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Achaeus (2) of Eretria, Athenian tragic poet, to be distinguished from Achaeus of Syracuse, who may be the Achaeus who won a *Lenaean victory c.356. According to the *Suda the Eretrian was born in 484–480 bce, wrote 44 or 30 or 24 plays, the first produced between 447 and 444, and won one victory. Being unmentioned at Ar. Ran.73–87, he was probably dead by 405. Of 20 known titles at least eight are satyric, and the philosopher *Menedemus (1) (a fellow Eretrian) thought his satyr-plays second only to those of *Aeschylus (Diog. Laert. 2. 133). *Didymus (1) seems to have written a commentary on him. *Euripides is said to have adapted a maxim from him (fr. 6, cf. Eur. fr. 895), and he is quoted three times by *Aristophanes (1) (Vesp.1081, Pax356, Ran.184). *Athenaeus (1) (10.

Article

Andrew Brown

Achilles (Ἀχιλλεύς), son of *Peleus and *Thetis; greatest of the Greek heroes in the Trojan War; central character of *Homer's Iliad.

His name may be of Mycenaean Greek origin, meaning ‘a grief to the army’. If so, the destructive Wrath of Achilles, which forms the subject of the Iliad, must have been central to his mythical existence from the first.

In Homer he is king of Phthia, or ‘Hellas and Phthia’, in southern Thessaly (see phthiotis), and his people are the Myrmidons. As described at Il. 2. 681–5 the size of his kingdom, and of his contingent in the Trojan expedition (50 ships), is not outstanding. But in terms of martial prowess, which is the measure of excellence for a Homeric hero, Achilles' status as ‘best of the Achaeans’ is unquestioned. We are reminded of his absolute supremacy throughout the poem, even during those long stretches for which he is absent from the battlefield.

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(see novel, greek) from *Alexandria (1), author of ‘The Story of Leucippe and Cleitophon’ (Τὰ κατὰ Λευκίππην καì Κλειτοφῶντα) in eight books. Shown by papyri to be circulating by the mid-2nd cent. ce, it probably dates from the preceding decades. Of three other works ascribed to Achilles by the *Suda two are lost (an Etymology and a Miscellaneous History of Many Great and Illustrious Men), and the ascription of that partly preserved, On the Sphere, is debated. The Suda's story that later he became a Christian, and even a bishop, is probably false. Achilles varies patterns common to the genre: the enamoured couple elope and survive shipwreck, attacks by pirates and brigands, and complicated adventures in Egypt; they are eventually re-united in Ephesus after Leucippe has passed a chastity-test (cf. heliodorus (4)). The story is presented as Cleitophon's autobiographic narrative, told to the writer in a temple grove at Sidon (cf.

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Achilles Tatius (2) (probably 3rd cent. ce), author of a Greek commentary on *Aratus (1), the only surviving part of his work Περὶ σφαίρας.

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Acusilaus, of Argos, lived ‘before the *Persian Wars’ (Joseph. Ap. 1–13) and compiled *genealogies, translating and correcting *Hesiod, with ingenious conjectures but no literary merit.

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Adrianus (Hadrianus) of Tyre (c. CE 113–93), sophist, pupil of *Herodes Atticus; held the chairs of rhetoric at Athens and Rome. One short *declamation attributed to him survives. See second sophistic.

Article

Originally named Athenais, Eudocia was the daughter of Leontius, a teacher of rhetoric. She was born in Athens (Evagrius Scholasticus Historia ecclesiastica 1.20) and probably followed her father in his career move to Alexandria, before returning to Athens, where Leontius was elected to the chair of rhetoric in 415ce with the help and intervention of Olympiodorus of Thebes (Olympiodorus fr. 28 FHG). Details of Eudocia’s life are complicated by the novelistic embellishments of the chroniclers (exemplified in Joannes Malalas 272-8 Thurn) and contemporary polemics persisting in later sources,1 but a basic narrative seems secure. Eudocia’s classical education (reported by Malalas 273 Thurn; Phot. Bibl. 183; Tzetz. Chil. 10.48–54) is evident in the nature of her literary output, her use of traditional poetic language, and her classical versification, which reveal formal training despite occasional inconsistencies and non-classical usages. Athenais converted to Christianity and changed her name to Eudocia before her marriage to Theodosius II on 7 June 421.

