the author of a work entitled MILESIACA (Μιλησιακά
or Μιλησιακοὶ λόγοι
), which was probably a romance, having Miletus for its scene.
It was written in prose, and was of a licentious character.
It extended to six books at the least. (Harpocrat. s.. v. δερμηστής
It was translated into Latin by L. Cornelius Sisenna, a contemporary of Sulla, and it seems to have become popular with the Romans. (Plut. Crass. 32
; Ovid. Trist.
2.413, 414, 443, 444; Lucian, Amor.
1.) Aristeides is reckoned as the inventor of the Greek romance, and the title of his work is supposed to have given rise to the term Milesian,
as applied to works of fiction. Some writers think that his work was imitated by Appuleius in his Metamorphoses,
and by Lucian in his Lucius.
The age and country of Aristeides are unknown, but the title of his work is thought to favour the conjecture that he was a native of Miletus. Vossius (de Hist. Graec.
p. 401, ed. Westermann) supposes, that he was the same person as the Aristeides of Miletus, whose works on Sicilian, Italian, and Persian history (Σικελικά
) are several times quoted by Plutarch (Parall.
), and that the author of the historical work περὶ Κνίδου
was also the same person. (Schol. Pind. P. 3.14