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Apollonius

Ἀπολλώνιος).


1.

Apollonius Rhodius. A Greek scholar and epic poet of the Alexandrian Age, born at Alexandria about B.C. 260. A pupil of Callimachus, he wrote a long epic, Argonautica, in four books, in which, departing from his master's taste for the learned and artificial, he aimed at all the simplicity of Homer. The party of Callimachus rejected the poem, and Apollonius retired in disgust to Rhodes, where his labours as a rhetorician and his newly revised poem won him hearty recognition and even admission to citizenship, whence his surname. Afterwards, returning to Alexandria, he recited his poem once more, and this time with universal applause, so that Ptolemy Epiphanes, in B.C. 196, appointed him to succeed

Eratosthenes as librarian. He probably died during the tenure of this office. His epic poem, which has survived, has a certain simplicity, though falling far short of the naturalness and beauty of Homer. Its uniform mediocrity often makes it positively tedious, though it is constructed with great care, especially in its versification. By the Romans it was much prized, and more than once imitated, as by Varro Atacinus and Valerius Flaccus. A valuable collection of scholia upon it testifies the esteem in which it was held by the learned of old. A good edition is that by Seaton, 1888.


2.

Apollonius of Tralles. A Greek sculptor of the school of Rhodes, and joint author with his countryman Tauriscus of the celebrated Dircé group. (See Antiopé.) Among other artists of the name, the worthiest of mention is Apollonius of Athens, of the first century B.C. From his hand is the Heracles, now only a torso, preserved in the Belvedere at Rome.


3.

Apollonius of Perga, in Pamphylia. A Greek mathematician called “the Geometer,” who lived at Pergamus and Alexandria in the first century B.C., and wrote a work on Conic Sections in eight books, of which we have only the first four in the original—the fifth, sixth, and seventh in an Arabic translation, and the eighth in extracts. See Schömann, Apollonius von Perga (1878).


4.

Apollonius of Tyăna, in Cappadocia, the most celebrated of the Neo-Pythagoreans, lived after the middle of the first century A.D. By a severely ascetic life on the supposed principles of Pythagoras, and by pretended miracles, he obtained such a hold upon the multitude that he was worshipped as a god, and set up as a rival to Christ. The account of his life by the elder Philostratus (q.v.) is more romance than history, and offers little to build upon. Having received his philosophical education, and lived in the temple of Asclepius at Aegae till his twentieth year, he divided his patrimony among the poor, and roamed all over the world; he was even said to have reached India and the sources of the Nile. Twice he lived at Rome: first under Nero, until the expulsion of the philosophers; and again in Domitian's reign, when he had to answer a charge of conspiring against the emperor. Smuggled out of Rome during his trial, he continued his life as a wandering preacher of morals and worker of marvels for some years longer, and is said to have died at a great age, the master of a school at Ephesus. Of his alleged writings, eighty-five letters have alone survived. See the work by Pettersch (Berlin, 1879); and Apollonius Tyanensis by Göttsching (1889).


5.

Apollonius Dyscŏlus (“the Surly”). A Greek scholar of Alexandria, where he had received his education, and where he ended his days a member of the Museum, after having laboured as a teacher at Rome under Antoninus Pius, about A.D. 140. He is the father of scientific Grammar, having been the first to reduce it to systematic form. His extant works are the treatises on Pronouns, Adverbs, Conjunctions, and the Syntax of the parts of speech, in four books. He was followed especially by the Latin grammarians, above all by See Skrzeczka, Die Lehre des Apollonius Dyscolus (1869); and the article Priscianus.


6.

Apollonius the Sophist, of Alexandria. His precise date A.D. is unknown. He was the author of an extant lexicon of Homeric glosses, based on Apion 's lost writings. See Glossa.


7.

Apollonius of Tyre, the hero of a Greek romance now lost, composed in Asia Minor, in the third century A.D., on the model of the Ephesian History of Xenophon. We have a free Latin version made by a Christian, about the sixth century, probably in Italy, which was much read in the Middle Ages, and translated into Anglo-Saxon, English, French, Italian, Middle-Greek, and German, in prose and verse. Its materials are used in the pseudo-Shakespearian drama of Pericles, Prince of Tyre. See Simrock, Quellen des Shakespeare (Bonn, 1872); and Hagen, Der Roman von König Apollonius in seinen verschiedenen Bearbeitungen (1878).

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