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On this page: Rhesus – Rhexenor – Rhianus



Thracian. The name of the Thracian kings appears under the form of Rhascuporis, both on coins and in the best writers, while on the coins of the kings of Bosporus we always have the form Rhescuporis. (Eckhel, vol. ii. pp. 375—377.)


rhescuporis II., a contemporary of Domitian, whose head appears on the annexed coin.

rhescuporis I., was king in the reign of Ti­berius, as is evident from the annexed coin, by which we learn that he assumed the name of Tiberius Julius. He continued king at the acces­sion of Caligula, as both the name and head of that emperor appears on his coins ; but he must have died or been driven out of his kingdom soon after­wards, as Caligula made Polemon king both of Pontus and Bosporus in A. d. 39. [polemon, p. 434, b.J


rhescuporis III., a contemporary of Caracalla and Alexander Severus, whose heads appear on his coins.


There was also a Rhescuporis IV., who was a contemporary of Valerian, and a Rhescuporis V., a contemporary of Constantine the Great.

RHESUS ('Pijaos). L A river-god in Bithynia, one of the sons of Oceanus and Thetys. (Hes. Theog. 340 ; Horn. //. xii. 21 ; comp. Strab. xiii. p. 590.)

2. A son of king Ei'oneus in Thrace, and an ally of the Trojans in their war with the Greeks. He possessed horses white as snow -and swift as the wind, which were carried off by night by Odysseus and Diomedes, the latter of whom mur­dered Rhesus himself in his sleep. (Horn. 77. x. 435, 495, &c. ; Virg. Aen. i. 469, with Serv. note).


In later writers Rhesus is described as a son of Strymon and Euterpe, or Calliope, or Terpsichore. (Apollod. i. 3. § 4 ; Conon, Narrat. 4 ; Eustath. ad Horn. p. 817 ; Eurip. Rhesus.) [L. S.]

RHEXENOR ('Pr^cop), two mythical per­ sonages, one the father of Chalciope, and the second a son of Nausithous the king of the Phaeacians, and accordingly a brother of Alci- nous. (Apollod. iii. 15. § 6 ; Horn. Od. vii. 64, &c.) [L. S.]

RHIANUS ('Piaw's), of Crete, was a distin­guished Alexandrian poet and grammarian, in the latter part of the third centiiry b.c. According to Suidas (s. ?;.), lie was a native of Bene, or, as some said, of Ceraea, two obscure cities in Crete, while others made him a native of Ithome in Messenia, a statement easily explained by the supposition that Rhianus spent some time at Ithome, while collecting materials for his poem on the Messenian Wars. He was at first, as Suidas further tells us, a slave and keeper of the palaestra; but afterwards, having been instructed, he became a grammarian. The statement of Suidas, that he was contemporary with Eratosthenes, not only in­dicates the time at which he lived, but suggests the probability that he lived at Alexandria in per­sonal and literary connection with Eratosthenes. On the ground of this statement, Clinton fixes the age of Rhianus at B. c. 222.

He wrote, according to the common text of Suidas, e/XjUerpa Tro/Tj/xara, 'HpatfAetaSa *v (3i§\iois 8', where there can be little doubt that we should read elayuerpa Tro^juara, since the epic poems of Rhianus were certainly those of his works to which he chiefly owed his fame. Thus Athenaeus expressly designates him gttottoios (xi. p. 499 d.). His poems are mentioned by Suetonius (Tib. 70), as among those productions of the Alexandrian school, which the emperor Tiberius admired and imitated.

The subject of the epic poems of Rhianus were taken either from the old mythology, or from the annals of particular states and countries. Of the former class were his 'HpaKAeta (not ' as Suidas has it), and of the latter his 'HAiaKa, ©etrcraAi/ca, and Meo'cn^/a/cct. It is quite uncertain what was the subject of his poem en­titled 4»)7/tt9?, which is only known to us by a single line quoted by Stephanus of Byzantium (s. v. 'Apdtcvvdos). For a full account of the extant fragments of these poems, and for a discussion of their subjects, the reader is referred to Meineke's essay on Rhianus, in his Analecta Ale,randrina. (See also Fabric. Bibl. Grace, vol. i. pp. 734, 735 ; Clinton, F. H. vol iii. pp. 512, 513.)

Like most of the Alexandrian poets, Rhianus was also a writer of epigrams. Ten of his epigrams are preserved in the Palatine Anthology, and one by Athenaeus. They treat of amatory subjects with much freedom ; but they all excel in elegance of language, cleverness of invention, and simplicity of expression. He had a place in the Garland of Meleager. (Brunck, Anal. vol. i. p. 479, ii. p. 526 ; Jacob's Anth. Graec. vol. i. p. 229, vol. xiii. pp. 945 —947 ; Meineke, pp. 206—212.)

Respecting the grammatical works of Rhianus, we only know that he is frequently quoted in the Scholia on liomer, as one of the commentators on the poet.

The fragments of Rhianus have been printed in most of the old collections of the Greek poets (see

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