and expounder of the sacred books (Tzetz. in Hom. Il.; Euseb.
Praep. Erang. v. 10). He was the teacher of Dionysius of Alexandria, who succeeded
him, and and who flourished from the time of Nero to that of Trajan (Suid. s.
v. Dionusios Alexandreus). This fixes his date to the first half of the first
century after Christ; and this is confirmed by the mention of him in connexion
with Cornutus (Suid. s. v. Origenes; Euseb. Hist. Ecc. vi. 1.9). He accompanied
Aelius Gallus in his expedition up Egypt, and made great professions of his astronomical
knowledge, but incurred much ridicule on account of his ignorance (Strab. xvii.):
but the suspicion of Fabricius, that this account refers to a different person,
is perhaps not altogether groundless (Bibl. Graec. iii.). He was afterwards called
to Rome, and became the preceptor of Nero, in conjunction with Alexander of Aegae
(Suid. s. v. Alexandros Aigaios).
His chief work was a history of Egypt, which embraced both its sacred and profane history. An interesting fragment respecting the Egyptian priests is preserved by Porphyry (de Abstinent. iv. 6) and Jerome (c. Jovinianum, ii.). He also wrote, 2. On Hieroglyphics (hierogluphika, Suid. s. v. Hierogluphika and Chairemon). 3. On Comets (peri kometon, Origen. c. Cels. i. 59: perhaps in Seneca, Quaest. Nat. vii. 5, we should read Chaeremon for Charimander; but this is not certain, for Charimander is mentioned by Pappus, lib. vii.). 4. A grammatical work, peri sundesmon, which is quoted by Apollonius.
As an historian, Chaeremon is charged by Josephus with wilful falsehood (c. Apion. cc. 32, 33). This charge seems to be not unfounded, for, besides the proofs of it alleged by Josephus, we are informed by Tzetzes ( Chil. v. 6), that Chaeremon stated that the phoenix lived 7000 years !
Of his philosophical views we only know that he was a Stoic, and that he was the leader of that party which explained the Egyptian religious system as a mere allegory of the worship of nature, as displayed in the visible world (horomenoi kosmoi) in opposition to the views of Iambrichus. His works were studied by Origen (Suid. s. v. Origenes; Euseb. Hist. Ecc. vi. 19). Martial (xi. 56) wrote an epigram upon him.
CANOPUS (Ancient city) EGYPT
Antoninus. A new-Platonist, who lived early in the fourth century of our era, was a son of Eustathius and Sosipatra, and had a school at Canopus, near Alexandria in Egypt. He devoted himself wholly to those who sought his instructions, but he never expressed any opinion upon divine things, which he considered beyond man's comprehension. He and his disciples were strongly attached to the heathen religion; but he had acuteness enough to see that its end was near at hand, and he predicted that after his death all the splendid temples of the gods would be changed into tombs. His moral conduct is described as truly exemplary. (Eunapius, Vit. Aedesii)
Aeschylus (Aischulos), of Alexandria, an epic poet, who must have lived previous to the end of the second century of our aera, and whom Athenaeus calls a well-informed man. One of his poems bore the title " Amphitryon," and another " Messeniaca." A fragment of the former is preserved in Athenaeus. (xiii. p. 599.) According to Zenobius (v. 85), he had also written a work on proverbs. (Peri Paroimion)
Claudianus, Claudius, the last of the Latin classic poets, flourished under Theodosius
and his sons Arcadius and Honorius. Our knowledge of his personal history is very
limited. That he was a native of Alexandria seems to be satisfactorily established
from the direct testimony of Suidas, corroborated by an allusion in Sidonius Apollinaris
(Epist. ix. 13), and certain expressions in his own works (e. g. Epist. v. 3,
i. 39, 56). It has been maintained by some that he was a Gaul, and by others that
he was a Spaniard; but neither of these positions is supported by even a shadow
of evidence, while the opinion advanced by Petrarch and Politian, that he was
of Florentine extraction, arose from their confounding the Florentinus addressed
in the introduction to the second book of the Raptus Proserpinae, and who was
praefectus urbi in A. D. 396, with the name of their native city. We are entirely
ignorant of the parentage, education, and early career of Claudian, and of the
