The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Did As – Didia Gens – Didius



Cadmeian letters first employed by the Hellenes, and finally, availing himself of the happy accident of the earthquake, announced the discovery in a manner which could scarcely fail to excite the most intense curiosity. According to these views, we may suppose the introduction to have been attached to the Greek copy by the first editor or transcriber, and to have been altogether independent of the Latin letter of Septimius; and this idea is con­firmed by the circumstance, that some MSS. con­tain the introduction only, while others omit the introduction and insert the letter. Those who wish to obtain full information upon the above and all other topics connected with the subject, will find the whole evidence stated and discussed in the admirable dissertation of Perizonius, first printed in the edition of Smids, Amst. 1702, and inserted in almost all subsequent editions, and in the introduction of Dederich, the most recent com­mentator.

The compilations ascribed to Dictys and Dares [dares], although destitute of any intrinsic value, are of considerable importance in the history of modern litemture, since they are the chief foun­tains from which the legends of Greece first flowed into the romances of the middle ages, and then mingled \vith the popular tales and ballads of England, France, and Germany. The Tale of Troy, according to Dunlop, in his History of Fic­tion, was first versified by Bernoit de Saint More, an Anglo-Norman minstrel, who lived in the reign of our second Henry, and borrowed his ground­work of events from Dictys and Dares. This metrical essay seems in its turn to have served as a foundation for the famous chronicle of Guido dalle Colonne of Messina, a celebrated poet and lawyer of the 13th century, who published a ro­mance in Latin prose upon the siege of Troy, including also the Argonautic expedition and the war of the Seven against Thebes. In this strange medley, the history, mythology, and manners of the West and of the East, of the'Greeks in the heroic age, and of the Arabian invaders of Chris­tendom, are mingled in the most fantastic confu­sion. The compound was, however, well suited to the taste of that epoch, for it was received with unbounded enthusiasm, and speedily translated into many European languages. From that time forward the most illustrious houses eagerly strove to trace their pedigree from the Trojan line, and the monkish chroniclers began to refer the origin of the various states whose fortunes they recorded to the arrival of some Trojan colony.

Under these circumstances, we need not feel surprised that Dictys Cretensis was among the earliest works which exercised the skill of the first typographers. That which is usually recognized as the editio princeps is a 4to. in Gothic characters, containing 68 leaves of 27 lines to the page, and is believed to have issued from the press of Ul. Zell at Cologne, about 1470. Another very ancient edition in Roman characters, containing 58 leaves of 28 lines to the page, belongs to Italy, and was probably printed at Venice not long after the for­mer. Of more modern impressions the best are those of Mercerus, 12mo., Paris, 1618, reprinted at Amst. 12mo. 1630, containing a new recension of the text from two MSS. not before collated; of Anna Tanaq. Fabri fil. in usum Delphini, 4to., Paris., 1680; and of Lud. Smids, in 4to. and 8vo., Amst. 1702, which held the first place until it was


superseded by that of Dederieh, 8vo. Bonn, 18'35> which is very far superior to any other, comprising a great mass of valuable matter collected by Orelli, among which will be found collations of two very old and important MSS., one belonging to St. Gall and the other to Berne. (In addition to the dis­ sertations of Perizonius and Dederich, see Wop- kens, Adversaria Critica in Dictyn, and the re­ marks of Hildebrand in Jahn's Jahrb.fiir PJtilot. xxiii. 3, p. 278, &c.) [W. R.]

DID AS, a Macedonian, governor of Paeonia for Philip V., was employed by Perseus to insinuate himself into the confidence of his younger brother, Demetrius, for the purpose of betraying him. When Demetrius, aware that he was suspected by his father, determined to take refuge with the Ro­ mans, Didas gave information of the design to Perseus, who used it as a handle for accusing his brother to the king. Philip, having resolved to put Demetrius to death, employed Didas as his instrument, and he removed the prince by poison b. c. 181. He is afterwards mentioned as com­ manding the Paeonian forces for Perseus in his war with the Romans, b. c. 171. (Liv. xl. 21—• 24, xlii. 51, 58.) ^ [E. E.]

DIDIA GENS, plebeian, is not mentioned un­ til the latter period of the republic, whence Cicero ( pro Muren. 8) calls the Didii novi homines. The only member of it who obtained the- consulship was T. Didius in b. c. 98. In the time of the re­ public no Didius bore a cognomen, [L. S.]

DIDIUS. 1. T. didius, probably the author of the sumptuaria lex Didia, which was passed eighteen years after the lex Fannia, that is, in b. c. 143 (Macrob. Sat. ii. 13), in which year T. Didius seems to have been tribune of the people. The lex Didia differed from the Fannia in as much as the former was made binding upon all Italy, where­as the latter had no power except in the city of Rome. There is a coin belonging to one T. Didius, which shews on the reverse two male figures, the one dressed, holding a shield in the left and a whip or vine in the right hand. The other figure is naked, but likewise armed, and under these figures we

read T. deidi. It is usually supposed that this coin refers to our T. Didius, and Pighius (Annal. ii. p. 492) conjectures with some probability, that T. Didius, some years after his tribuneship, about about b. c. 1 38, was sent as praetor against the revolted slaves in Sicily. If this be correct, the figures on the coin may perhaps have reference to it. (Morell. Thesaur. p. 151 ; Eckhel, Doctrin. Num. v. p. 201.)

2. T. didius, a son of No. 1, repulsed, accord­ing to Florus (iii. 4 ; comp. Rufus, Brev. 9, and Ammian. Marcell. xxvii. 4, where we read M. Didius instead of T. Didius), the Scordiscans who had invaded the Roman province of Macedonia, and triumphed over them. (Cic. in Pison. 25.) According to the narrative of Florus, this victory was gained soon or immediately after the defeat of the consul C. Cato, in b. c. 114, and was followed by the victories of M, Livius Drusus and M. Mi-

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of