The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Poseidon

POSEIDIPPUS.

last, not only of these six, but of all the poets of the New Comedy. He began to exhibit dramas in the third year after the death of Menander, that is, in 01. 122. 3, b.c. 289, so that his time falls just at the era in Greek literary history which is marked by the accession of Ptolemy Philadelphia. (Suid. s. v.; Clinton, F. H. vol. ii. s. a. and p. ii.)

Of the events of the poet's life nothing is known ; but his portrait is preserved to us in the beautiful sitting statue in the Vatican, which, with the accompanying statue of Menander, is esteemed by Winckelmann and others as among the finest works of Greek sculpture which have come down to us. (Visconti, Mus. Pio-Clem. vol. iii. pp. 16 — 21 ; Winckelmann, VorlaufigeAbhandlung, c. iv. § 126 ; see also the description by Schlegel, quoted under menander, Vol. II. p. 1031, b.)

Athenaeus (xiv. p. 652, d.) mentions a letter of the comic poet and grammarian, Lynceus of Samos, to Poseidippus.

In his language, Meineke (p. 48<J) has detected some new words, and old words in new senses, totally unknown to the best Attic writers.

According to Suidas, he wrote forty plays, of which the following eighteen titles are preserved : iroKheiopevn, TaAar^s1, a^otcw, , 'Eimrrafyio?, 'E^etn'a, KcoSwz', Ao-

Xopevovacu. The extant fragments of these plays are not sufficient to enable us to form an accurate judgment of the poet's style ; but it seems, from the titles, that some of his plays were of a licentious character. Gellius (ii. 23) mentions him among the Greek comedians who were imitated by the Latin poets. (Fabric. Bib'1 . Graec. vol. ii. pp. 489, 490 ; Meineke, Frag. Com. Graec. vol. i. pp. 482

—484, vol.iv. pp. 513—528, ed. Minor, pp. 1141

—1149.)

2. An epigrammatic poet, who was probably a different person from the comic poet, since he is mentioned with the appellation 6 eTriypa/u.fJ.aToypd-(pos (Schol. in Apoll. Rhod. i. 1289). He seems, however, to have lived about the same time as the comic poet, since Zeno and Cleanthes, who were contemporary with the latter, are mentioned in one of his epigrams (No. 11), and another epigram (No. 21) is upon the temple which Ptolemy Philadelphia erected in honour of his sister and wife Arsinoe [arsinoe]. He is several times referred to by Athenaeus, Stephanus Byzantinus, and the gram­marians. His epigrams formed a part of the Gar­land of Meleager, who appears to mention him as a Sicilian (Prooem. 45, 46) ; and twenty-two of them are preserved in the Greek Anthology ; but some of these are also ascribed to Asclepiades and Callimachus. One of his epigrams, that on the statue of Opportunity by Lysippus (No. 13), is imitated by Ausonius (Epig. 12.)

Athenaeus (xiii. p. 596, c.) quotes the AidtoTria of Poseidippus, and elsewhere his 'Acr&ma, which seem to have been epic poems, and which Schweig-hauser is probably right in referring to the author of the epigrams. (Brunck, Anal. vol. ii. pp. 46, 51, 528 ; Jacobs, A nth. Graec. vol. ii. pp. 46 — 52, vol. xiii. pp. 942, 943 ; Fabric. Bill. Graec. vol. iv. p. 493.)

3. An historian, who wrote a work respecting Cnidus, which contained several particulars respect­ing the Venus of Praxiteles. (Clem. Alex. Protrept. pp. 16, 17; Arnob. vi. 13.) He is also cited by

505

POSEIDON.

Tzetzes, who concludes his quotation with an epigram by^ Poseidippus (Chil. vii. 144). From this and other circumstances it appears very pro­ bable that this historian was the same person as the epigrammatist. (Vossius, de Hist. Graec. p. 491, ed. Westermann). [P. S.]

POSEIDON (Uo<rcti£v\ the god of the Medi­terranean sea. His name seems to be connected with ttotos, ttqvtos and Trora^uo's-, according to which he is the god of the fluid element. (Miiller, Proleg. p. 290.) He was a son of Cronos and Rhea (whence he is called Kpovios and by Latin poets Saturnius.) Pind. Ol. vi. 48 ; Virg. Aen. v. 799.) He was accordingly a brother of Zeus, Hades, Hera, Hestia and Demeter, and it was de­termined by lot that he should rule over the sea. (Horn. //. xiv. 156, xv. 187, &c. ; Hes. Theog* 456.) Like his brothers and sisters, he was, after his birth, swallowed by his father Cronos, but thrown up again. (Apollod. i. 1. § 5, 2. § 1.) According to others, he was concealed by Rhea, after his birth, among a flock of lambs, and his mother pretended to have given birth to a young horse, which she gave to Cronos to devour. A well in the neighbourhood of Mantineia, where this is said to have happened, was believed, from this circumstance, to have derived the name of the " Lamb's Well," or Arne. (Pans. viii. 8. § 2.) Ac­cording to Tzetzes (ad Lycopk. 644) the nurse of Poseidon bore the name of Arne ; when Cronos searched after his son, Arne is said to have de­clared that she knew not where he was, and from her the town of Arne was believed to have received its name. According to others, again, he was brought up by the Telchines at the request of Rhea. (Diod. v. 55.) In the earliest poems, Po­seidon is described as indeed equal to Zeus in dignity, but weaker. (Horn. II. viii. 210, xv. 165. 186, 209 ; comp. xiii. 355, Od. xiii. 148.) Hence we find him angry when Zeus, by haughty words, attempts to intimidate him ; nay, he even threatens his mightier brother, and once he conspired with Hera and Athena to put him into chains (Horn. 77. xv. 176, &c., 212, &c. ; comp. i. 400.) ; but, on the other hand, we also find him yielding and submissive to Zeus (viii. 440). The palace of Poseidon was in the depth of the sea near Aegae in Euboea (xiii. 21; Od. v. 381), where he kept his horses with brazen hoofs and golden manes. With these horses he rides in a chariot over the waves of the sea, which become smooth as he ap­proaches, and the monsters of the deep recognise him and play around his chariot. (II. xiiL27; comp. Virg. Aen. v. 817, &c., i. 147; Apollon. Rhod. iii. 1240, &c.) Generally he himself put his horses to his chariot, but sometimes he was assisted by Amphitrite. (Apollon. Rhod. i. 1158, iv. 1325; Eurip. Androm. 1011; Virg. Aen. v. 817.) But although he generally dwelt in the sea, still he also appears in Olympus in the assembly of the gods. (Horn. //. viii. 440, xiii. 44, 352, xv. 161, 190, xx. 13.) Poseidon in conjunction with Apollo is said to have built the walls of Troy for Laomedon (vii. 452; Eurip. Androm. 1014),whence Troy is called Neptunia Pergama (Neptunus and Poseidon being identified, Ov. Fast. i. 525, Harold. iii. 151; comp. Virg. Aen. vi. 810.) Accordingly, although he was otherwise well disposed towards the Greeks, yet he was jealous of the wall which the Greeks built around their own ships, and he lamented the inglorious manner in which the walls

Pages
About | First

503

504

505
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.