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date: 29 September 2023



  • Klaus Meister


Phylarchus from Athens or *Naucratis (T 1), Greek historian who lived in the 3rd cent. bce. He wrote Historiai covering the period from *Pyrrhus' death, 272, to the death of the Spartan king *Cleomenes (2) III in 220/19, thereby continuing *Hieronymus (1) of Cardia and *Duris (2) of Samos; he adopted Duris' tragic and sensational mode of presentation: cf. Polyb. 2. 56–63 = F 53–6. Phylarchus' partisanship of Cleomenes and his anti-Achaean bias were harshly criticized by *Polybius (1) (see above), himself not an admirer of the king, who denounces Phylarchus' arbitrary and erroneous reporting. His work included numerous digressions of all kinds: miraculous events (F 10, 17, 35), strange animal tales (F 4. 26–28. 38. 61), multifarious anecdotes (F 12, 31, 40, 41, 75), love affairs (F 21, 24, 30, 32, 70, 71, 81). Phylarchus' reliability cannot be rated very highly: despite Strasburger, Polybius' reproach of terateia (‘sensationalism’) is justified.


  • Greek History and Historiography

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