The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Cronius – Cronus – Crotus – Crus – Cteatus – Ctesias

898

CTESIAS.

Homeric poems in a philosophical manner. This is all we know about Cronius, although he appears to have been very distinguished among the later Pythagoreans. [L. S.]

CRONIUS, an engraver of gems, who lived between the times of Alexander and Augustus. (Plin. H. N. xxxvii. 4; Visconti, Oeuv. div. ii. p. 123.) [L. U.]

CRONUS (KpoVos), a son of Uranus and Ge, and the youngest among the Titans. He was married to Rhea, by whom he became the father of Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus. Cheiron is also called a son of Cronus. (Hesiod. Theog. 137, 452, &c.; Apollod. i. 1. §3, &c.) At the instigation of his mother, Cronus un­ manned his father for having thrown the Cyclopes, who were likewise his children by Ge, into Tar­ tarus. Out of the blood thus shed sprang up the Erinnyes. When the Cyclopes were delivered from Tartarus, the government of the world was taken from Uranus and given to Cronus, who in his turn lost it through Zeus, as was predicted to him by Ge and Uranus. [zeus.] The Romans identified their Saturnus with the Cronus of the Greeks. [saturnus.] [L. S.]

CROTUS (KpoVos), a son of Pan by Eupheme, the nurse of the Muses,, with whom he was brought up, and at whose request he was placed among the stars as Sagittarius, as he had been a skilful shooter. (Hygin. Fab. 224 ; Poet. Astr. ii. 77.) [L. S.]

CRUS, an agnomen of L. Cornelius Lentulus, consul, b. c. 4.9. [lentulus.]

CTEATUS. [moliones.]

CTESIAS (KrTJcrias). 1. Of Cnidus in Caria,( and a son of Ctesiochus or Ctesiarchus. (Suid. s. v. Krricnas; Eudocia, p. 268 ; Tzetz. Chil. i. 82.) Cnidus was celebrated from early times as a seat of medical knowledge, and Ctesias, who himself belonged to the family of the Asclepiadae, was a physician by profession. He was a contemporary of Xenophon; and if Herodotus lived till b.c. 425, or, according to some, even till b. c. 408, Ctesias may be called a contemporary of Herodotus. He lived for a number of years in Persia at the court of king Artaxerxes Mnemon, as private phy­sician to the king. (Strab. xiv. p. 6'56.) Diodorus (ii. 32) states, that Ctesias was made prisoner by the king, and that owing to his great skill in me­dicine, he was afterwards drawn to the court, and was highly honoured there. This statement, which contains nothing to suggest the time when Ctesias was made prisoner, has been referred by some critics to the war between Artaxerxes and his brother, Cyrus the Younger, b. c. 401. But, in the first place, Ctesias is already men­tioned, during that war, as accompanying the king. (Xen. Anab. i. 8. § 27.) Moreover, if as Diodorus and Tzetzes state, Ctesias remained seventeen years at the court of Persia, and returned to his native country in b. c. 398 (Diod. xiv. 46 ; comp. Plut. Artaoo. 21), it follows, that he must have gone to Persia long before the battle of Cunaxa, that is. about b. c. 415. The statement, that Ctesias entered Persia as a prisoner of war, has' been doubted ; and if we consider the favour with which other Greek physicians, such as Democedes and Hippocrates were treated and how they were sought for at the court of Persia, it is not impro­bable that Ctesias may have been invited to the court; but the express statement of Diodorus, that he was made a prisoner cannot be upset by such a

CTESIAS.

mere probability. There are two accounts res­pecting his return to Cnidus. It took place at the time when Conon was in Cyprus. Ctesias himself had simply stated, that he asked Artaxerxes and obtained from him the permission to return. Ac­cording to the other account, Conon sent a letter to the king, in which he gave him advice as to the means of humbling the Lacedaemonians. Conon requested the bearer to get the letter delivered to the king by some of the Greeks who were staying at his court. When the letter was given for this purpose to Ctesias, the latter inserted a passage in which he made Conon desire the king to send Ctesias to the west, as he would be a very useful person there. (Plut. Artax. 21.) The latter ac­count is not recommended by any strong internal probability, and the simple statement of Ctesias himself seems to be more entitled to credit. ' How long Ctesias survived his return to Cnidus is un­known.

During his stay in Persia, Ctesias gathered all the information that was attainable in that coun­try, and wrote — 1. A great work on the history of Persia (nepo-//£a) with the view of giving his countrymen a more accurate knowledge of that empire than they possessed, and to refute the errors current in Greece, which had arisen partly from ignorance and partly from the national vanity of the Greeks. The materials for his history, so far as he did not describe events of which he had been an eye-witness, he derived, according to the testimony of Diodorus, from the Persian archives ($Kp64pai /Bac-jAiKcu), or the official history of the Persian empire, which was written in accordance with a law of the country. This important work of Ctesias, which, like that of Herodotus, was written in the Ionic dialect, consisted of twenty-three books. The first six contained the history of the great Assyrian monarchy down to the foun­dation of the kingdom of Persia. It is for this reason that Strabo (xiv. p. 656) speaks of Ctesias as crvyypdtyas rot, ^Aacrvpiaicd Kal ra HepcriKd. The next seven books contained the history of Persia down to the end of the reign of Xerxes, and the remaining ten carried the history down to the time when Ctesias left Persia, i. e. to the year b. c. 398. (Diod. xiv. 46.) The form and style of this work were of considerable merit, and its loss may be regarded as one of the most serious for the history of the East. (Dionys. Hal. De Comp. Verb. 10 ; Demetr. Phal. De Elocut. §§ 212, 215.) All that is now extant of it is a meagre abridgment in Photius (Cod. 72), and a number of fragments which are preserved in Diodorus, Athenaetis, Plu­tarch, and others. Of the first portion, which contained the history of Assyria, there is no abridgment in Photius, and all we possess of that part is contained in the second book of Diodorus, which seems to be taken almost entirely from Cte-

V

sias. There we find that the accounts of Ctesias, especially in their chronology, differ considerably from those of Berosus, who likewise derived his information from eastern sources. These discre­pancies can only be explained by the fact, that the annals used by the two historians were written in different places and under different circumstances. The chronicles used by Ctesias were written by official persons, and those used by Berosus were the work of priests ; both therefore were written from a different point of view, and neither was per­haps strictly true in all its details. The part of

Pages
About | First

897

898

899
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.