circumstances under which he quitted his country. We find him at Rome in 395,
when he composed his panegyric on the consulate of Probinus and Olybrius. He appears
to have cultivated poetry previously, but this was his first essay in Latin verse,
and the success by which it was attended induced him to abandon the Grecian for
the Roman muse (Epist. iv. 13). During the five years which immediately followed
the death of Theodosius, he was absent from Rome, attached, it would appear, to
the retinue of Stilicho (de Cons. Stilich. praef. 23), under whose special protection
he seems to have been received almost immediately after the publication of the
poem noticed above. We say after, because he makes no mention of the name of the
all-powerful Vandal in that composition, where it might have been most naturally
and appropriately introduced in conjunction with the exploits of Theodosius, while
on all subsequent occasions he eagerly avails himself of every pretext for sounding
the praises of his patron, and expressing his own fervent devotion. Nor was he
less indebted to the good offices of Serena than to the influence of her husband.
He owed, it is true, his court favour and preferment to the latter, but by the
interposition of the former he gained his African bride, whose parents, although
they might have turned a deaf ear to the suit of a poor poet, were unable to resist
the solicitations of the niece of Theodosius, the wife of the general who ruled
the ruler of the empire. The following inscription, discovered at Rome in the
fifteenth century, informs us that a statue of Claudian was erected in the Forum
of Trajan by Arcadius and Honorius at the request of the senate, and that he enjoyed
the titles of Notarius and Tribunus, but the nature of the office, whether civil
or military, denoted by the latter appellation we are unable to determine:
CL. CLAUDIANI V. C. CL. CLAUDIANO V. C. TRIBUNO ET NOTARIO INTER CETERAS VIGENTES ARTES PRAEGLORIOSISSIMO POETARUM LICET AD MEMORIAM SEMPITERNAM CARMINA AB EODEM SCRIPTA SUFFICIANT ADTAMEN TESTIMONII GRATIA OB JUDICII SUI FIDEM D D. N N. ARCADIUS ET HONORIUS FILICISSIMI AC DOCTISSIMI IMPERATORES SENATU PETENTE STATUAM IN FORO DIVI TRAJANI ERIGI COLLOCARIQUE JUSSERUNT.
The close of Claudian's career is enveloped in the same obscurity as its commencement. The last historical allusion in his writings is to the 6th consulship of Honorius, which belongs to the year 404. That he may have been involved in the misfortunes of Stilicho, who was put to death in 408, and may have retired to end his days in his native country, is a probable conjecture, but nothing more. The idea that he at this time became exposed to the enmity of the powerful and vindictive Hadrian, whom he had provoked by the insolence of wit, and who with cruel vigilance had watched and seized the opportunity of revenge, has been adopted by Gibbon with less than his usual caution. It rests upon two assumptions alike incapable of proof--first, that by Pharius, whose indefatigable rapacity is contrasted in an epigram (xxx.) with the lethargic indolence of Mallius, the poet meant to indicate the praetorian prefect, who was a native of Egypt; and secondly, that the palinode which forms the subject of one of his epistles refers to that effusion, and is addressed to the same person.
The religion of Claudian, as well as that of Appuleius, Ausonius, and many of the later Latin writers, has been a theme of frequent controversy. There is, however, little cause for doubt. It is impossible to resist the explicit testimony of St. Augustin (de Civ. Dei, v. 26), who declares that he was "a Christi nomine alienus", and of Orosius, who designates him as "Poeta quidem eximius sed paganus pervicacissimus". The argument for his Christianity derived from an ambiguous expression, interpreted as an admission of the unity of God (III. Cons. Honor. 96), is manifestly frivolous, and the Greek and Latin hymns appended to most editions of his works are confessedly spurious. That his conscience may have had all the pliancy of indifference on religious topics is probable enough, but we have certainly nothing to adduce against the positive assertions of his Christian contemporaries.
