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Timoleon. Phalaris

We may fairly judge Timaeus on the principles which
The incapacity of Timaeus for forming a judgment.
he has himself laid down. According to him, "poets and historians betray their own tastes by the incidents which they repeatedly record in their writings. Thus the poet1 by his fondness for banqueting scenes shows that he is a glutton; and in the same way Aristotle, by frequently describing rich food in his writings, betrays his love of dainty living and his greediness." On the same principle he judges Dionysius the tyrant because he "was always very particular in the ornamentation of his dining-couches, and had hangings of exquisite make and variegated colours." If we apply this principle to Timaeus, we shall have abundant reason to think badly of him. In attacking others he shows great acuteness and boldness; when he comes to independent narrative he is full of dreams, miracles, incredible myths,—in a word, of miserable superstition and old wives' tales. The truth is that Timaeus is a proof of the fact, that at times, and in the case of many men, want of skill and want of judgment so completely destroy the value of their evidence, that though present at and eye-witnesses of the facts which they record, they might just as well have been absent or had no eyes. . . .

1 Homer, who is generally spoken of as "the poet." We may remember Horace Ep. 1, 19, 6)Laudibus arguitur vini vinosus Homerus.

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