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August 26    Scripture



People - Ancient Greece: Theopompus
Ancient Greek historian and rhetorician, who was born on Chios in 380 BC.

Theopompus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898) A Greek historian, born at Chios about B.C. 378. He left home, probably about 361, with his father, who was banished by the democratic party on account of his predilection for the Spartans, and, having been trained in oratory by Isocrates, spoke with great success in all the larger towns of Greece. He distinguished himself so greatly in the rhetorical contest instituted (351 B.C.) by Queen Artemisia, wife of Mausolus, in honour of her deceased husband, that he obtained a brilliant victory over all competitors. He afterwards travelled, with the object of acquiring material for his historical works. The favour shown him by Alexander the Great induced him to return to Chios at the age of forty-five; but on the death of his patron he found himself again obliged to flee from his opponents, whose hatred he had incurred by his vehement adoption of the sentiments of the aristocracy. He took refuge with Ptolemy I., at Alexandria, about 305. Here he did not, however, meet with a favourable reception, and was compelled to withdraw, as his life was in danger. Of his subsequent career nothing is known. Besides numerous orations (principally panegyrics) he composed two large histories, founded on the most careful and minute research: (a) Hellenica (Ἑλληνικαὶ Ἱστορίαι), in twelve books, a continuation of Thucydides, covering the period from 411- 394; and (b) Philippica (Φιλιππικά), in fifty-eight books, treating of the life and times of Philip of Macedon. Of these works only fragments remain. The charge of malignity, which was brought against him by the ancients, seems to have originated in the reckless manner in which, on the testimony of Dionysius of Halicarnassus (Ep. ad Cn. Pompeium), he exposed the pettiness and baseness of the politics of those times, especially those of the Macedonian party. There seems to be better foundation for the charge brought against him of being too fond of digressions; for when, in later times, the digressions in the Philippica were omitted, the work was thereby reduced to sixteen books. Theopompus was the first Greek writer to make any definite mention of Rome, speaking of its capture by the Gauls (Pliny , Pliny H. N. iii. 57). His fragments are edited by C. and Th. Müller in the Frag. Hist. Graec. (Paris, 1841). See Stern, Diodor und Theopompos (1891).

Theopompus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898) A Greek historian, born at Chios about B.C. 378. He left home, probably about 361, with his father, who was banished by the democratic party on account of his predilection for the Spartans, and, having been trained in oratory by Isocrates, spoke with great success in all the larger towns of Greece. He distinguished himself so greatly in the rhetorical contest instituted (351 B.C.) by Queen Artemisia, wife of Mausolus, in honour of her deceased husband, that he obtained a brilliant victory over all competitors. He afterwards travelled, with the object of acquiring material for his historical works. The favour shown him by Alexander the Great induced him to return to Chios at the age of forty-five; but on the death of his patron he found himself again obliged to flee from his opponents, whose hatred he had incurred by his vehement adoption of the sentiments of the aristocracy. He took refuge with Ptolemy I., at Alexandria, about 305. Here he did not, however, meet with a favourable reception, and was compelled to withdraw, as his life was in danger. Of his subsequent career nothing is known. Besides numerous orations (principally panegyrics) he composed two large histories, founded on the most careful and minute research: (a) Hellenica (Ἑλληνικαὶ Ἱστορίαι), in twelve books, a continuation of Thucydides, covering the period from 411- 394; and (b) Philippica (Φιλιππικά), in fifty-eight books, treating of the life and times of Philip of Macedon. Of these works only fragments remain. The charge of malignity, which was brought against him by the ancients, seems to have originated in the reckless manner in which, on the testimony of Dionysius of Halicarnassus (Ep. ad Cn. Pompeium), he exposed the pettiness and baseness of the politics of those times, especially those of the Macedonian party. There seems to be better foundation for the charge brought against him of being too fond of digressions; for when, in later times, the digressions in the Philippica were omitted, the work was thereby reduced to sixteen books. Theopompus was the first Greek writer to make any definite mention of Rome, speaking of its capture by the Gauls (Pliny , Pliny H. N. iii. 57). His fragments are edited by C. and Th. Müller in the Frag. Hist. Graec. (Paris, 1841). See Stern, Diodor und Theopompos (1891).