The works of Claudian now extant are the following:
1. Three panegyrics on the third, fourth, and sixth consulships of Honorius respectively.
2. A poem on the nuptials of Honorius and Maria.
3. Four short Fescennine lays on the same subject.
4. A panegyric on the consulship of Probinus and Olybrius, with which is interwoven a description of the exploits of the emperor Theodosius.
5. The praises of Stilicho, in two books, and a panegyric on his consulship, in one book.
6. The praises of Serena, the wife of Stilicho: this piece is mutilated or was left unfinished.
7. A panegyric on the consulship of Flavius Mallius Theodorus.
8. The Epithalamium of Palladius and Celerina.
9. An invective against Rufinus, in two books.
10. An invective against Eutropius, in two books.
11. De Bello Gildonico, the first book of an historical poem on the war in Africa against Gildo.
12. De Bello Getico, an historical poem on the successful campaign of Stilicho against Alaric and the Goths, concluding with the battle of Pollentia. 13. Raptus Proserpinae, three books of an unfinished epic on the rape of Proserpine.
14. Gigantomachia, a fragment extending to a hundred and twenty-eight lines only.
15. Ten lines of a Greek poem on the same subject, perhaps a translation by some other hand from the former.
16. Five short epistles; the first of these is a sort of prayer, imploring forgiveness for some petulant attack. It is usually inscribed "Deprecatio ad Hadrianum Praefectum Praetorio", but from the variations in the manuscripts this title appears to be merely the guess of some transcriber. The remaining four, which are very brief, are addressed -to Serena, to Olybrius, to Probinus, to Gennadius.
17. Eidyllia, a collection of seven poems chiefly on subjects connected with natural history, as may be seen by their titles, Phoenix, Hystrix, Torpedo, Nilus, Magnes, Aponus, De Piis Fratribus.
18. A collection of short occasional pieces, in Greek as well as Latin, comprehended under the general title of Epigrammata. The Christian hymns to be found among these in most editions are, as we have observed above, certainly spurious.
19. Lastly, we have a hundred and thirty-seven lines entitled "Laudes Herculis"; but with the exception of some slight resemblance in style, we have no ground for attributing them to Claudian.
The measure employed in the greater number of these compositions is the heroic hexameter. The short prologues prefixed to many of the longer poems are in elegiacs, and so also are the last four epistles, the last two idylls, and most of the epigrams. The first of the Fescennines is a system of Alcaic hendecasyllabics; the second is in a stanza of five lines, of which the first three are iambic dimeters catalectic, the fourth is a pure choriambic dimeter, and the fifth a trochaic dimeter brachycatalectic; the third is a system of anapaestic dimeters acatalectic; and the fourth is a system of choriambic trimeters acatalectic.
