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On this page: Thrasea Priscus – Thrasius – Thrason – Thrasonides – Thrasyas – Thrasybulus


customed to say in the language of the Stoic school, "'Nero can kill me, but cannot injure me." He did not, however, court his fate. During the next three years he retired almost entirely from public life, and was hardly ever seen in the senate. But Nero could neither forget nor forgive him ; and accordingly, after he had put to death so many distinguished men on occasion of Piso's conspiracy, he resolved, to use the words of Tacitus (Ann. xvi. 21), to murder Virtue herself, by the execution of Thrasea and his friend Barea Soranus. The accu­sation, condemnation, and death of Thrasea, are related by Tacitus, with more than his usual power ; and we must refer our readers for the details of the tragic scene to the masterly pages of the great historian. The accusation against Thrasea was placed in the hands of his old enemy Cossutianu's Capito, and of Eprius Marcellus. One of his friends, Arulenus Rusticus, who was then tribune of the people, offered to put his veto upon the decree of the senate, but Thrasea would not allow him thus to sacrifice his life. On the day of his impeachment the temple of Venus, where the senate assembled, was surrounded by soldiers, and bodies of troops were stationed in all the public buildings and open places of the city. The senators had no alternative but submission or death. They gratified the wishes of the emperor by condemning Thrasea and Barea Soranus to death, and Helvidius Priscus, Thrasea's son-in-law, to banishment. Thrasea was allowed the choice of his own death. It was late in the day when the senate pronounced its sentence ; and the consul forthwith sent his quaestor to carry the fatal news to Thrasea. He was in his gardens con­versing with his friends, and was at that moment more particularly engaged in conversation with the Cynic philosopher Demetrius; and the subject of their discussion, as far as could be gathered from the few words that were overheard, appeared to be the immortality of the soul. The conversation was in­terrupted by the arrival of Domitius Caecilianus, one of Thrasea's most intimate friends, who in­formed him of the senate's decision. Thrasea forthwith dismissed his friends, that they might not be involved in the fate of a condemned person ; and when his wife wished to follow the example of her mother, and die with her husband, he entreated her to preserve her life for the sake of their daughter. He then went into a colonnade, where he awaited the arrival of the quaestor. When the latter had delivered to him the decree of the senate, he retired into his chamber with Demetrius and Helvidius Priscus, and there had the veins of both his arms cut. As the blood gushed forth, he said " Let us offer a libation to Jupiter the Deliverer," and then, addressing a few words to the quaestor, he calmly awaited the approach of death. His last words were spoken to Demetrius, but these, unfortunately, are not preserved, as the existing MSS. of the Annals of Tacitus break off at this point. Thrasea perished in a. d. 66, two years before the death of Nero. His panegyric was written by his friend and admirer, Arulenus Rusticus, who was in con­sequence put to death by Domitian. (Tac. Ann. xiii. 49, xiv. 12, 48, 49, xv. 20—22, xvi. 21—35, Hist. ii. 91, iv. 5, Agric. 2 ; Dion Cass. Ixi. 15, Ixii. 26 ; Suet. Ner. 37, Dom. 10 ; Plin. Ep. vii. 19, viii. 22 ; Pint. Praccep. Reip. Gercnd. c. 14, p. 810, a. ; Arrian, Dissert, i. 1. § 26 ; Mart. i. 9 ; Juv. v. 36.)

THRASEA PRISCUS, a man of noble birth



and great acquirements, was slain by Caracalla in a. d. 212. (Dion Cass. Ixxvii. 5.) We learn from the Fasti that his full name was L. Valerius Mes-salla Thrasea Priscus, and that he was consul along with C. Domitius Dexter in A. d. 196, under Sep-timius Severus.

THRASIUS (Qpdffios). 1. A soothsayer who is also called Phrasius. (Hygin.FaS. 56 ; Ov. Art. Am. i. 649 ; Apollod. ii. 5. § 11.)

2. A Trojan who was killed by Achilles. (Horn.//. xxi. 210.) [L. S.]

THRASON, a statuary, mentioned by Strabo (xiv. p. 641), who saw several of his works in the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, and, among them, statues of Penelope and Eurycleia. He is pro­bably the same artist whose name occurs in Pliny's list of those who made atldetas et armatos et vena-tores sacrificantcsquc. (H. N. xxxiv. 8. s. 19. § 34.)

There is an extant inscription in which mention is made of a statue dedicated to Artemis, the work of Straton of Pellene. From the form of the let­ ters of the inscription, Bockh supposes its date to be not earlier than the reign of Trajan or of Ha­ drian, in which case, of course, the artist must have been a different person from the Thrason mentioned by Strabo and Pliny. (Bockh, C. I. No. 1823, vol. ii. p. 9 ; R. Rochette, Lettre a M. Schorn, p. 418, 2d. ed.) [P. S.]

THRASONIDES (®pourovl^s)9 a Stoic phi­losopher, whose conduct on a certain occasion is quoted by Diogenes Laertius, in illustration of the definition of love given by the Stoics. (Diog. vii. 130 ; copied by Suiclas, s. v. "Epws.) [P. S.]

THRASYAS (©pcwriJas), an eminent herbalist, a native of Mantineia in Arcadia, the tutor of Alexias, who is said to have been able to drink hellebore with impunity. He lived shortly before the time of Theophrastus, and therefore probably about the middle of the fourth century b. c. (Theo-phrast. Hist. Plant, ix. 16. § 8 ; 17. §§ 1, 2.)

It is uncertain whether he is the same person who was the author of some medical formulae men­ tioned by Scribonius Largus (De Compos. Medi- cam. c. 208 (78)), and Aetius(ii. 4. 57, iii. 1. 65, pp. 415, 426). [W. A. G.]

THRASYBULUS (©paatgovXos}. 1. Tyrant of Miletus, was a contemporary of Periander and Alyattes, the king of Lydia. We do not learrt when he became tyrant, but from the expression of Herodotus (i. 22) it rather seems that he was tyrant during the whole of the eleven years' war carried on by Sadyattes, and Alyattes against Miletus. It was in the twelfth year of that war that the temple of the Assesian Athene was burnt down, after which Alyattes fell sick, and the Delphic oracle, when consulted by him, refused to give a response till the temple was rebuilt. Periander, who was intimately connected with Thrasybulus, got to know the reply that had been given, and sent word to Thrasybulus, who, when the herald of Alyattes came to demand a truce till the temple should be rebuilt, gave directions that the greatest possible ostentation of plenty should be made, to induce the belief that the Milesians had still abundance of provisions. The stratagem produced the desired effect. Alyattes, who had expected to find the people reduced to the last extremity, hastily concluded a peace, b. c. 612. (Herod, i. 20 —22.)

According to Herodotus (vi. 92) his intercourse

4 b 2

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