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On this page: Diophantus – Diores – Dioscorides



larity of the Diophantine and Hindu algebra (as fur as the former goes) makes it almost certain that the two must have had a common origin, or have come one from the other; though it is clear that Diophantus, if a borrower, has completely recast the subject by the introduction of Euclid's form of de­monstration. On this point we refer to the article of the Penny Cyclopaedia already cited.

There are many paraphrases, so-called transla­ tions, and abbreviations of Diophantus, but very few editions. Joseph Auria prepared an edition (Gr. Lat.) of the whole, with the Scholia of the monk Maximus Planudes on the first two books ; but it was never printed. The first edition is that of Xylander, Basle, 1575, folio, in Latin only, with the Scholia and notes. The first Greek edition, with Latin, (and original notes, the Scholia being rejected as useless,) is that of Bachet de Meziriac, Paris, 1621, folio. Fermat left materials for the second and best edition (Gr. Lat.), in which is pre­ served all that was good in Bachet, and in particu­ lar his Latin version, and most valuable comments and additions of his own (it being peculiarly his subject). These materials were collected by J. de Billy, and published by Format's son, Toulouse, 1670, folio. An English lady, the late Miss Abi­ gail Baruch Lousada, whose successful cultivation of mathematics and close attention to this writer for many years was Avell known to scientific persons, left a complete translation of Diophantus, with notes: it has not yet been published, and we trust, will not be lost. [A. De M.]

DIOPHANTUS or DIOPHANTES (AutytH/Tos or Ato^aVr^s-), a medical writer of L}rcia (Galen, De Compos. Medicam. sec. .Locos, ix. 4, vol. xiii. p. 281), several of whose medical formulae are quoted by Galen (vol. xii. p. 845 ; xiii. 507, 805 ; xiv. 175, 181), and who must, therefore, have lived in or be­fore the second century after Christ. [W.A. G.]

DIORES, a painter, who is mentioned by Varro with Micon, the contemporary of Polygnotus, in such a manner as to imply that he lived at the same time. The text of the passage, however, is so corrupt, that the name is not made out with certainty. (Varro, L. L. ix. .12, ed. Muller; micon.) [P. S.]

DIOSCORIDES (AiocTKopi^s). 1. A Byzan­tine grammarian, a brother of Hipparchus and Ni-colaus, and a disciple of Lachares at Athens. He lived in the reign of the emperors Marcianus and Leo. (Suid. s. v. Ni/coAaos; Eudoc. p. 309.)

2. Of Cyprus, a sceptic philosopher, and a pupil of Timon. (Diog. Laert. ix. 114, 115.)

3. A disciple of Isocrates, who is said by Athe-naeus (i. p. 11) to have interpolated the Homeric poems. Suidas (s. v. "O^pos) attributes to him a work entitled ot Trap" 'Ojj.ripca vojaoi. As he is thus known to have been engaged in the study of Homer, it is not improbable that he was also the author of the Trepl rou roov ripwcov /ca6>' "Oftypov jSt'ou, from which a fragment is quoted by Athe-naeus (i. p. 8 ; comp. Eustath. ad Horn. p. 1270.) The aTTo/^^uo^e^uara, mentioned by Diogenes Laertius (i. 63) and Athenaeus (xi. p. 507), may likewise have been his work, though everything is uncertain. We have further mention of a work on the constitution of Lacedaemon ascribed to Diosco-rides (Athen. iv. p. 140; Pint. Lye. 11, Ages. 35), and of another Trepl voju.iiJ.oov (Schol. ad Aristoph. Av. 1283 ; Suid, and Phot. s. v. ffKvrd\f]; Eudoc. p. 280); but whether they were the productions of


the pupil of Isocrates, or of the Stoic Dioscorides is uncertain.

4. The father of Zeno of Tarsus, the Stoic, who succeeded Chrysippus. The latter dedicated to Dioscorides several of his works, as we learn from Diogenes (vii. 190, 193, 198, 200,202) and Sui-das (s. v. ZrjVcoi>).

5. A writer on astrology, an opinion of whose is quoted by Censorinus. (De Din Nat. 17; comp. Varro, deL. L. Fragm. p. 369, ed. Bipont.) [L.S.]

DIOSCORIDES (Aiofficopldris), the author of thirty-nine epigrams in the Greek Anthology (Brunck, Anal. i. 493 ; Jacobs, i. 244 ; xiii. 706, No. 142) seems, from the internal evidence of his epigrams, to have lived in Egypt, about the time of Ptolemy Euergetes. His epigrams are chiefly upon the great men of antiquity, especially the poets. One of them (No. 35) would seem, from its title in the Vatican MS., Aiocrtcopidov Ni/coTroAiroi/, to be the production of a later writer. The epigrams of Dioscorides were included in the Garland of Me-leager. (Jacobs, xiii. pp. 886, 887.) [P. S.]

DIOSCORIDES, artists. [dioscurides.]

DIOSCORIDES (AtoffKovpl^s or Aioo-Kopi-§775), the name of several physicians and botanical writers, whom it is not easy to distinguish from each other with certainty.

1. pedacius orPEDANius (Tleddicios orn^cwos) dioscorides, the author of the celebrated Treatise on Materia Medica, that bears his name. It is generally supposed, says Dr. Bostock, that he was a native of Anazarba, in Cilicia Campestris, and that he was a physician by profession. It appears pretty evident, that he lived in the [first or] second cen­tury of the Christian era, and as he is not mentioned by Pliny, it has been supposed that he was a little posterior to him. The exact age of Dioscorides has, however,been a question of much critical discussion, and we have nothing but conjecture which can lead us to decide upon it. He has left behind him a Treatise on Materia Medica, Ilepr'TA.^? 'larpi/o/s, in five books, a work of great labour and research, and which for many ages was received as a standard production, The greater correctness of modern science, and the new discoveries which have been made, cause it now to be regarded rather as a work of curiosity than of absolute utility; but in drawing up a history of the state and progress of medicine, it affords a most valuable document for our infor­mation. His treatise consists of a description of all the articles then used in medicine, with an account of their supposed virtues. The descriptions are brief, and not unfrequently so little characterized as not to enable us to ascertain with any degree of accuracy to what they refer; while the practical part of his work is in a great measure empirical, although his general principles (so far as they can be detected) appear to be those of the Dogmatic sect. The great importance which was for so long a period attached to the works of Dioscorides, has rendered them the subject of almost innumerable commentaries and criticisms, and even some of the most learned of our modern naturalists have not thought it an unworthy task to attempt the illus­tration of his Materia Medica. Upon the whole, we must attribute to him the merit of great industry and patient research ; and it seems but just to ascribe a large portion of the errors and inaccuracies into which he has fallen., more to the imperfect state of science when he wrote, than to any defect in the character and talents of the writer.

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