Scanned text contains errors.
ticulars of the dispute are detailed in the speech, to which the reader is referred.
3. An Athenian general and statesman of con siderable ability. When Cassander made his attempt upon Athens in B. c. 298, Olympiodorus sailed to Aetolia, and induced the Aetolians to send assistance to Athens ; and Cassander was compelled to withdraw his forces. Shortly after wards, when Elatea, which had been conquered by Cassander, revolted from him, it was mainly through Olympiodorus that it was enabled to hold out against his troops. Subsequently, in b. c. 288, when Demetrius was stripped of his kingdom by Lysimachus and Pyrrhus, a small number of the Athenians, with Olympiodorus at their head, resolved to rid the city of the Macedonian garrison which Demetrius had posted in Athens in the fortress of the Museum after his conquest of the city, and which still remained faithful to him. The Athenians readily joined Olympiodorus and his confederates, and the Museum was carried by storm. Peiraeus and Munychia were also re covered, and Olympiodorus, at the head of a small body of troops which he raised at Eleusis, put to flight a body of troops in the service of Demetrius, who were ravaging the plain. Demetrius invested Athens, but was compelled by the approach of Pyrrhus to raise the siege, and shortly afterwards crossed over into Asia Minor. It was probably this Olympiodorus who was archon eponymus in b. c. 294. There was a statue of him on the Acropolis. (Paus. i. 25. § 2, i. 29. § 13, x. 18. § 7, x. 34. § 3.) [C. P. M.]
OLYMPIODORttS ('OXu/u7n<J5a>/>os), literary. 1. A writer mentioned by Pliny amongst those from whom he drew materials for the 12th book of his Natural History.
2. A disciple of Theophrastus, with whom was deposited one of the copies of his will. (Diog. Laert. v. 57.)
3. An historical writer, a native of Thebes in Egypt, who lived in the fifth century after Christ. He wrote a work in 22 books, entitled 'Itrropt/coi \oyoi9 which comprised the history of the Western empire under the reign of Honorius, from A. d. 407 to October, a.d. 425 (Clinton, Fast. Horn, anno 425). Olympiodorus took up the history from about the point at which Eunapius had ended.
The original work of Olympiodorus is lost, but an abridgment of it has been preserved by Photius (Cod. 80), who describes the style of the work as being clear, but without force or vigour, loose, and descending to vulgarity, so as not to merit being called a history. Of this Photius thinks that the author himself was aware, and that for this reason he spoke of his work as being not a history, but a collection of materials for a history (v\rj <rvy-ypatyris). It was dedicated to the emperor Theo-dosius II. Olympiodorus seems to have had better qualifications as a statesman than as a writer ; and in various missions and embassies amongst barbarian states he rendered important services to the empire, for which the highest honours were conferred upon him by the Roman senate (Photius, Cod. 214. p. 171, ed, Bekker.) He was sent by Honorius on an embassy to the Huns, probably to Hungary. After the death of Honorius Olympiodorus removed to Byzantium, to the court of the emperor Theodosius. Hierocles dedicated to this Olympiodorus his work on providence and fate
[hiebocles], the groundwork or idea of which he professes to have derived from him. Photius states that Olympiodorus was a iroiriTijs, that is, an alchy-mist. It has been supposed that this statement has arisen from a confusion between this and some other man of the same name. But Photius distinctly makes the statement on the authority of Olympiodorus himself (ws avrfo (frycri). It appears, from what Photius has preserved of his writings, that he was a heathen.
The abridgment by Photius has been several times published : by Phil. Labbeus, in his Eclogae Histor. de Rebus Byzant. ; by Sylburg, in his Col-lectio Scriptorum Hist. Rom. Minor um; by Andreas Schottus, in his Eclogae Historicorum de Rebus Byzantinis ; and, in conjunction with Dexippus, Eunapius, and other historical fragments, by Nie-buhr, Bonn, 1829. (Fabric. BibL Graec. vol. x:. pp. 632, 703.)
4. A peripatetic philosopher, who taught at Alexandria, where Proclus was one of his pupils and speedily attracted the attention of Olympiodorus, who was so much attached to him that he wished to betroth his daughter to him. Owing to the rapidity of his utterance and the difficulty of the subjects on which he treated, he was understood by very few. When his lectures were concluded, Proclus used to repeat the topics treated of in them for the benefit of those pupils who were slower in catching the meaning of their master. Olympiodorus had the reputation of being an eloquent man and a profound thinker. Nothing of his has come down to us in a written form. (Marinus, Vita Procli, c. 9 ; Suidas, s. v.; Fabric. BibL Graec. vol. x. p. 628.)
5. A philosopher of the Platonic school, a contemporary of Isidorus of Pelusium, who in one of his letters (ii. 256) reproaches him for neglecting the precepts of Plato, and spending an indolent life. (Fabric. BibL Graec. vol. iii. p. 180.)
6. The last philosopher of any celebrity in the Neo-Platonic school of Alexandria. He lived in the first half of the sixth century after Christ, in the reign of the emperor Justinian. He was a younger contemporary, and possibly a pupil, of Damascius; the partiality which he uniformly shows for him, and the preference which he gives him even above Proclus, seem to indicate this. Our knowledge of Olympiodorus is derived from those works of his which have come down to us. From a passage in his scholia to the Alcibiades Prior of Plato, Creuzer has acutely inferred that he taught before the Athenian school was finally suppressed by Justinian, that is, before a. d. 529 ; though the confiscations to which the philosophers were being subjected are alluded to. And in various other passages the philosophy of Proclus and Damascius is spoken of as still in existence. From what we have of the productions of Olympiodorus he appears to have been an acute and clear thinker, and, if not strikingly original, far from being a mere copyist, though he follows Damascius pretty closely. He was a man of extensive reading, and a great deal of valuable matter from the lost writings of other philosophers, as lamblichus, Syrianus, Damascius, and others, with historical and mythological notices, have come down to us through him at second hand. In his sketches of the genera] plan and object of the dialogues of Plato, and of their dramatic construction and the characters introduced, he exhibited great ability. A great deal that is valuable is also to be found in his analyses