Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
The Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology is an encyclopedia/biographical dictionary. Edited by William Smith, the dictionary spans 3,700 pages, it is a classic work of 19th-century lexicography. The work is a companion to Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities and Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography; the work lists thirty-five authors in addition to the editor, an author for some definitions and articles. The authors were classical scholars from Oxford, Rugby School, the University of Bonn, but some were from other institutions. Many of the mythological entries were the work of the German expatriate Leonhard Schmitz, who helped to popularise German classical scholarship in Britain. With respect to biographies, Smith intended to be comprehensive. In the preface, he writes:The biographical articles in this work include the names of all persons of any importance which occur in the Greek and Roman writers, from the earliest times down to the extinction of the Western Empire in the year 476 of our era, to the extinction of the Eastern Empire by the capture of Constantinople by the turks in the year 1453.
Samuel Sharpe thought Edward Bunbury had plagiarised his work, as he wrote of in his diary entry on 3 September 1850: I felt mortified on reading the articles on the Ptolemies in Dr. Smith's "Dictionary of Classical Biography." They were all written by E. H. Bunbury with the help of my "History of Egypt," and with-out any acknowledgment, though he borrowed the volume from my brother Dan for the purpose. Many of the Dictionary's definitions and articles have been referred to in more recent works, Robert Graves has been accused of "lifting his impressive-looking source references straight, unchecked" from it when writing The Greek Myths; the work is now in the public domain, is available in several places on the Internet. While still accurate, much is missing more recent discoveries and epigraphic material. More the context in which ancient evidence is viewed has changed in the intervening century and a half. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
Vol. I online at University of Michigan Library. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. II online at University of Michigan Library. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. III online at University of Michigan Library; the Internet Archive has a derivative work: Smith, William. A new classical dictionary of biography and geography based on the "Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology.". London: Murray. Anthon, Charles. A new classical dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and geography: based upon the Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology by William Smith. New York: Harper and Brothers
Heraclea Heracleia or Herakleia, was an ancient city of Magna Graecia. It was situated on the Gulf of Taranto between the rivers Siris; the ruins of the city are located in the modern comune of Policoro in the Province of Matera, Italy. It was a Greek colony, but founded at a period later than most of the other Greek cities in this part of Italy; the territory in which it was established had belonged to the Ionic colony of Siris, after the fall of that city seems to have become the subject of contention between the neighboring states. The Athenians had a claim upon the territory of Siris, it was in virtue of this that their colonists the Thurians immediately after their establishment in Italy, advanced similar pretensions; these were, resisted by the Tarentines. The few remaining inhabitants of Siris were added to the new colonists, it would appear that the settlement was first established on the ancient site of Siris itself, but was subsequently transferred from thence, an ancient, but new city founded about 24 stadia from the former, nearer the river Aciris, to which the name of Heraclea was given.
Siris did not cease to exist, but lapsed into the subordinate condition of the port or emporium of Heraclea. The foundation of the new city is placed by Diodorus in 432 BCE, fourteen years after the settlement of Thurii. Diodorus, as well as Livy, calls it a colony of Tarentum. Antiochus is the only writer who mentions the share taken by the Thurians in its original foundation. Pliny erroneously regards Heraclea as identical with Siris; the new colony appears to have risen to power and prosperity, protected by the fostering care of the Tarentines, who were at one time engaged in war with the Messapians for its defence. It was owing to the predominant influence of Tarentum that Heraclea was selected as the place of meeting of the general assembly of the Italiot Greeks, but beyond the general fact that it enjoyed great wealth and prosperity, advantages which it doubtless owed to the noted fertility of its territory, we have scarcely any information concerning the history of Heraclea until we reach a period when it was beginning to decline.
