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On this page: Didymarchus – Didymus



Silius Ital. Pun. i9 25 ; Appian, Pun. I.) The number of strangers who flocked to the new colony from the neighbouring districts, for the sake of commerce and profit, soon raised the place to a town community. The kinsmen of the new colo­nists, especially the inhabitants of Utica, supported and encouraged them (Procop. Sett. Vandal, ii. 10); and Dido, with the consent of the Libyans, and under the promise of paying them an annual tri­bute, built the town of Carthage. In laying the foundations of the city, the head of a bull was found, and afterwards the head of a horse, which was a still more favourable sign. (Vivg.Aen. i. 443, with Servius's note; Sil. Ital. Pun. ii. 410, &c.) As the new town soon rose to a high degree of power and prosperity, king Hiarbas or Jarbas, who began to be jealous of it, summoned ten of the noblest Carthaginians to his court, and asked for the hand of Dido? threatening them with a war in case of his demand being refused. The deputies, who on their return dreaded to inform their queen of this demand, at first told her that Hiarbas wish­ed to have somebody who might instruct him and his Libyans in the manners of civilized life; and when they expressed a doubt as to whether any­body would be willing to live among barbarians, Dido censvired them, and declared that every citi­zen ought to be ready to sacrifice everything, even life itself, if he could thereby render a service to his country. This declaration roused the courage of the ten deputies, and they now told her what Hiarbas demanded of her. The queen was thus caught by the law which she herself had laid down. She lamented her fate, and perpetually uttered the name of her late husband, Acerbas; but at length she answered, that she would go whithersoever the fate of her new city might call her. She took three months to prepare herself, and after the lapse of that time, she erected a funeral pile at the ex­treme end of the city: she sacrificed many animals under the pretence of endeavouring to soothe the spirit of Acerbas before celebrating her new nup­tials. She then took a sword into her hand, and having ascended the pile, she said to the people that she was going to her husband, as they desired, and then she plunged the sword into her breast, and died. (Comp. Serv. adAen. i. 340, iv. 36, 335, 674.) So long as Carthage existed, Dido was worshipped there as a divinity. (Sil. Ital. Pun. i. 81, &c.) With regard to the time at which Dido is said to have founded Carthage, the statements of the ancients differ greatly. According to Ser-vius (ad Aen. iv. 459), it took place 40 years be­fore the foundation of Rome, that is, in b. c. 794 ; according to Velleius Paterculus (i. 6), it was 65 years, and according to Justin (xviii. 6) and Oro-sius (iv. 6), 72 years, before the building of Rome. Josephus (c. Apion. i. 18 ; comp. Syncellus, p. 143) places it 143 years and eight months after the building of the temple of Solomon, that is, B. c. 861; while Eusebius (Chron. n. 971, ap. Syncell. p. 345 ; comp. Chron. n. 1003) places the event ] 33 years after the taking of Troy, that is, in b. c. 1025; and Philistus placed it even 37 or 50 years before the taking of Troy. (Euseb. Chron. n. 798 ; Syncell. p. 324; Appian, Pun. 1.) In the story constructed by Virgil in his Aeneid, he makes Dido, probably after the example of Naevius, a contem­porary of Aeneas, with whom she falls in love on his arrival in Africa. As her love was not re­turned, and Aeneas hastened to seek the new home


which the gods had promised him, Dido in despair destroyed herself on a funeral pile. The anachro­ nism which Virgil thus commits is noticed by several ancient writers. (Serv. ad Aen. iv. 459, 682, Vc 4; Macrob. Sat. v. 17, vi. 2; Auson. Epigr. 118.) [L. S.]

DIDYMARCHUS (Atfifcapxos), is mentioned by Antoninus Liberalis (23) as the author of a work on Metamorphoses, of which the third book is there quoted. [L. S.]

DIDYMUS (Affiv/Aos). 1. A celebrated Alex­andrian grammarian of the time of Cicero and the emperor Augustus. He was a disciple or rather a follower of the school of Aristarchus ('Apicrrapxeios, Lehrs, de AristarcM stud. Homer, p. 18, &c.), and is said to have been the son of a dealer in salt fish. He was the teacher of Apion, Heracleides Ponticus, and other eminent men of the time. He is com­monly distinguished from other grammarians of the name of Didymus by the surname xa^K^vr€P°^ which he is said to have received from his indefa­tigable and unwearied application to study. But he also bore the nickname of /BigA/oAct&xs1, for, owing to the multitude of his writings, it is said it often happened to him that he forgot what he had stated, and thus in later productions contradicted what he had said in earlier ones. Such contradic­tions happen the more easily the more a writer confines himself to the mere business of compiling ; and this seems to have been the case to a very great extent with Didymus, as we may infer from the extraordinary number of his works, even if it were not otherwise attested. The sum total of his works is stated by Athenaeus (iv. p. 139) to have been 3,500, and by Seneca (Ep. 88) 4000. (Comp. Quintil. i. 9. § 19.) In this calculation, however, single books or rolls seem to be counted as separate works, or else many of them must have been very small treatises. The most interesting among his produc­tions, all of which are lost, would have been those in which he treated on the Homeric poems, the criticism and interpretation of which formed the most prominent portion of his literary pursuits. The greater part of what we now possess under the name of the minor Scholia on Homer, which were at one time considered the work of Didymus, is taken from the several works which Didyrnus wrote upon Homer. Among them was one on the Homeric text as constituted by Aristarchus (Trcpl rrjs 'Apiardpxov <Jio/>0wcrecos), a work which would be of great importance to us, as he entered into the detail of the criticisms of Aristarchus, and re­vised and corrected the text which the latter had established. But the studies of Didymus were not confined to Homer, for he wrote also commen­taries on many other poets and prose writers of the classical times of Greece. We have mention of works of his on the lyric poets, and especially on Bacchylides (Theophyl. Ep. 8 ; Ammon. s, v, N??pei§€s) and Pindar, and the better and greater part of our scholia on Pindar is taken from the commentary of Didymus. (Bockh, Praef. ad Scliol. Pind. p. xvii. &c.) The same is the case with the extant scholia on Sophocles. (Richter, de Aescliyli^ Sophoclis, et Euripidis interpretibus Graccis, p. 1069 &c.) In the scholia on Aristophanes, too, Didy­mus is often referred to, and we further know that he wrote commentaries on Euripides, Ion, Phryni-chus (Athen. ix. p. 371), Cratinus (Hesych. s. v, KopvaKLs; Athen. xi. p. 501), Menander (Etymol, Gud. p. 338. 25), and others. The Greek orators.

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