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XANTHUS.

was slain by Diomedes in the Trojan war. (Horn. II. v. 152.)

3. A son of Erymanthus, and father of Psophis. (Paus. viii. 24. § 1.)

4. The last king of Thebes, was slain in single combat by Melanthus or Andropompus. (Strab. ix. p. 393 ; Paus. ix. 5. § 8.)

5. One of the sons of Aegyptus. (Hygin. Fab. 220.)

The name Xanthus is also given to some horses in Greek mythology, as to one of Achilles (Horn. II. xvi. 149), and of Hector (viii. 185). [L. S.]

XANTHUS (Eavflos), literary. 1. A lyric poet, older than Stesichorus, who mentioned him in one at least of his poems, and who borrowed from him in some of them. Among the rest, Stesichorus composed his poem entitled Oresteia ('O/je<rTeia), in imitation of Xanthus. We also learn from Megacleides, on the authority of Ste­sichorus himself, that Xanthus represented Hera­cles as equipped, not in the dress and arms ascribed to him by Stesichorus and the later poets, but in the fashion in which he is described by Homer. (Megacleid. ap. Aih. xii. p. 513, a.; Kleine, Stesich. Frag, xxxvii. p. 83 ; on the general subject of the mention of the older poets by their successors, see Kleine, p. 71.)

Xanthus is also mentioned by Aelian ( V. H. iv. 26), who quotes a statement respecting Electra, the daughter of Agamemnon, which is no doubt taken from the Oresteia. Clinton places Xanthus about B. c. 650, before Peisander, and 45 years before Stesichorus. No fragments of his poetry survive. (Fabric. Bill. Grace, vol. ii. p. 159; Bode, GescJi. d. Hellen. Dichtkunst, vol. ii. pt. 2, pp. 82, 83 ; Clinton F. H. vol. i. p. 365.)

2. A celebrated Lydian historian, older than Herodotus, who is said to have been indebted to the work of Xanthus (Ephor. ap. Ath. xii. p. 515, tHpo$6rfi) to.s d^op/x&s SeScoKoros; the statement about his influence on Herodotus is questioned by Dahlmann, de Herod, p. 121). Suidas makes him the son of Candaules, and a native of Sardis ; but there is reason to believe that these statements rest on no good authority. Strabo (xiii. p. 628, a.) mentions him in the following terms:—" And Xanthus, the ancient historian, is said to have been a Lydian ; but whether he was of Sardis, we do not know." Suidas fixes his date " at the taking of Sardis," which, if there be any truth in it, must refer to the taking of Sardis by the lonians in b. c. 499. This date, however, appears to be rather too high, when compared with the mention of Xanthus by Dionysius of Halicarnas-sus (de Jud. Thuc. p. 818), among the writers who were " a little older than the Peloponnesian war, and whose time reached down to that of Thucydides." There is another indication of the date of Xanthus, proving, if the quotation be genuine, that he wrote, or continued to write, his history after B. c. 464 ; for Strabo (i. p. /19, c.) tells us that he mentioned a great drought in the reign of Artaxerxes, who came to the throne in b. c. 464. It is therefore the opinion of critics, either that the date given by Suidas must be that of the birth of Xanthus, which is a most unusual sense of 7670^$ in Suidas, or else that the pas­sage has been corrupted by a transcriber, who ac­cidentally repeated the word 2a/05ecoj>. (The pas­sage is Edvdos, KcwSavAov, Avdbs e« SapSeeov f<r» os' 7670*^5 67rl tt}$ aAc£(Tews ScSpSewy). This

1287

XANTHUS.

is the suggestion of Creuzer, who proposes to sub­stitute 'AOyvwv for SapSecoj', thus referring the time of Xanthus to the taking of Athens by Xerxes, in b. c. 480 ; but, though this correction may give a truer date for Xanthus, it can hardly be accepted as being what Suidas wrote.

A far more important question, than this differ­ence of twenty years or so in the date of Xanthus, is that of the genuineness of the Four Books of Lydian History (AvSiaKci, /3i£Afa 5', Suid.), which the ancients possessed, as well as an epitome of them by a certain Menippus (Diog. Laert. vi. 101, [Mej/JTTTros] b ypdtyas to, Trepl Avfiwv Kal ZdvOov e7riTejUo/xej>os), and of which some considerable fragments have come down to us. The genuine­ness of the work was questioned by some of the ancient grammarians themselves. The most im­portant testimony on this subject is in the passage above cited from Athenaeus, who quotes a state­ment as made " by Xanthus the Lydian, or by the author of the Histories ascribed to him, namely Dionysius Scytobrachion, as Artemon of Cassan-dreia says (ev t<$ irepl crvvaywyris [o^cry&ryfjs] fii§\iwv)9 not knowing that Ephorus the historian mentions him, &c." It will be at once seen that the reply of Athenaeus to the statement of Arte­mon only proves, what no one doubts, the exist­ence and time of Xanthus, not the genuineness of the work, ascribed to him. An argument in sup­port of the genuineness of the work has been drawn by the exalted terms of praise in which Dionysius of Halicarnassus speaks of Xanthus (/. c. tffTopias iraXaias et /ecu ns a\\os e/jLireipos coj>, ttjs 5e irarpiov Kal jSegcucoT^s Uv ovfievbs inrodfeffrepos vofAurQeis). But here we have no reference to the genuineness of the work, the tacit assumption of which by such a writer as Dionysius can hardly be set up as a strong argument in reply to the positive critical judgment of Artemon ; especially as in­stances might be quoted (see Mliller, loc. inf. cit.) in which Dionysius has made similar references to other works, which more ancient writers have pro­nounced to be spurious ; and moreover there is a passage in which Dionysius himself makes a pass­ing allusion to the doubts respecting the genuine­ness of certain ancient writers, in a matter which seems to imply that he did not care to enter mi­nutely into such questions ; and it is very pro­bable, when we consider the nature of the frag­ments which have come down to us under the name of Xanthus, as well as the character of the historical work of Dionysius himself, that the ad­miration of the latter for the former was rather ex­cited by his richness in mythical stories, than caused by any sound critical estimate of his value as a trustworthy historian. Among modern scho­lars, Creuzer, in his edition of the fragments of Xanthus, has maintained the genuineness of the work, while Welcker has constructed an elaborate argument against it (Seebod's Archiv. 1830, pp. 70, foil.), a summary of which is given by C. Mtil­ler (loc. inf. cit.} who accepts the conclusion of Welcker. It is certain that much of the matter in the extant fragments is spurious ; and the pro­bability appears to be that the work from which they are taken is the production of an Alexandrian grammarian, founded upon the genuine work oi Xanthus. C. Miiller has pointed out those pas­sages which, in his opinion, are most probably por­tions of the original work. They are of great value. A work on the Magian religion

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