We cannot doubt that it took part with the Tarentines in their wars against the Messapians and Lucanians, it appears to have fallen into a state of dependence upon that city, though without ceasing to be, in name at least, an independent state. Hence, when Alexander, king of Epirus, invited to Italy by the Tarentines, subsequently became hostile to that people, he avenged himself by taking Heraclea, and, as mentioned, transferred to the Thurians the general assemblies, held there. During the war of Pyrrhus with the Romans, Heraclea was the scene of the first conflict between the two powers, the consul Laevinus being defeated by the Epirot king in a battle fought between the city of Heraclea and the river Siris, 280 BCE. Heraclea was at this time in alliance with the Tarentines and Lucanians against Rome. Heraclea preserved this privileged condition throughout the period of the Roman Republic. We hear that Heraclea surrendered under compulsion to Hannibal in 212 BCE. We have no account of the part taken by Heraclea in the Social War.
Cicero speaks of it, in his defence of the poet Aulus Licinius Archias, as still a flourishing and important town, it appears to have been one of the few Greek cities in the south of Italy that still preserved their consideration under the Roman dominion. Its name is unaccountably omitted by the 2nd century AD geographer Ptolemy, it was still a place of some importance under the empire. The time and circumstances of its final extinction are wholly unknown, but the site is now desolate, the whole neighbouring district, once celebrated as one of the most fertile in Italy, was by the mid-19th century wholly uninhabited; the position of the ancient city may be identified.
Joannes Stobaeus, from Stobi in Macedonia, was the compiler of a valuable series of extracts from Greek authors. The work was divided into two volumes containing two books each; the two volumes became separated in the manuscript tradition, the first volume became known as the Extracts and the second volume became known as the Anthology. Modern editions now refer to both volumes as the Anthology; the Anthology contains extracts from hundreds of writers poets, orators and physicians. The subjects covered range from natural philosophy and ethics, to politics and maxims of practical wisdom; the work preserves fragments of many works who otherwise might be unknown today. Of his life nothing is known, he derived his surname from being a native of Stobi in Macedonia Salutaris. The age in which he lived cannot be fixed with accuracy, he quotes no writer than the early 5th century, he lived around this time. From his silence in regard to Christian authors, it has been inferred, his name, would rather indicate a Christian, or at least the son of Christian parents.
His anthology is a valuable collection of extracts from earlier Greek writers, which he collected and arranged, in the order of subjects, as a repertory of valuable and instructive sayings. In most of the manuscripts there is a division into three books; the extracts were intended by Stobaeus for his son Septimius, were preceded by a letter explaining the purpose of the work and giving a summary of the contents. It is evident from this summary, preserved in Photius's Bibliotheca, that the work was divided into four books and two volumes, that surviving manuscripts of the third book consist of two books which have been merged; as each of the four books is sometimes called Anthologion, it is probable that this name belonged to the entire work. The full title, according to Photius, was Four Books of Extracts and Precepts. At some time subsequent to Photius the two volumes were separated, the two volumes became known to Latin Europe as the Eclogae and the Florilegium respectively. Modern editions have dropped these two titles and have reverted to calling the entire work the Anthology.
The introduction to the whole work, treating of the value of philosophy and of philosophical sects, is lost, with the exception of the concluding portion. Each chapter of the four books is headed by a title describing its matter. Stobaeus quoted more than five hundred writers beginning with the poets, proceeding to the historians, orators and physicians; the works of the greater part of these have perished. It is to him, he has quoted over 500 passages from Euripides, 150 from Sophocles, over 200 from Menander. The first two books consist for the most part of extracts conveying the views of earlier poets and prose writers on points of physics and ethics. We learn from Photius that the first book was preceded by a dissertation on the advantages of philosophy, an account of the different schools of philosophy, a collection of the opinions of ancient writers on geometry and arithmetic; the greater part of this introduction is lost. The close of it only, where arithmetic is spoken of, is still extant.
The first book was divided into sixty chapters, the second into forty-six, of which the manuscripts preserve only the first nine. Some of the missing parts of the second book have, been recovered from a 14th-century gnomology, his knowledge of physics — in the wide sense which the Greeks assigned to this term — is untrustworthy. Stobaeus betrays a tendency to confound the dogmas of the early Ionian philosophers, he mixes up Platonism with Pythagoreanism. For part of the first book and much of the second, it is clear that he depended on the works of the Peripatetic philosopher Aetius and the Stoic philosopher Arius Didymus; the third and fourth books are devoted to subjects of a moral and economic kind, maxims of practical wisdom. The third book consisted of forty-two chapters, the fourth of fifty-eight; these two books, like the larger part of the second, treat of ethics. The first edition of books 1 and 2 was that by G. Canter. There were subsequent editions made by A. H. L. Heeren, Thomas Gaisford.
