The Ancient Library

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On this page: Bippus – Bircenna – Bisantfnus – Bisthanes – Bitale – Bithyas – Bithynicus – Bitis – Biton – Bituitus



is unknown, but who is mentioned by Pliny (Ind. to H. N. xxviii.) among the " Auctores Externi." Of his date it can only be said, that he must have lived some time in or before the first century after Christ. He wrote a work Uepl Avvd/j-ecw, "On the Properties of Plants and other Medicines," which is not now extant, but which was used by Pliny. (H. N. xxviii. 57.) [W. A. G.]

BIPPUS (bittttos), an Argive, who was sent by the Achaean league as ambassador to Rome in b. c. 181. (Polyb. xxv. 2, 3.)

BIRCENNA, the daughter of the Illyrian Bardyllis, was one of the wives of Pyrrhus. (Plut. Pyrrh. 9.)

BISANTFNUS. [besantinus.]

BITALE (BiTaATj), was the daughter of Damo, and grand-daughter of Pythagoras. (Iambi. Vit. Pyfh. c. 28, p. 135.) [A. G.]

BISTHANES (Bio-0cfc/rjs), the son of Arta-xerxes Ochus, met Alexander near Ecbatana, in B. c. 330, and informed him of the flight of Dareius from that city. (Arrian, Anab. iii. 19.)

BITHYAS (Btfluas), the commander of a con­siderable body of Numidian cavalry, deserted Gu-lussa, the son of Masinissa and the ally of the Romans in the third Punic war, b.c. 148, and went over to the Carthaginians, to whom he did good service in the war. At the capture of Car­thage in 146, Bithyas fell into the hands of Scipio, by whom he was taken to Rome. He doubtless adorned the triumph of the conqueror, but instead of being put to death afterwards, according to the usual custom, he was allowed to reside under guard in one of the cities of Italy. (Appian,Pun. Ill, 114, 120 ; Zonar. ix. 30; Suidas, s. v. BiQias.)

BITHYNICUS, a cognomen of the Pompeii. We do not know which of the Pompeii first bore this cognomen; but, whatever was its origin, it was handed down in the family.

1. Q. pompeius bithynicus, the son of Aulus, was about two years older than Cicero, with whom he was very intimate. He prosecuted his studies together with Cicero, who describes him as a man of great learning and industry, and no mean orator, but his speeches were not well delivered. (Cic. Brut. 68, 90, comp. ad Fain. vi. 17.) On the breaking out of the civil war in 49, Bithynicus espoused the party of his great namesake, and, after the battle of Pharsalia, accompanied him in his flight to Egypt, where he was killed together with the other attendants of Pompeius Magnus. (Oros. vi. 15.)

2. A. pompeius bithynicus, son of the pre­ceding, was praetor of Sicily at the time of Caesar's death, b. c. 44, and seems apparently to have been in fear of the reigning party at Rome, as he wrote a letter to Cicero soliciting his protection, which Cicero promised in his reply. (Cic. ad Fam. vi. 16, 17, comp. xvi. 23.) Bithynicus repulsed Sex. Pompeius in his attempt to gain possession of Mes-sana, but he afterwards allowed Sextus to obtain it, on the condition that he and Sextus should have the government of the island between them. Bithynicus, however, was, after a little while, put to death by Sextus. (Dion Cass. xlviii. 17, 19 ; Liv. Epit. 123 ; Appian, B. C. iv. 84, v. 70.)

Bithynicus also occurs as the cognomen of a Clo-dius, who was put to death by Octavianus, on the taking of Perusia, b. c. 40. (Appian, B. C. v. 49.)

BITIS or BITHYS (B/0ys), the son of Cotys, king of Thrace, who was sent by his father as a I


hostage to Perseus, king of Macedonia. On the conquest of the latter by Aemilius Paullus in b. c, 168, Bitis fell into the hands of the Romans, and was taken to Rome, Avhere he adorned the triumph of Paullus in 167. After the triumph, he was sent to Carseoli, but was shortly afterwards restor­ed to his father, who sent an embassy to Rome to solicit his liberation. (Zonar. ix. 24 ; Liv. xlv. 42; Polyb. xxx. 12.)

BITON (B/rwi/), the author of a work called icara(TK€ual TroXe^iKtav opydv^f Kal Kararr€\Ti~ kwv. His history and place of birth are unknown. He is mentioned by Hesychius (s. v. SrtjUguKi?), by Heron Junior (de Mack. Bell, prooem), and per­haps by Aelian (Tact. c. 1), under the name of B/cof. The treatise consists of descriptions—1. Of a Trerpo'SoAoT', or machine for throwing stones, made at Rhodes by Charon the Magnesian. 2. Of another at Thessalonica, by Isidorus the Abidene. 3. Of a eAgTroAis (an apparatus used in besieging cities, see Vitruv. x. 22, and Diet, of Ant. s. v.\ made by Poseidonius of Macedon for Alexander the Great. 4. Of a Sambuca (Diet, of Ant. s. v.), made by Damius of Colophon. 5. Of a yacrrpa-0€T?]s (an engine somewhat resembling a cross­bow, and so named from the way in which it was held in order to stretch the string, see Hero Alex-andrinus, Belop. ap. Vet. Math. p. 125), made by Zopyrus of Tarentum at Miletus, and another by the same at Cumae in Italy. Biton addresses this work to king Attains, if at least the reading w

"ArraAe is to be adopted instead of cc ird\ai or TraAAa (near the beginning), and the emendation is said to be supported by a manuscript (Gale, de Script. Mytliol. p. 45); but whether Attains, the 1st of Pergamus, who reigned b. c. 241—197, or one of the two later kings of the same name be meant, is uncertain.

The Greek text, with a Latin version, is printed in the collection of ancient mathematicians, Vet. Matfiem. Op. Grace, et Latin.) Paris, 1693, fol., p. 105, &c. Biton mentions (p. 109) a work of his own on Optics, which is lost. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. ii. p. 591.) [W. F. D.]

BITON (Bircav) and CLEOBIS (KAeoSis) were the sons of Cydippe, a priestess of Hera at Argos. Herodotus, who has recorded their beautiful story, makes Solon relate it to Croesus, as a proof that it is better for mortals to die than to live. On one occasion, says Herodotus (i. 31), during the festival of Hera, when the priestess had to ride to the temple of the goddess in a chariot, and when the oxen which were to draw it did not arrive from the country in time, Cleobis and Biton dragged the chariot with their mother, a distance of 45 stadia, to the temple. The priestess, moved by the filial love of her sons, prayed to the goddess to grant them what was best for mortals. After the solemnities of the festival were over, the two brothers went to sleep in the temple and never rose again. The goddess thus shewed, says Hero­ dotus, that she could bestow upon them no greater boon than death. The Argives made statues of the two brothers and sent them to Delphi. Pausa- nias (ii. 20. § 2) saw a relief in stone at Argos, representing Cleobis and Biton drawing the chariot with their mother. (Comp. Cic. Tuscul. i. 47 ; Val. Max. v. 4. extern. 4 ; Stobaeus, Sermones^ 169 ; Servius and Philargyr. ad Virg. Georg. iii, 532.) ^ f [L. S.]

BITUITUS, or as the name is found in in-

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