The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Phineus – Phintias

336 PHINEUS.

PHINEUS (*<i>€«fe). 1. A son of Belus and Anchinoe, and brother of Aegyptus, Danaus, and Cepheus. (Apollod. ii. 1. § 4 ; comp. perseus.)

2. One of the sons of Lycaon. (Apollod. iii. 8. § 1.)

3. A son of Agenor, and king of Salmydessus in Thrace (Apollon. Rhod. ii. 178, 237 ; Schol. ad eund. ii. 177). Some traditions called him a son of Phoenix and Cassiepeia, and a grandson of Agenor (Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. ii. 178), while others again call him a son of Poseidon (Apollod. i. 9. § 21). Some accounts, moreover, make him a king in Paphlagonia or in Arcadia. (Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. I.e.; Serv. ad Aen. iii. 209.) He was first married to Cleopatra, the daughter of Boreas and Oreithyia, by whom he had two children, Oryithus (Oarthus) and Crambis (some call them Parthenius and Crambis, Schol.adApollou. Rhod. ii. 140 ; Plexippus and Pandion, Apollod. iii. 15. § 3 ; Gerymbas and Aspondlis, Schol. ad Soph. Antig. 977 ; or Polydectus and Polydorus, Ov. Ib. 273). Afterwards he was married to Idaea (some call her Dia, Eurytia, or Eidothea, Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. I. c.; Schol. ad Horn. Od. xii. 70 ; Schol. ad Soph. Antig. 980), by whom he again had two sons, Thynus and 'Mariandynus. (Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. ii. 140, 178 ; Apollod. iii. 15. § 3.)

Phineus was a blind soothsayer, who had re­ceived his prophetic powers from Apollo (Apollon. Rhod. ii. 180). The cause of his blindness is not the same in all accounts ; according to some he was blinded by the gods for having imprudently communicated to mortals the divine counsels of Zeus about the future (Apollod. i. 9. § 21) ; accord­ing to others Aeetes, on hearing that the sons of Phrixus had been saved by Phineus, cursed him, and Helios hearing the curse, carried it into effect by blinding him (Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. ii. 207, comp. 181); others again relate, that Boreas or the Argonauts blinded him for his conduct towards his sons (Serv. ad Aen. iii. 209). He is most celebrated in ancient story on account of his being exposed to the annoyances of the Harpyes, who were sent to him by the gods for his cruelty towards his sons by the first marriage. His second wife charged them with having behaved improperly to her, and Phineus punished them by putting their eyes out (Soph. Antig. 973), or, according to others, by exposing them to be devoured by wild beasts (Orph. Argon. 671), or by ordering them to be half buried in the earth, and then to be scourged (Diod. iv. 44 ; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. ii. 207). Whenever Phineus wanted to take a meal the Harpyes came, took away a portion of hia food, and soiled the rest, so as to render it unfit to be eaten. In this condition the unfortunate man was found by the Argonauts, whom he promised to instruct respecting their voyage, if they would deliver him from the monsters. A table accordingly was laid out with food, and when the Harpyes appeared they were forthwith attacked by Zetes and Calais, the brothers of Cleopatra, who were provided with wings. There was a prophecy that the Harpyes should perish by the hands of the sons of Boreas, but that the latter themselves must die if they should be unable to overtake the Harpyes. In their flight one of the monsters fell into the river Tigris, which was henceforth called Harpys; the other reached the Echinadian islands, which, from her returning from that spot, were called Strophades.

PHINTIAS.

But the Harpye, as well as her pursuer, was worn out with fatigue, and fell down. Both Harpyes were allowed to live on condition that they would no longer molest Phineus (comp. Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. ii. 286, 297 ; Tzetz. Chil. i. 217). Phineus now explained to the Argonauts the further course they had to take, and especially cautioned them against the Symplegades (Apollod. i. 3. § 21, &c.). According to another story the Argonauts, on their arrival at the place of Phineus, found the sons of Phineus half buried, and demanded their liberation, which Phineus refused. The Argonauts used force, and a battle ensued, in which Phineus was slain by Heracles. The latter also delivered Cleopatra from her confinement, and restored the kingdom to the sons of Phineus, and on their advice he also sent the second wife of Phineus back to her father, who ordered her to be put to death (Diod. iv. 43 ; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. ii. 207 ; Apollod. iii. 15. § 3). Some traditions, lastly, state that Phineus was killed by Boreas, or that he was carried off by the Harpyes into the country of the Bistones or Mil- chessians. ' (Orph. Argon. 675, &c. ; Strab. vii. p. 302.) Those accounts in which Phineus is stated to have blinded his sons, add that they had their sight restored to them by the sons of Boreas, or by Asclepius. (Orph. Argon. 674 ; Schol. ad Find. Pyth. xiii. 96.) [L. S.]

PHINTIAS (fcH/Tfas). 1. A Pythagorean, the friend of Damon, who was condemned to die by Dionysius the elder. The well-known anecdote of their friendship, and the effect produced by it on the tyrant, has been already related under damon. Valerius Maximus writes the name Pythias ; but Cicero follows the Greek authors in adopting the form Phintias.

2. Tyrant of Agrigentum, who appears to have established his power over that city during the period of confusion which followed the death of Agathocles (b. c. 289), about the same time that Hicetas obtained the chief command at Syracuse. War soon broke out between these two despots, in which Phintias was defeated near Hybla. But this success having induced Hicetas to engage with a more formidable enemy, the Carthaginians, he was defeated in his turn, and Phintias, who was probably in alliance with that power, was now able to extend his authority over a considerable part of Sicily. Among the cities subject to his rule we find mention of Agyrium, which is a suffi­cient proof of the extent of his dominions. He at the same time made a display of his wealth and power by founding a new city, to which he gave his own name, and whither he removed all the inhabitants from Gela, which he razed to the ground. His oppressive and tyrannical government subsequently alienated the minds of his subjects, and caused the revolt of many of the dependent cities ; but he had the wisdom to change his line of policy, and, by adopting a milder rule, retained possession of the sovereignty until his death. The period of this is not mentioned, but we may pro­bably infer from the fragments of Diodorus, that it preceded the expulsion of Hicetas from Syracuse, and may therefore be referred to b. c. 279. (Diod. xxii. Exc. Hoeschel. p. 495, Eocc. Vales, p. 562.)

There are extant coins of Phintias, from which we learn that he assumed the title of king, in imitation of Agathocles. They all have the figure of a boar running on the reverse, and a head of Apollo or Diana on the obverse. Those which

Pages
About | First

334

335

336
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.