The first edition of books 3 and 4 was that edited by Trincavelli. Three editions were published by Conrad Gessner, another by Gaisford; the first edition of the whole of Stobaeus together was one published at Geneva in 1609. The next major edition of the whole corpus was that by Augustus Meineke; the modern edition is
A star is type of astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma held together by its own gravity. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun. Many other stars are visible to the naked eye from Earth during the night, appearing as a multitude of fixed luminous points in the sky due to their immense distance from Earth; the most prominent stars were grouped into constellations and asterisms, the brightest of which gained proper names. Astronomers have assembled star catalogues that identify the known stars and provide standardized stellar designations. However, most of the estimated 300 sextillion stars in the Universe are invisible to the naked eye from Earth, including all stars outside our galaxy, the Milky Way. For at least a portion of its life, a star shines due to thermonuclear fusion of hydrogen into helium in its core, releasing energy that traverses the star's interior and radiates into outer space. All occurring elements heavier than helium are created by stellar nucleosynthesis during the star's lifetime, for some stars by supernova nucleosynthesis when it explodes.
Near the end of its life, a star can contain degenerate matter. Astronomers can determine the mass, age and many other properties of a star by observing its motion through space, its luminosity, spectrum respectively; the total mass of a star is the main factor. Other characteristics of a star, including diameter and temperature, change over its life, while the star's environment affects its rotation and movement. A plot of the temperature of many stars against their luminosities produces a plot known as a Hertzsprung–Russell diagram. Plotting a particular star on that diagram allows the age and evolutionary state of that star to be determined. A star's life begins with the gravitational collapse of a gaseous nebula of material composed of hydrogen, along with helium and trace amounts of heavier elements; when the stellar core is sufficiently dense, hydrogen becomes converted into helium through nuclear fusion, releasing energy in the process. The remainder of the star's interior carries energy away from the core through a combination of radiative and convective heat transfer processes.
The star's internal pressure prevents it from collapsing further under its own gravity. A star with mass greater than 0.4 times the Sun's will expand to become a red giant when the hydrogen fuel in its core is exhausted. In some cases, it will fuse heavier elements in shells around the core; as the star expands it throws a part of its mass, enriched with those heavier elements, into the interstellar environment, to be recycled as new stars. Meanwhile, the core becomes a stellar remnant: a white dwarf, a neutron star, or if it is sufficiently massive a black hole. Binary and multi-star systems consist of two or more stars that are gravitationally bound and move around each other in stable orbits; when two such stars have a close orbit, their gravitational interaction can have a significant impact on their evolution. Stars can form part of a much larger gravitationally bound structure, such as a star cluster or a galaxy. Stars have been important to civilizations throughout the world, they have used for celestial navigation and orientation.
Many ancient astronomers believed that stars were permanently affixed to a heavenly sphere and that they were immutable. By convention, astronomers grouped stars into constellations and used them to track the motions of the planets and the inferred position of the Sun; the motion of the Sun against the background stars was used to create calendars, which could be used to regulate agricultural practices. The Gregorian calendar used nearly everywhere in the world, is a solar calendar based on the angle of the Earth's rotational axis relative to its local star, the Sun; the oldest dated star chart was the result of ancient Egyptian astronomy in 1534 BC. The earliest known star catalogues were compiled by the ancient Babylonian astronomers of Mesopotamia in the late 2nd millennium BC, during the Kassite Period; the first star catalogue in Greek astronomy was created by Aristillus in 300 BC, with the help of Timocharis. The star catalog of Hipparchus included 1020 stars, was used to assemble Ptolemy's star catalogue.
