Castor or Castor Saoconidarius
), either a native of Rhodes, of Massilia, or of Galatia, was a Greek grammarian and rhetorician, who was surnamed Φιλορώμαιος
, and is usually believed to have lived about the time of Cicero and Julius Caesar.
Works listed by Suidas
He wrote, according to Suidas (if we adopt the readings of Bernhardy, the last editor)
A portion of the Τέχνη ῥητορικὴ is still extant
and printed in Walz's Rhetores Graeci
(iii. p. 712, &c.
To these works Clinton (Fast. Hell.
iii. p. 546) adds a great chronological work (χρονικὰ
), which is referred to several times by Eusebius (Chron. ad Ann.
989, 161, 562, &c.), though it is not quite certain whether this is not the same work as the χρονικὰ ἀγνοήματα
He is frequently referred to as an authority in historical matters, though no historical work is specified, so that those references may allude to any of the above-mentioned works. (Euseb. Praep Evang
1.13, p. 36; Justin Mart. Paraen. ad Graec.
p. 9.) His partiality to the Romans is indicated by his surname; but in what manner he shewed this partiality is unknown, though it may have been in a work mentoned by Plutarch (Quaest. Rom.
10, 76, comp. De Is. et Os.
31), in which he compared the institutions of the Romans with those of Pythagoras.
Confusion between Castor the Grammarian and Castor the Rhetorican
Suidas describes the grammarian and rhetorician Castor as a son-in-law of the (Galatian king Deiotarus (whom, however, he calls a Roman senator!), who notwithstanding afterwards put to death both Castor and his wife, because Castor had brought charges against him before Caesar,--evidently alluding to the affair in which Cicero defended Deiotarus. The Castor whom Suidas thus makes a relative of Deiotarus, appears to be the same as the Castor mentioned by Strabo (xii. p.568
; comp. Caes. Civ. 3.4
) who was surnamed Saoconidarius, was a son-in-law of Deiotarus, and was put to death by him.
But it is, to say the least, extremely doubtful whether the rhetorician had any connexion with the family of Deiotarus at all. The Castor who brought Deiotarus into peril is expressly called a grandson of that king, and was yet a young man at the time (B. C. 44) when Cicero spoke for Deiotarus. (Cic. pro Deiot.
1, 10.) Now we have seen above that one of the works of Castor is referred to in the Bibliotheca
of Apollodorus, who died somewhere about B. C. 140.
The conclusion, therefore, must be, that the rhetorician Castor must have lived at or before the time of Apollodorus, at the latest, about B. C. 150, and can have had no connexion with the Deiotarus for whom Cicero spoke. (Compare Vossius, De Hist. Graec.
p. 202, ed. Westermann; Orelli, Onomast. Tull.
ii. p. 138, in both of which there is much confusion about Castor.)