Theopompus in Wikipedia Theopompus (Ancient Greek: Θεόπομπος) was a Greek historian[1] and rhetorician, born on Chios about 380 BC. Biography In early youth he seems to have spent some time at Athens, along with his father, who had been exiled on account of his Laconian sympathies. Here he became a pupil of Isocrates, and rapidly made great progress in rhetoric; we are told that Isocrates used to say that Ephorus required the spur but Theopompus the bit (Cicero, Brutus, 204). At first he appears to have composed epideictic speeches, in which he attained to such proficiency that in 352‑351 he gained the prize of oratory given by Artemisia II of Caria in honour of her husband, although Isocrates was himself among the competitors. It is said to have been the advice of his teacher that finally determined his career as an historian—a career for which he was peculiarly qualified owing to his abundant patrimony and his wide knowledge of men and places. Through the influence of Alexander, he was permitted to return to Chios about 333, and figured for some time as one of the leaders of the aristocratic party in his native town. After Alexander's death he was again expelled, and took refuge with Ptolemy in Egypt, where he appears to have met with a somewhat cold reception. The date of his death is unknown. Works The works of Theopompus were chiefly historical, and are much quoted by later writers. They included an Epitome of Herodotus's History (Whether this work is actually his is debated[2]),the Hellenics, the History of Philip, and several panegyrics and hortatory addresses, the chief of which was the Letter to Alexander. The Hellenics The Hellenics treated of the history of Greece, in twelve books, from 411 (where Thucydides breaks off) to 394 BC — the date of the battle of Cnidus (cf. Diod. Sic., xiii. 42, with xiv. 84). Of this work only a few fragments were known up till 1907. The papyrus fragment of a Greek historian of the 4th century, discovered by B. P. Grenfell and A. S. Hunt, and published by them in Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. v. (1908), has been recognized by Eduard Meyer, Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff and Georg Busolt as a portion of the Hellenics. This identification has been disputed, however, by Friedrich Blass, J. B. Bury, E. M. Walker and others, most of whom attribute the fragment, which deals with the events of the year 395 BC and is of considerable extent, to Cratippus. In the Hellenics, Theopompus mentions Herostratus and his arson of the Temple of Artemis, thus helping Herostratus to his goal of achieving fame, despite the Ephesian authorities forbidding mention of his name under penalty of death. History of Philip II A far more elaborate work was the history of Philip's reign (360‑336), with digressions on the names and customs of the various races and countries of which he had occasion to speak, which were so numerous that Philip V of Macedon reduced the bulk of the history from 58 to 16 books by cutting out those parts which had no connection with Macedonia. It was from this history that Trogus Pompeius (of whose Historiae Philippicae we possess the epitome by Justin) derived much of his material. Fifty-three books were extant in the time of Photius (9th century), who read them, and has left us an epitome of the 12th book. Several fragments, chiefly anecdotes and strictures of various kinds upon the character of nations and individuals, are preserved by Athenaeus, Plutarch and others. Of the Letter to Alexander we possess one or two fragments cited by Athenaeus, criticizing severely the immorality and dissipations of Harpalus. Attack upon Plato The Attack upon Plato, and the treatise On Piety, which are sometimes referred to as separate works, were perhaps only two of the many digressions in the history of Philip; some writers have doubted their authenticity.’ The libellous attack (the "three-headed") on the three cities—Athens, Sparta and Thebes—was published under the name of Theopompus by his enemy Anaximenes of Lampsacus. The nature of the extant fragments fully bears out the divergent criticisms of antiquity upon Theopompus. Their style is clear and pure, full of choice and pointed expressions, but lacking in weight and dignity. The artistic unity of his work suffered severely from the frequent and lengthy digressions already referred to. The most important was that On the Athenian Demagogues in the 10th book of the Philippica, containing a bitter attack on many of the chief Athenian statesmen, and generally recognized as having been freely used by Plutarch in several of the Lives. Another fault of Theopompus was his excessive fondness for romantic and incredible stories; a collection of some of these was afterwards made and published under his name. He was also severely blamed in antiquity for his censoriousness, and throughout his fragments no feature is more striking than this. On the whole, however, he appears to have been fairly impartial. Philip himself he censures severely for drunkenness and immorality, while Demosthenes receives his warm praise.

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