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Timaeus Exalts Timoleon To Excess

Timaeus attacks Ephorus with great severity, though he
Timaeus's over-estimate of Timoleon.
is himself liable to two grave charges—bitterness in attacking others for faults of which he is himself guilty, and complete demoralisation, shown by the opinions which he expresses in his memoirs, and which he endeavours to implant in the minds of his readers. If we are to lay it down that Callisthenes deserved his death, what ought to happen to Timaeus? Surely there is much more reason for Providence to be wroth with him than with Callisthenes. The latter wished to deify Alexander; but Timaeus exalts Timoleon above the most venerable gods. The hero of Callisthenes, again, was a man by universal consent of a superhuman elevation of spirit; while Timoleon, far from having accomplished any action of first-rate importance, never even undertook one. The one expedition which he achieved in the course of his life took him no farther than from Corinth to Syracuse; and how paltry is such a distance when compared with the extent of the world! I presume that Timaeus believed that if Timoleon, by gaining glory in such a mere saucer of a place as Sicily, should be thought comparable to the most illustrious heroes, he too himself, as the historian of only Italy and Sicily, might properly be considered on a par with the writers of universal history. This will be sufficient defence of Aristotle, Theophrastus, Callisthenes, Ephorus, and Demochares against the attacks of Timaeus: and it is addressed to those who believe that this historian is impartial and truthful. . . .

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