It will be at once perceived that the first thirteen articles in the above catalogue, constituting a very large proportion of the whole works of Claudian, although some of them differ from the rest and from each other in form, belong essentially to one class of poems, being such as would be exacted from a laureate as the price of the patronage he enjoyed. The object in view is the same in all--all breathe the same spirit, all are declamations in verse devoted either professedly or virtually to the glorification of the emperor, his connexions and favourites, and to the degradation of their foes. We must also bear in mind, while we discuss the merits and defects of our author, and compare him with those who went before, that although Virgil and Horace were flatterers as well as he, yet their strains were addressed to very different ears. When they, after entering upon some theme apparently far removed from any courtly train of thought, by some seemingly natural although unexpected transition seemed as it were compelled to trace a resemblance between their royal benefactor and the gods and heroes of the olden time, they well knew that their skill would be appreciated by their cultivated hearers, and that the value of the compliment would be enhanced by the dexterous delicacy with which it was administered. But such refinements were by no means suited to the "purple-born" despots of the fifth century and their half-barbarous retainers. Their appetite for praise was craving and coarse. If the adulation was presented in sufficient quantity, they cared little for the manner in which it was seasoned, or the form under which it was served up. Hence there is no attempt at concealment; no veil is thought requisite to shroud the real nature and object of these panegyrics. All is broad, direct, and palpable. The subject is in each case boldly and fully proposed at the commencement, and followed out steadily to the end. The determination to praise everything and the fear lest something should be left unpraised, naturally lead to a systematic and formal division of the subject; and hence the career of each individual is commonly traced upwards from the cradle, and in the case of Stilicho separate sections are allotted to his warlike, his peaceful, and his magisterial virtues,--the poet warning his readers of the transition from one subdivision to another with the same care as when an accurate lecturer discriminates the several heads of his discourse. It can scarcely be argued, however, that the absence of all reserve rendered the task more easy. The ingenuity of the author is severely taxed by other considerations, with this disadvantage, that just in proportion as we might feel disposed to admire his skill in hiding the ugliness of his idol within the folds of the rich garment with which it is invested, so are we constrained to loathe his servile hypocrisy and laugh at his unblushing falsehood. It was indeed hard to be called upon to vaunt the glories of an empire which was crumbling away day by day from the grasp of its feeble rulers; it was harder still to be forced to prove a child of nine years old, at which age Honorius received the title of Augustus, to be a model of wisdom and kingly virtue, and to blazon the military exploits of a boy of twelve who had never seen an enemy except in chains; and hardest of all to be constrained to encircle with a halo of divine perfections a selfish Vandal like Stilicho. To talk of the historical value of such works as the Bellum Gildonicum and the Bellum Geticum is sheer folly. Wherever we have access to other sources of information, we discover at once that many facts have been altogether suppressed, and many others distorted and falsely coloured; and hence it is impossible to feel any confidence in the fidelity of the narrator in regard to those incidents not elsewhere recorded.
The simple fact that pieces composed under such circumstances, to serve such temporary and unworthy purposes, have been read, studied, admired, and even held up as models, ever since the revival of letters, is in itself no mean tribute to the powers of their author. Nor can we hesitate to pronounce him a highly-gifted man. Deeply versed in all the learning of the Egyptian schools, possessing a most extensive knowledge of the history of man and of the physical world, of the legends of mythology, and of the moral and theological speculations of the different philosophical sects, he had the power to light up this mass of learning by the fire of a brilliant imagination, and to concentrate it upon the objects of his adulation as it streamed forth in a flashing flood of rhetoric. The whole host of heaven and every nation and region of the earth are called upon to aid in extolling his patron, the prince, and their satellites; on the other hand, an infernal Pantheon of demons and furies with all the horrors of Styx and Tartarus, are evoked as the allies and tormentors of a Rufinus, and all nature is ransacked for foul and loathsome images to body forth the mental and corporeal deformity of the eunuch consul. His diction is highly brilliant, although sometimes shining with the glitter of tinsel ornaments; his similes and illustrations are elaborated with great skill, but the marks of toil are frequently too visible. His versification is highly sonorous, but is deficient in variety; the constant recurrence of the same cadences, although in themselves melodious, palls upon the ear. His command of the language is perfect; and although the minute critic may fancy that he detects some traces of the foreign extraction of the bard, yet in point of style neither Lucan nor Statius need be ashamed to own him as their equal. His powers appear to greatest advantage in description. His pictures often approach perfection, combining the softness and rich glow of the Italian with the force and reality of the Dutch school.