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Aelian  

Steven D. Smith

Aelian (Claudius Aelianus, 161/77–230/8 CE), an influential writer of miscellaneous works in Rome during the reign of the Severan emperors, helped shape the literary landscape of the so-called Second Sophistic. There are two sources for his life, one a contemporary notice by Philostratus in his Lives of the Sophists, and the other a brief entry in the 10th-centurySuda lexicon. According to the former, Aelian ‘was a Roman, but he spoke and wrote Attic Greek’ (VS 624). A student of the sophist Pausanias of Caesarea and an admirer of Herodes Atticus, Aelian himself declined to declaim in public and instead committed himself to writing and composition. He died without any children, and he claimed never to have travelled outside of Italy. The Suda supplies additional information: Aelian was born in Praeneste (modern Palestrina) near Rome and he was a high priest (ἀρχιερεύς), though the Byzantine source is silent about what god Aelian served.

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Aelianus (1st–2nd cent. ce), author of a Greek Tactica, on the tactics of the Hellenistic *hoplite phalanx, heavily indebted to earlier military writers.

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David Whitehead

Aeneas (Aineias) Tacticus, probably the Stymphalian general of the Arcadian koinon (see arcadian league) in 367 bce (Xen. Hell. 7. 3. 1); anyway the earlies (-surviving) and most historically interesting of the ancient military writers (tactici). Of several treatises only his Siegecraft (Poliorcetica) is extant, internally datable to the mid-4th cent. via the clustering of contemporary illustrations of its precepts (and linguistically important for its embryo form of the koinē). Concerned more with defence against than prosecution of siege-warfare, it offers unique insights into the stresses of life in small communities with warfare and revolution constantly threatening. See siegecraft, greek.

Article

Aeschines was an Athenian politician and orator. He came from a respectable family but was not a member of the wealthy elite. He worked as a secretary for the Council and Assembly, then as an actor. He participated in the embassies that negotiated the Peace of Philocrates with Philip II and argued for its ratification. After the Second Embassy to Philip, Demosthenes and Timarchus accused Aeschines of treason. Aeschines convicted Timarchus of being a homosexual prostitute, which discouraged Demosthenes from bringing his accusation to court until 343/342. Aeschines was acquitted by a narrow margin, but lost influence. He defended the Athenians against the charges of the Locrians at a meeting of the Amphictyons in 339. He accused Ctesiphon of proposing an illegal decree of honours for Demosthenes in 336, but he lost the case by a wide margin at Ctesiphon’s trial in 330.Ancient critics consistently included Aeschines in the canon of the ten great Attic orators. Cicero ranked him second only to .

Article

Michael Gagarin

(4th cent. bce), of the *deme of Sphettus in Attica, a devoted follower of *Socrates, was present at his trial and death. He wrote speeches for the lawcourts and taught oratory, but fell into poverty and took refuge at the court in *Syracuse, returning to Athens after the expulsion of *Dionysius (2) II in 356. Best known as the author of Socratic dialogues which resemble *Xenophon (1)'s more than *Plato (1)'s, Aeschines was apparently not an original thinker, and his Socrates expounds common ethical views. Although only fragments survive today, seven dialogues were considered genuine in antiquity: Alcibiades, Axiochus, Aspasia, Callias, Miltiades, Rhinon, Telauges. The first of these was partly intended to defend Socrates against charges of corrupting the young *Alcibiades. The dialogues of Aeschines were highly esteemed for their style and their faithfulness to Socrates' character and conversational manner.

Article

Alan H. Sommerstein

Aeschylus was probably born at *Eleusis in 525/4 bce (Marm. Par.). He fought at the battle of *Marathon (Marm. Par.; Vita 4, 11) and probably at *Salamis ( *Ion (2) of Chios, FGrH 392 F 7). His first tragic production was in 499 (Sudaαι357 with π 2230), his first victory in 484 (Marm. Par.); thereafter he may have been almost invariably victorious, especially after the death of *Phrynichus (1)c.473 (he gained thirteen victories altogether, Vita13). Of his surviving plays, Persians was produced in 472 (his chorēgos being the young *Pericles (1) ) and Seven against Thebes in 467. Suppliants, part of a production which won first prize over *Sophocles (1) (POxy. 2256. 3), is probably later than Seven (despite the predominant role of the chorus and other features once thought to prove it very early); its exact date is uncertain. The Oresteia (comprising Agamemnon, Choephori (‘Women Bearing Drink-offerings’), and Eumenides, with the lost satyr-play Proteus) was Aeschylus' last production in Athens, in 458.