Hipparchus is known for the discovery of the first recorded nova. Many of the constellations and star names in use today derive from Greek astronomy. In spite of the apparent immutability of the heavens, Chinese astronomers were aware that new stars could appear. In 185 AD, they were the first to observe and write about a supernova, now known as the SN 185; the brightest stellar event in recorded history was the SN 1006 supernova, observed in 1006 and written about by the Egyptian astronomer Ali ibn Ridwan and several Chinese astronomers. The SN 1054 supernova, which gave birth to the Crab Nebula, was observed by Chinese and Islamic astronomers. Medieval Islamic astronomers gave Arabic names to many stars that are still used today and they invented numerous astronomical instruments that could compute the positions of the stars, they built the first large observatory research institutes for the purpose of producing Zij star catalogues. Among these, the Book of Fixed Stars was written by the Persian astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi, who observed a number of stars, star clusters and galaxies.
According to A. Zahoor, in the 11th century, the Persian polymath scholar Abu Rayhan Biruni described the Milky
Franchinus Gaffurius was an Italian music theorist and composer of the Renaissance. He was an exact contemporary of Josquin des Prez and Leonardo da Vinci, both of whom were his personal friends, he was one of the most famous musicians in Italy in the late early 16th centuries. He was born in Lodi to an aristocratic family. Early in life he entered a Benedictine monastery, he lived in Mantua and Verona before settling in Milan as the maestro di cappella at the cathedral there, a position which he accepted in January 1484. During the previous decade the Sforza family, using the composer Gaspar van Weerbeke as a recruiter, had built the choir at their chapel in Milan into one of the largest and most distinguished musical ensembles in Europe: composer-singers such as Alexander Agricola, Loyset Compère and Johannes Martini had all been employed there. While the membership of the choir at the Milan cathedral was Italian, the cross-influence between his choir and the group at the Sforza chapel was significant.
Gaffurius retained the post at the cathedral for the rest of his life, it was in Milan that he knew both Josquin des Prez and Leonardo da Vinci. Gaffurius was read, showed a strong humanist bent. In addition to having a thorough understanding of contemporary musical practice, he met composers from all over Europe, since he had the good fortune to be living and working at one of the centers of activity for the incoming Netherlanders, his books have a pedagogical intent, provide a young composer with all the techniques necessary to learn his art. The major treatises of his years in Milan are three: Theorica musicae, Practica musicae, De harmonia musicorum instrumentorum opus; the second of these, the Practica musicae, is the most thorough, proceeding through subjects as diverse as ancient Greek notation, mensuration and tempo. One of his most famous comments is that the tactus, the tempo of a semibreve, is equal to the pulse of a man, breathing quietly—presumably about 72 beats per minute. Gaffurius wrote masses, settings of the Magnificat, hymns during his Milan years.
Some of the motets were written for ceremonial occasions for his ducal employer. His music was collected in four codices under his own direction. Franchino Gaffurio Missa de Carneval Motets: Stabat mater, Adoramus Te, Imperatrix reginarum, Imperatrix gloriosa, Florem ergo, Res miranda, Salve Regina, Magnificat, O sacrum convivium, Quando venit, Ave corpus. Il Convitto Armonico, Baschenis Ensemble, Stefano Buschini. Tactus 2012 Articles "Franchinus Gaffurius," "Leonardo da Vinci" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie. 20 vol. London, Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 1980. ISBN 1-56159-174-2 Patrick Macey, "Josquin des Prez". New York, W. W. Norton & Co. 1954. ISBN 0-393-09530-4 Free scores by Franchinus Gaffurius in the Choral Public Domain Library Free scores by Franchinus Gaffurius at the International Music Score Library Project
Plutarch named, upon becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, was a Greek biographer and essayist, known for his Parallel Lives and Moralia. He is classified as a Middle Platonist. Plutarch's surviving works were intended for both Greek and Roman readers. Plutarch was born to a prominent family in the small town of Chaeronea, about 80 kilometres east of Delphi, in the Greek region of Boeotia, his family was wealthy. The name of Plutarch's father has not been preserved, but based on the common Greek custom of repeating a name in alternate generations, it was Nikarchus; the name of Plutarch's grandfather was Lamprias, as he attested in Moralia and in his Life of Antony. His brothers and Lamprias, are mentioned in his essays and dialogues, which speak of Timon in particular in the most affectionate terms. Rualdus, in his 1624 work Life of Plutarchus, recovered the name of Plutarch's wife, from internal evidence afforded by his writings. A letter is still extant, addressed by Plutarch to his wife, bidding her not to grieve too much at the death of their two-year-old daughter, named Timoxena after her mother.