We have as yet said nothing of the Rape of Proserpine, from which we might expect to form the most favourable estimate of his genius, for here at least it had fair and free scope, untrammeled by the fetters which cramped its energies in panegyric. But, although these causes of embarrassment are removed, we do not find the result anticipated. If we become familiar with his other works in the first instance, we rise with a feeling of disappointment from the perusal of this. We find, it is true, the same animated descriptions and harmonious numbers; but there is a want of taste in the arrangement of the details, of sustained interest in the action, and of combination in the different members, which gives a fragmentary character to the whole, and causes it to be read with much greater pleasure in extracts than continuously. The subject, although grand in itself, is injudiciously handled; for, all the characters being gods, it is impossible to invest their proceedings with the interest which attaches to struggling and suffering humanity. The impression produced by the commencement is singularly unfortunate. The rage of the King of Shades that he alone of gods is a stranger to matrimonial bliss, his determination to war against heaven that he may avenge his wrongs, the mustering and marshalling of the Titans and all the monsters of the abyss for battle against Jupiter, are figured forth with great dignity and pomp; but when we find this terrific tempest at once quelled by the very simple and sensible suggestion of old Lachesis, that he might probably obtain a wife, if he chose to ask for one, the whole scene is converted into a burlesque, and the absurdity is if possible heightened by the blustering harangue of Pluto to the herald, Mercury. Throughout this poem, as well as in all the other works of Claudian, we lament the absence not only of true sublimity but of simple nature and of real feeling: our imagination is often excited, our intellect is often gratified; but our nobler energies are never awakened; no cord of tenderness is struck, no kindly sympathy is enlisted; our hearts are never softened.
Of the Idylls we need hardly say anything; little could be expected from the subjects: they may be regarded as clever essays in versification, and nothing more. The best is that in which the hot springs of Aponus are described. The Fescennine verses display considerable lightness and grace; the epigrams, with the exception of a very few which are neatly and pointedly expressed, are not worth reading.
The Editio Princeps of Claudian was printed at Vicenza by Jacobus Dusenius, 1482, under the editorial inspection of Barnabus Celsanus, and appears to be a faithful representation of the MS. from which it was taken. Several of the smaller poems are wanting. The second edition was printed at Parma by Angelus Ugoletus, 1493, superintended by Thadaeus, who made use of several MSS. for emending the text, especially one obtained from Holland. Here first we find the epigrams, the Epithalamium of Palladius and Serena, the epistles to Serena and to Hadrian, the Aponus, and the Gigantomachia. The edition printed at Vienna by Hieronymus Victor and Joannes Singrenius, 1510, with a text newly revised by Joannes Camers, is the first which contains the Laudes Herculis, In Sirenas, Laus Christi, and Minacula Christi. The first truly critical edition was that of Theod. Pulmannus, printed at Antwerp by Plantinus, 1571, including the notes of Delrio. The second edition of Caspar Barthius, Francf. and Hamburg. 1650 and 1654, boasts of being completed with the aid of seventeen MSS., and is accompanied by a voluminous commentary; but the notes are heavy, and the typography very incorrect. The edition of Gesner, Lips. 1759, is a useful one; but by far the best which has yet appeared is that of the younger Burmann, Amst. 1760, forming one of the series of the Dutch Variorum Classics.
The "Raptus Proserpinae" was published separately, under the title "Claudiani de Raptu Proserpinae Tragoediae duae", at Utrecht, by Ketelaer and Leempt, apparently several years before the Editio Princeps of the collected works noticed above, and three other editions of the same poem belong to the same early period, although neither the names of the printers nor the precise dates can be ascertained.
We have a complete metrical translation of the whole works of Claudian by A. Hawkins, Lond. 1817; and there are also several English translations of many of the separate pieces, few of which are of any merit.
Claudianus (Klaudianos), the author of five epigrams in the Greek Anthology, is commonly
identified with the celebrated Latin poet of the same name; but this seems to
be disproved by the titles and contents of two additional epigrams, ascribed to
him in the Vatican MS., which are addressed "to the Saviour", and which shew that
their author was a Christian. He is probably the poet whom Evagrius (Hist. Eccl.
i. 19) mentions as flourishing under Theodosius II., who reigned A. D. 408-450.
