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Lydiadas  

James Roy

Lydiadas, son of Eudamus, of Megalopolis (d. 227bce). Reputedly commanded troops against Sparta (251bce) (but see Pretzler), later (c.244bce) became tyrant of Megalopolis. Under threat from the Achaean Confederacy he abdicated, reintroduced the democratic constitution, and united Megalopolis with the confederacy (235bce), which gave protection against Sparta. He was elected stratēgos (general and chief magistrate) of the confederacy, in rivalry to Aratus, in 234/233, 232/231, and 230/229, and began a tradition of Megalopolitan leadership which was later continued by Philopoemen, Lycortas, and Polybius. As hipparch (cavalry commander) in 227bce, while Aratus was stratēgos, Lydiadas (according to Aratus’s account) disobeyed Aratus’s orders in the battle at Ladoceia against Cleomenes II of Sparta and was killed. Pausanias (8.27.15) gives a revisited, partisan account of a heroic death defending Megalopolis unsuccessfully against Cleomenes in 223. While the historian Polybius, himself Megalopolitan and pro-Achaean, chooses to say very little about Lydiadas, inscriptions show that Megalopolis voted honours not only for Lydiadas but also for his father, his son Aristopamon, and his grandson Lydiadas.

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Dionysius Periegetes  

J. L. Lightfoot

Dionysius Periegetes is the Alexandrian author of a poem in 1,186 hexameters entitled “Periegesis of the Known World” (Οἰκουμένης Περιήγησις). Answering to Aratus’s Phaenomena as a specimen of cosmographically themed didactic epic, and conceived on a similar scale (Aratus’s poem has 1,154 lines), it describes the approximate layout of the seas and landmasses as they were understood at the time of the poem’s composition during the reign of Hadrian. It is the only work on its subject to survive in hexameters. In light of the loss of geographical poems by “Alexander” (presumably of Ephesus) and Varro of Atax, its closest relatives are the partially preserved iambic poems by ps.-Scymnus and Dionysius son of Calliphon. But the poet’s scrupulous metre and sophisticated use of allusion constructs a lineage across archaic, classical, and Hellenistic poets to place him among the most refined writers of the Second Sophistic movement. The packaging of dense informational content with user-friendly readability and adept poetics proved a winning combination, and Dionysius’s poem remained on school syllabuses for a good millennium and a half after its composition.

Article

Sicyon  

Yannis Lolos

Occupying a territory of more than 300 km2, Sicyon counts among the large-size cities of Ancient Greece, yet significantly smaller to neighbouring Corinth. Its direct access to the Corinthian gulf, and its location between Corinth to the east, Achaean Pellene to the west, and the Arcadian cities of Phlius and Stymphalus to the south and the southwest, influenced the city’s trajectory from the Archaic period to the Late Roman era. Geopolitics lie behind Sicyon’s involvement with the Delphic affairs in the 6th cent, the city’s adherence to Sparta and the Peloponnesian League for almost two centuries (mid-6th to mid-4th cent. bce), its refoundation by the Macedonians at the end of the 4th cent., its connection with the Achaian Confederacy half a century later, and its predominance in the broader region after the Achaian War and the fall of Corinth. With the reestablishment of Corinth, from the 1st century ce onwards, Sicyon’s strength dwindled, and the size of the city gradually decreased, so that by the 5th century the size of the asty was reduced to less than a fifth of its original extent.

Article

Aratus (1) poet, of Soloi in Cilicia, c. 315–c. 240 BCE  

Emma Gee

Aratus is said to have studied philosophy in Athens, probably coming into contact with Zeno, founder of the Stoic school; subsequently, in 276 bce, he arrived at the court of Antigonus (2) ‘Gonatas’ of Macedon. Little can be independently proven, since the extant lives probably all derive from a single Hellenistic commentator.1Aratus ranks among the finest Hellenistic poets, beside Callimachus (3) and Apollonius (1) Rhodius. He wrote many other works, most of which are lost.2 His sole surviving poem, the Phaenomena, which comprises more than a thousand lines in epic hexameters, describes the positions and motions of the constellations and teaches the reader how to recognize signs of impending weather on earth. The Phaenomena is written in an idealized version of the Archaic language of Homer and Hesiod, and contains mythological material in the form of aitia for some constellations.3 It falls into two parts, the ‘.