He hinted at a belief in reincarnation in that letter of consolation. The exact number of his sons is not certain, although two of them and the second Plutarch, are mentioned. Plutarch's treatise De animae procreatione in Timaeo is dedicated to them, the marriage of his son Autobulus is the occasion of one of the dinner parties recorded in the "Table Talk". Another person, Soklarus, is spoken of in terms which seem to imply that he was Plutarch's son, but this is nowhere stated, his treatise on marriage questions, addressed to Eurydice and Pollianus, seems to speak of the latter as having been an inmate of his house, but without any clear evidence on whether she was his daughter or not. Plutarch studied mathematics and philosophy at the Academy of Athens under Ammonius from 66 to 67. At some point, Plutarch received Roman citizenship; as evidenced by his new name, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, his sponsor for citizenship was Lucius Mestrius Florus, a Roman of consular status whom Plutarch used as a historical source for his Life of Otho.
He lived most of his life at Chaeronea, was initiated into the mysteries of the Greek god Apollo. For many years Plutarch served as one of the two priests at the temple of Apollo at Delphi, the site of the famous Delphic Oracle, twenty miles from his home. By his writings and lectures Plutarch became a celebrity in the Roman Empire, yet he continued to reside where he was born, participated in local affairs serving as mayor. At his country estate, guests from all over the empire congregated for serious conversation, presided over by Plutarch in his marble chair. Many of these dialogues were recorded and published, the 78 essays and other works which have survived are now known collectively as the Moralia. In addition to his duties as a priest of the Delphic temple, Plutarch was a magistrate at Chaeronea and he represented his home town on various missions to foreign countries during his early adult years. Plutarch held the office of archon in his native municipality only an annual one which he served more than once.
He undertook the humblest of duties. The Suda, a medieval Greek encyclopedia, states that Emperor Trajan made Plutarch procurator of Illyria. However, most historians consider this unlikely, since Illyria was not a procuratorial province, Plutarch did not speak Illyrian. According to the 8th/9th-century historian George Syncellus, late in Plutarch's life, Emperor Hadrian appointed him nominal procurator of Achaea – which entitled him to wear the vestments and ornaments of a consul. Plutarch spent the last thirty years of his life serving as a priest in Delphi, he thus connected part of his literary work with the sanctuary of Apollo, the processes of oracle-giving and the personalities who lived or traveled there. One of his most important works is the "Why Pythia does not give oracles in verse". More important is the dialogue "On the E in Delphi", which features Ammonius, a Platonic philosopher and teacher of Plutarch, Lambrias, Plutarch's brother. According to Ammonius, the letter E written on the temple of Apollo in Delphi originated from the following fact: the wise men of antiquity, whose maxims were written on the walls of the vestibule of the temple, were not seven but five: Chilon, Thales and Pittakos.
However, the tyrants Cleobulos and Periandros used their political power in order to be incorporated in the list. Thus, the E, which corresponds to number 5, constituted an acknowledgment that the Delphic maxims originated from the five real wise men; the portrait of a philosopher exhibited at the exit of the Archaeological Museum of Delphi, dating to the 2nd century AD, had been in the past identified with Plutarch. The man, although bearded, is depicted at a young age, his hair and beard are rendered in thin incisions. The gaze is due to the heavy eyelids and the incised pupils; the portrait is no longer thought to represent Plutarch. But a fragmentary hermaic stele next to the portrait did once bear a portrait of Plutarch, since it is inscribed, "The Delphians along with the Chaeroneans dedicated this to Plutarch, following the precepts of the Amphictyony". Plutarc
Plato was an Athenian philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought, the Academy, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. He is considered the pivotal figure in the history of Ancient Greek and Western philosophy, along with his teacher and his most famous student, Aristotle. Plato has often been cited as one of the founders of Western religion and spirituality; the so-called Neoplatonism of philosophers like Plotinus and Porphyry influenced Saint Augustine and thus Christianity. Alfred North Whitehead once noted: "the safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato."Plato was the innovator of the written dialogue and dialectic forms in philosophy. Plato appears to have been the founder of Western political philosophy, his most famous contribution bears his name, the doctrine of the Forms known by pure reason to provide a realist solution to the problem of universals.