The Gigantomachia, of which a fragment still exists, and which has been ascribed
to the Roman poet, seems rather to belong to this one. He wrote also, according
to the Scholia on the Vatican MS., poems on the history of certain cities of Asia
Minor and Syria, patria Tarsou, Anazarbou, Berutou, Nikaias, whence it has been
inferred that he was a native of that part of Asia. (Jacobs, Anth Graec. xiii.)
Capito (Kapiton), of Alexandria, is called by Athenaeus (x.) an epic poet, and the author of a work Erotika, which consisted of at least two books. In another passage (viii.) he mentions a work of his entitled pros Philopappon apomnemoneumata, from which he quotes a statement. It is not improbable that the Capito of whom there is an epigram in the Greek Anthology may be the same person as the epic poet.
Ezekielus, (Ezekielos), the author of a work in Greek entitled exagoge, which is usually called a tragedy, but which seems rather to havo been a metrical history, in the dramatic form, and in iambic verse, written in imitation of the Greek tragedies. The subject was the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. The author appears to have been a Jew, and to have lived at the court of the Ptolemies, at Alexandria, about the second century B. C. Considerable fragments of the work are preserved by Eusebius (Praep. Evang. ix. 28, 29), Clemens Alexandrinus (Strom. i.), and Eustathius (ad Hexaem.). These fragments were first collected, and printed with a Latin version, by Morell, Par. 1580 and 1590, 8vo., and were reprinted in the Poetae (Chrit. Graec., Par. 1609, 8vo., in Lectius's Corpus Poet. Graec. Trag. et Com., Col. Allobr. 1614, fol., in Bignius's Collect. Poet. Christ., appended to the Biblioth. Patr. Graec., Par. 1624, fol., in the 14th volume of the Bibl. Patr. Graec., Par. 1644-1654, fol., and in a separate form, with a German translation and notes, by L. M. Philippson, Berlin., 1830, 8vo. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. ii.; Weleker, die Griech. Tragod.)
Phalaecus, (Phalaikos). A lyric and epigrammatic poet, from whom the hendecasyllabic metre, called Phalaecian, took its name. Five of his epigrams are preserved in the Greek Anthology. His date is uncertain, but he was probably one of the principal Alexandrian poets.
Phanocles (Phanokles). A Greek elegiac poet of the Alexandrine Period. He celebrated in erotic elegies (Erotes e Kaloi) the loves of beautiful boys. A considerable fragment remaining describes the love of Orpheus for Calais, the beautiful son of Boreas, and his death ensuing therefrom at the hands of the Thracian women. The language is simple and spirited, and the versification melodious. The fragments have been edited by Bach (Halle, 1829), and also by Schneidewin in his Delectus Poesis Graecae, p. 158 foll.
C. Hostilius, was sent by the senate to Alexandria in B. C. 168 to interpose as legatus between Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria, and Ptolemy Physcon and Cleopatra, the sovereigns of Egypt.
