When He Studied Philosophy, He Dressed Like a Slob—Philostratus, V.S. 567


From the Lives of the Sophists (Aristocles of Pergamum)

“Aristocles of Pergamum was famous among sophists—I will relate as much as I have heard about him from older men. This man came from a consular rank; although from the time of childhood through adolescence he studied the work of the Peripatetic school, he moved on to the sophists and frequented Herodes’ lectures on extemporaneous speech in Rome. As a student of philosophy,  he was coarse and heedless in appearance, and his clothing was squalid; but as a sophist, he took delicate care—he reformed his squalid ways and introduced into his house the pleasures of the lyre, pipes, and voices as if he had heard them knocking at his door. Although in earlier days he had been rather restrained, now he frequently went to the theater and its great noise.

When he was becoming well-known in Pergamum and all of Greece nearby was fixated with him, Herodes traveled to Pergamum and sent his own students to him—he raised up Aristocles as a vote from Athena would.  His fashion of speech was clear and Attic, but it was readier for set-debate than forensic use—for his speech had no anger or sudden breaks; and his Atticism, if it were to be weighed against Herodes’ speech, would seem rather slight and to lack in weight and sound. Aristocles died when his hair was half-grey, when he was just starting to get old.”


γ′. ᾿Ονομαστὸς ἐν σοφισταῖς καὶ ᾿Αριστοκλῆς ὁ ἐκ τοῦ Περγάμου, ὑπὲρ οὗ δηλώσω, ὁπόσα τῶν πρεσβυτέρων ἤκουον· ἐτέλει μὲν γὰρ ἐς ὑπάτους ὁ ἀνὴρ οὗτος, τὸν δὲ ἐκ παίδων ἐς ἥβην χρόνον τοὺς ἀπὸ τοῦ Περιπάτου φιλοσοφήσας λόγους ἐς τοὺς σοφιστὰς μετερρύη θαμίζων ἐν τῇ ῾Ρώμῃ τῷ ῾Ηρώδῃ διατιθεμένῳ σχεδίους λόγους. ὃν δὲ ἐφιλοσόφει χρόνον αὐχμηρὸς δοκῶν καὶ τραχὺς τὸ εἶδος καὶ δυσπινὴς τὴν ἐσθῆτα ἥβρυνε καὶ τὸν αὐχμὸν ἀπετρίψατο ἡδονάς τε, ὁπόσαι λυρῶν τε καὶ αὐλῶν καὶ εὐφωνίας εἰσί, πάσας ἐσηγάγετο ἐπὶ τὴν δίαιταν, ὥσπερ ἐπὶ θύρας αὐτῷ ἡκούσας, τὸν γὰρ πρὸ τοῦ χρόνον οὕτω κεκολασμένος ἀτάκτως ἐς τὰ θέατρα ἐφοίτα καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν τούτων ἠχώ. εὐδοκιμοῦντι δὲ αὐτῷ κατὰ τὸ Πέργαμον κἀξηρτημένῳ πᾶν τὸ ἐκείνῃ ῾Ελληνικὸν ἐξελαύνων ὁ ῾Ηρώδης ἐς Πέργαμον ἔπεμψε τοὺς ἑαυτοῦ ὁμιλητὰς πάντας καὶ τὸν ᾿Αριστοκλέα ἦρεν, ὥσπερ τις ᾿Αθηνᾶς ψῆφος. ἡ δὲ ἰδέα τοῦ λόγου διαυγὴς μὲν καὶ ἀττικίζουσα, διαλέγεσθαι δὲ ἐπιτηδεία μᾶλλον ἢ ἀγωνίζεσθαι, χολή τε γὰρ ἄπεστι τοῦ λόγου καὶ ὁρμαὶ πρὸς βραχὺ αὐτή τε ἡ ἀττίκισις, εἰ παρὰ τὴν τοῦ ῾Ηρώδου γλῶτταν βασανίζοιτο, λεπτολογεῖσθαι δόξει μᾶλλον ἢ κρότου τε καὶ ἠχοῦς ξυγκεῖσθαι. ἐτελεύτα δὲ ὁ ᾿Αριστοκλῆς μεσαιπόλιος, ἄρτι προσβαίνων τῷ γηράσκειν.

The Sons of Odysseus Part 4, Telegonos

(This is a continuation of a search for all the children of Odysseus)

In our version of Hesiod’s Theogony, Telegonos appears in a disputed line as one of the sons of Kirkê and Odysseus. It is thought that the line was interpolated to keep Hesiod ‘current’ with the Cyclic poem the Telegony by Eugammon of Cyrene (which is lost):
“Kirkê, the daughter of Helios, Hyperion’s son,
After having sex with Odysseus, gave birth to
Agrios and Latînos, blameless and strong.
And she also gave birth to Telegonos thanks to golden Aphrodite.
Her sons rule far away in the recess of the holy islands
Among the glorious Tursênians.”

Κίρκη δ’ ᾿Ηελίου θυγάτηρ ῾Υπεριονίδαο
γείνατ’ ᾿Οδυσσῆος ταλασίφρονος ἐν φιλότητι
῎Αγριον ἠδὲ Λατῖνον ἀμύμονά τε κρατερόν τε•
[Τηλέγονον δὲ ἔτικτε διὰ χρυσῆν ᾿Αφροδίτην•]
οἳ δή τοι μάλα τῆλε μυχῷ νήσων ἱεράων
πᾶσιν Τυρσηνοῖσιν ἀγακλειτοῖσιν ἄνασσον.

West (1966, 434-5) considers the line about Telegonos to be a Byzantine interpolation. Though I do not aim to argue strenuously against troubling this line, it is important to note that Telegonos’ name (“born far away”; “begotten far away”) may be echoed in the line after the supposed interpolation (μάλα τῆλε). Both his and Telemakhos’ names in marking their distance, their ‘farness’, seem to echo the far-flung traveling nature of their father.

(And though Telemakhos is obviously in the Odyssey and mentioned in the Iliad, neither he nor Telegonos have a large presence in the larger body of myth. Both are largely absent from Archaic and Classical Greek art…)

Eustathius (Comm. Ad Od.1.142.35) explains such naming for sons: “Concerning being born far off, it is sufficiently clear in the Iliad. And now it will be addressed to an extent. Among the ancients, that someone is far-born is not only about where he was born, as the only son of Menelaos was Megapenthes, but that he was born when he father was far away or grew up in this way after he was born. A first example of this is Telegonos who was born from Kirkê when Odysseus was far away.”

Περὶ δὲ τοῦ τηλύγετος, ἱκανῶς ἡ ᾿Ιλιὰς δηλοῖ. νῦν δὲ εἰς τοσοῦτον ῥητέον. ὡς τηλύγετος παῖς παρὰ τοῖς παλαιοῖς, οὐ μόνον μεθ’ ὃν οὐκ ἔστι τεκνώσασθαι, ἢ ὁ μόνος υἱὸς ὡς ὁ Μεγαπένθης ἐνταῦθα τῷ Μενελάῳ, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὁ τῆλε ὄντι τῷ πατρὶ γεννηθεὶς, ἢ καὶ αὐξηθεὶς μετὰ γέννησιν. παράδειγμα τοῦ πρώτου, Τηλέγονος ὁ ἐκ Κίρκης τῆλέ που γεννηθεὶς τῷ ᾿Οδυσσεῖ.

Continue reading “The Sons of Odysseus Part 4, Telegonos”