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Aesop  

J. S. Rusten

Aesop, as legendary a figure as Homer. What we now call *fables (Gk. αἶνοι, μῦθοι, λόγοι), i.e. stories clearly fictitious (often about speaking animals), which illustrate a point or support an argument, are first alluded to by Hes.Op. 202–12 and Archil. fr. 174 West, but by the 5th and 4th cents. such fables in prose are regularly attributed to Aesop (Ar.Vesp.566, Av.471; Arist. fr. 573 Rose; a black-figured portrait of Aesop with talking fox, Beazley, ARV2 2 p. 916 no. 183, K. Schefold, Die Bildnisse der antiken Dichter, Redner und Denker (1943) 57.4). Hdt. 2. 134–5 places him in the 6th cent. bce as the slave of Iadmon, a Samian later murdered by Delphians (cf. Ar. Vesp. 1446–8); Plato Com. fr. 70 KA has his soul returning from the grave (cf. Plut. Sol. 6); the legend suggests a ritual scapegoat (φαρμακός).

Article

Agathocles (2) of Cyzicus, grammarian, c. 275/65 –200/190 bce, quite possibly to be identified with the local historian (FGrH472). He was a pupil of *Zenodotus. A small number of fragments attest an interest in myth and cosmology in *Homer.

Article

Agathon  

Andrew Brown

Agathon, son of Tisamenus of Athens, was the most celebrated tragic poet after the three great masters. (See tragedy, greek.) He won his first victory at the *Lenaea in 416 bce, and the occasion of *Plato (1)'s Symposium is a party at his house in celebration of that victory. Plato emphasizes his youth in the Symposium and portrays him as a boy in the Protagoras (315d), of which the dramatic date is about 430, so he must have been born after 450. In the Protagoras he is seen in the company of the *sophist*Prodicus, and he appears to have been influenced in style by *Gorgias (1). In 411 he heard and approved *Antiphon (1)'s speech in his defence (Arist. Eth. Eud. 3. 5)—this suggests anti-democratic sentiments—and in the same year he was caricatured in *Aristophanes (1)'s Thesmophoriazusae.

Article

agōnes  

Stephen Instone and Antony Spawforth

(1) The term agōn (ἀγών) and its derivatives can denote the informal and extempore competitive struggles and rivalries that permeated Greek life in the general fight for success and survival (cf. Hes. Op. 11–26), especially philosophical, legal, and public debates; action between opposing sides in war; medical disputes. Competitive behaviour in this last area is illustrated by the Hippocratic work (see hippocrates (2)) On Joints, which at one point (Art.70) envisages a medical assistant, in his struggle to realign a dislocated thigh, enjoying an agōn or contest with the patient (cf. also Art. 58: medical rivalry in producing prognoses). A corollary of the agonistic drive was the prominence as a motive for action of *philotimia (love of honour), which could turn into over-ambition and jealous rivalry, and, in its worst form, lead to *stasis (strife) and political upheaval (cf. Pind. fr. 210 Snell–Maehler; Thuc. 3. 82. 8).

Article

Alcaeus (1) lyric poet, of *Mytilene on Lesbos. Probably born c.625–620 bce, since he was old enough to participate in the struggle against Athens for *Sigeum in the Troad in the last decade of the century in which *Pittacus distinguished himself (fr. 428; Hdt. 5. 95; Diog. Laert. 1. 74; Strabo 13. 1. 38). Lesbian politics at this period were violent and confused. The ruling dynasty, the Penthilidae, who traced their descent from *Orestes, were weakened and finally overthrown by two successive coups (Arist. Pol. 1311b26, 29). Power passed to a tyrant named Melanchrus, who was overthrown by a faction headed by Pittacus and Alcaeus' brothers c.612–609 (Suda, entry under Πιττακός; Diog. Laert. 1. 74); Alcaeus (perhaps too young—fr. 75) was not involved (Diog. Laert. 1. 74). A new tyrant, Myrsilus, emerged, who was opposed unsuccessfully by a faction of exiles including Pittacus and Alcaeus (frs. 129, 114); Pittacus subsequently allied himself with Myrsilus, while his former comrades continued the struggle in exile (frs. 129, 70). After Myrsilus' death the people elected Pittacus *aisymnētēs (dictator) to ward off Alcaeus' faction (frs.

Article

Kenneth Dover and Christopher Pelling

Is called by the Suda a comedian of the Old Comedy (see comedy (greek), old) (κωμικὸς τῆς ἀρχαίας κωμῳδίας) and author of ten plays. His Pasiphae took the fifth (last) prize in 388 bce (hyp. 4 Ar. Plut.). Fragments of seven other plays survive; the titles suggest that he specialized in mythological burlesques.

Article

Alan Douglas Edward Cameron and Christopher Pelling

Alcaeus (3) of Messen (fl. 200 bce), author of 22 epigrams from the Garland of *Meleager (2) on various themes, notably political attacks on *Philip (3) V of Macedon (who replied to one of them; Plut. Flam. 9). Also wrote abusive iambics (now lost).