Didymus. Of Alexandria, lived in the fourth century of the Christian era, and must be distinguished from Didymus the monk, who is spoken of by Socrates. (Hist. Eccles. iv. 33.) At the age of four years, and before he had learnt to read, he became blind; but this calamity created in him an invincible thirst after knowledge, and by intense application he succeeded in becoming not only a distinguished grammarian, rhetorician, dialectician, mathematician, musician, astronomer, and philosopher (Socrat. iv. 25; Sozom. iii. 15; Rufin. xi. 7; Theodoret. iv. 29; Nicephor. ix. 17), but also in acquiring a most extensive knowledge of sacred literature. He devoted himself to the service of the church, and was no less distinguished for the exemplary purity of his conduct than for his learning and acquirements. In A. D. 392, when Hieronymus wrote his work on illustrious ecclesiastical authors, Didymns was still alive, and professor of theology at Alexandria. He died in A. D. 396 at the age of eighty-five. As professor of theology he was at the head of the school of the Catechumeni, and the most distinguished personages of that period, such as Hieronymus, Rufinus, Palladius, Ambrosius, Evagrius, and Isidorus, are mentioned among his pupils. Didymus was the author of a great number of theological works, but most of them are lost. The following are still extant :-- 1. " Liber de Spiritu Sancto." The Greek original is lost, but we possess a Latin translation made by Hieronymus, about A. D. 386, which is printed among the works of Hieronymus. Although the author as well as the translator intended it to be one book (Hieronym. Catal. 109), yet Marcianaeus in his edition of Hieronymus has divided it into three books. The work is mentioned by St. Augustin (Quaest. in Exod. ii. 25), and Nicephorus (ix. 17). Separate editions of it were published at Cologne, 1531, 8vo., and a better one by Fuchte, Helmstadt, 1614, 8vo. 2. "Breves Enarrationes in Epistolas Canonicas." This work is likewise extant only in a Latin translation, and was first printed in the Cologne edition of the first work. It is contained also in all the collections of the works of the fathers. The Latin translation is the work of Epiphanius, and was made at the request of Cassiodorus. (Cassiod. de Institut. Divin. 8.) 3. " Liber adversus Manichaeos." This work appears to be incomplete, since Damascenus (Parallel. p. 507) quotes a passage from it which is now not to be found in it. It was first printed in a Latin version by F. Turrianus in Possevin's Apparatus Sanct. ad Calc. Lit. D., Venice, 1603, and at Cologne in 1608. It was reprinted in some of the Collections of the Fathers, until at last Combefisius in his " Auctarium novissimum " (ii.) published the Greek original. (Paris, 1672, fol.) 4. Peri Triados. This work was formerly believed to be lost, but J. A. Mingarelli discovered a MS. of it, and published it with a Latin version at Bologna, 1769, fol. A list of the lost works of Didymus is given by Fabric. Bibl. Graec. ix.; compare Cave, Hist. Lit. i. ; Guericke, de Schola Alexandr. ii.
Cosmas (Kosmas), commonly called Indicopleustes (Indian navigator), an Egyptian monk,
who flourished in the reign of Justinian, about A. D. 535. In early life he followed
the employment of a merchant, and was extensively engaged in traffic. He navigated
the Red Sea, advanced to India, visited various nations, Ethiopia, Syria, Arabia,
Persia, and almost all places of the East. Impelled, as it would appear, more
by curiosity than by desire of gain, eager to inspect the habits and manners of
distant people, he carried on a commerce amid dangers sufficient to appal the
most adventurous. There is abundant reason for believing, that he was an attentive
observer of every thing that met his eye, and that he carefully registered his
remarks upon the scenes and objects which presented themselves. But a migratory
life became irksome. After many years spent in this manner, he bade adieu to worldly
occupations, took up his residence in a monastery, and devoted himself to a contemplative
life. Possessed of multifarious knowledge acquired in many lands, and doubtless
learned according to the standard of his times, he began to embody his information
in books. His chief work is his Topographia Christianike, "Topographia Christiana,
sive Christianorum Opinio de Mundo", in twelve books. The last book, as hitherto
published, is imperfect at the end. The object of the treatise is to shew, in
opposition to the universal opinion of astronomers, that the earth is not spherical,
but an extended surface. The arguments adduced in proof of such a position are
drawn from Scripture, reason, testimony, and the authority of the fathers. Weapons
of every kind are employed against the prevailing theory, and the earth is affirmed
to be a vast oblong plain, its length from east to west being more than twice
its breadth, the whole enclosed by the ocean. The only value of the work consists
in the geographical and historical information it contains. Its author describes
in general with great accuracy the situation of countries, the manners of their
people, their modes of commercial intercourse, the nature and properties of plants
and animals, and many other particulars of a like kind, which serve to throw light
on the Scriptures. His illustrations, which are far from being methodically arranged,
touch upon subjects the most diverse. He speaks, for example, of the locality
where the Israelites passed through the Red Sea, their garments in the wilderness,
the terrestrial paradise, the epistle to the Hebrews, the birthday of the Lord,
the rite of baptism, the catholic epistles, Egyptian hieroglyphics, the state
of the Christians in India, their bishops, priests, &c. But the most curious and
interesting piece of antiquarian information relates to that celebrated monument
of antiquity which was placed at the entrance of the city Adulite, consisting
of a royal seat of white marble consecrated to Mars, with the images of Hercules
and Mercury sculptured upon it. On every side of this monument Greek letters were
written, and an ample inscription had been added, as has been generally supposed,
by Ptolemy II. Euergetes (B. C. 247-222). This was copied by Cosmas, and is given,
with notes, in the second book of the Topography. It appears, however, from the
researches of Mr. Salt, that Cosmas has made two different inscriptions into one,
and that while the first part refers to Ptolemy Euergetes, the second relates
to some Ethiopian king, whose conquests are commemorated on the inscription. The
author also inserts in the work, in illustration of his sentiments, astronomical
figures and tables. We meet too with several passages from writings of the fathers
now lost, and fragments of epistles, especially from Athanasius.