He is the namesake of Platonic love and the Platonic solids. His own most decisive philosophical influences are thought to have been along with Socrates, the pre-Socratics Pythagoras and Parmenides, although few of his predecessors' works remain extant and much of what we know about these figures today derives from Plato himself. Unlike the work of nearly all of his contemporaries, Plato's entire oeuvre is believed to have survived intact for over 2,400 years. Although their popularity has fluctuated over the years, the works of Plato have never been without readers since the time they were written. Due to a lack of surviving accounts, little is known about education. Plato belonged to an influential family. According to a disputed tradition, reported by doxographer Diogenes Laërtius, Plato's father Ariston traced his descent from the king of Athens and the king of Messenia, Melanthus. Plato's mother was Perictione, whose family boasted of a relationship with the famous Athenian lawmaker and lyric poet Solon, one of the seven sages, who repealed the laws of Draco.
Perictione was sister of Charmides and niece of Critias, both prominent figures of the Thirty Tyrants, known as the Thirty, the brief oligarchic regime, which followed on the collapse of Athens at the end of the Peloponnesian War. According to some accounts, Ariston tried to force his attentions on Perictione, but failed in his purpose; the exact time and place of Plato's birth are unknown. Based on ancient sources, most modern scholars believe that he was born in Athens or Aegina between 429 and 423 BC, not long after the start of the Peloponnesian War; the traditional date of Plato's birth during the 87th or 88th Olympiad, 428 or 427 BC, is based on a dubious interpretation of Diogenes Laërtius, who says, "When was gone, joined Cratylus the Heracleitean and Hermogenes, who philosophized in the manner of Parmenides. At twenty-eight, Hermodorus says, went to Euclides in Megara." However, as Debra Nails argues, the text does not state that Plato left for Megara after joining Cratylus and Hermogenes.
In his Seventh Letter, Plato notes that his coming of age coincided with the taking of power by the Thirty, remarking, "But a youth under the age of twenty made himself a laughingstock if he attempted to enter the political arena." Thus, Nails dates Plato's birth to 424/423. According to Neanthes, Plato was six years younger than Isocrates, therefore was born the same year the prominent Athenian statesman Pericles died. Jonathan Barnes regards 428 BC as the year of Plato's birth; the grammarian Apollodorus of Athens in his Chronicles argues that Plato was born in the 88th Olympiad. Both the Suda and Sir Thomas Browne claimed he was born during the 88th Olympiad. Another legend related that, when Plato was an infant, bees settled on his lips while he was sleeping: an augury of the sweetness of style in which he would discourse about philosophy. Besides Plato himself and Perictione had three other children; the brothers Adeimantus and Glaucon are mentioned in the Republic as sons of Ariston, brothers of Plato, though some have argued they were uncles.
In a scenario in the Memorabilia, Xenophon confused the issue by presenting a Glaucon much younger than Plato. Ariston appears to have died in Plato's childhood, although the precise dating of his death is difficult. Perictione married Pyrilampes, her mother's brother, who had served many times as an ambassador to the Persian court and was a friend of Pericles, the leader of the democratic faction in Athens. Pyrilampes had a son from a previous marriage, famous for his beauty. Perictione gave birth to Pyrilampes' second son, the half-brother of Plato, who appears in Parmenides. In contrast to his reticence about himself, Plato introduced his distinguished relatives into his dialogues, or referred to them with some precision. In addition to Adeimantus and Glaucon in the Republic, Charmides has a dialogue named after him; these and other references suggest a considerable amount of family pride and enable us to reconstruct Plato's family tree. According to Burnet, "the opening scene of the Ch