Photius (cod. 36) reviewed this production without mentioning the writer's name, probably because it was not in the copy he had before him. He speaks of it under the titles of Christianou Biblos, "Christianorum Hber, Expositio in Octateuchum"; the former, as containing the opinion of Christians concerning the earth; the latter, because the first part of the work treats of the tabernacle of Moses and other things described in the Pentateuch. The same writer affirms, that many of Cosmas's narratives are fabulous. The monk, however, relates events as they were commonly received and viewed in his own time. His diction is plain and familiar. So far is it from approaching elegance or elevation, that it is even below mediocrity. He did not aim at pompous or polished phraseology; and in several places he modestly acknowledges that his mode of expression is homely and inelegant.
Manuscripts vary much in the contents of the work. It was composed at different times. At first it consisted of five books; but in consequence of various attacks, the author added the remaining seven at different periods, enlarging, correcting, and curtailing, so as best to meet the arguments of those who still contended that the earth was spherical. This accounts for the longer and shorter forms of the production in different manuscript copies. The entire treatise was first published by Bernard de Montfaucon, from a MS. of the tenth century, in Greek and Latin, in his Collectio Nova Patrum et Scriptorum Graecorum, fol., Paris, 1706, to which the editor prefixed an able and learned preface. This is the best edition. It is also printed in the Bibliotheca Vctt. Patirum edited by Gallandi, Ven. 1765.
We learn from Cosmas himself, that he composed a Universal Cosmography, as also Astronomical tables, in which the motions of the stars were described. He was likewise the author of a Commentary on the Canticles and an exposition on the Psalms. These are now lost. Leo Allatius thinks that he wrote the Chronicon Alexandrinum; but it is more correct to affirm, with Cave, that the author of the Chronicle borrowed largely from Cosmas, copying without scruple, and in the same words, many of his observations.
Dion. Of Alexandria, apparently a writer on proverbs, who is mentioned by Zenobius (v. 54) and Apostolius. (xix. 24; comp. Suid. s. v. to Dionos gru; Apostol. xv. 3; Suid. s. v. oude Herakles ; Schneidewin, Corp. Paroemiogr. i.)
Epiphanius, (Epiphanios). Of Alexandria, son of the mathematician Theon, who addresses to him his commentaries on Ptolemy. (Theon, Commentary on Ptolemy, ed. Halma, Paris, 1821-22.) Possibly this Epiphanius is one of the authors of a work peri bronton kai astrapon, by Epiphanius and Andreas, or Andrew, formerly in the library of Dr. George Wheeler, canon of Durhan. ( Catal. MSS. Angliae et Hiberniae, Oxon. 1697.)
Melampus. The author of two short works in Greek on divination, who lived in the third century B.C. at Alexandria. Edition by Franz (Altenburg, 1780).
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