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Crates

Κράτης), of MALLUS in Cilicia, the son of Timocrates, is said by Suidas (s. v.) to have been a Stoic philosopher, but is far better known as one of the most distinguished of the ancient Greek grammarians. He lived in the reign of Ptolemy Philometor, and was contemporary with Aristarchus, in rivalry with whom he supported the fame of the Pergamene school of grammar against the Alexandrian, and the system of anomaly (ἀνωμαλία) against that of analogy (ἀναλογία). He is said by Varro to have derived his grammatical system from a certain Chrysippus, who left six books περὶ τῆς ἀνωμαλίας. He was born at Mallus in Cilicia, and was brought up at Tarsus, whence he removed to Pergamus, and there lived under the patronage of Eumenes II. and Attalus II. He was the founder of the Pergamene school of grammar, and seems to have been at one time the chief librarian. About the year 157 B. C., shortly after the death of Ennius, Crates was sent by Attalus as an ambassador to Rome, where he introduced for the first time the study of grammar. The results of his visit lasted a long time, as may be observed especially in the writings of Varro. (Sueton. de Illustr. Grammat. 2.) An accident, by which he broke a leg, gave him the leisure, which his official duties might otherwise have interrupted, for holding frequent grammatical lectures (ἀκροάσεις). We know nothing further of the life of Crates.

In the grammatical system of Crates a strong distinction was made between criticism and grammar, the latter of which sciences he regarded as quite subordinate to the former. The office of the critic, according to Crates, was to investigate everything which could throw light upon literature, either from within or from without; that of the grammarian was only to apply the rules of language to clear up the meaning of particular passages, and to settle the text, the prosody, the accentuation, and so forth, of the ancient writers. From this part of his system, Crates derived the surname of Κοιτικός. This title is derived by some from the fact that, like Aristarchus, Crates gave the greatest attention to the Homeric poems, from his labours upon which he was also surnamed Ὁμηρικός. His chief work is entitled Διόρθωσις Ἰλιάδος καὶ Ὀδυσσείας, in nine books, by which we are probably to understand, not a recension of the Homeric poems, dividing them into nine books, but that the commentary of Crates itself was divided into nine books.

The few fragments of this commentary, which are preserved by the Scholiasts and other ancient writers, have led Wolf to express a very unfavourable opinion of Crates. As to his emendations, it must be admitted that he was far inferior to Aristarchus in judgment, but it is equally certain that he was most ingenious in conjectural emendations. Several of his readings are to this day preferred by the best scholars to those of Aristarchus. As for his excursions into all the scientific and historical questions for which Homer furnishes an occasion, it was the direct consequence of his opinion of the critic's office, that he should undertake them, nor do the results of his inquiries quite deserve the contempt with which Wolf treats them. Among the ancients themselves he enjoyed a reputation little, if at all, inferior to that of Aristarchus. The school which he founded at Pergamus flourished a considerable time, and was the subject of a work by Ptolemy of Ascalon, entitled περὶ τῆς Κρατητείου αἱρέσεως. To this school Wolf refers the catalogues of ancient writers which are mentioned by Dionysius of Halicarnassus (ἐν τοῖς Περγαμηνοῖς πίναξι, ii. p. 118, 5, ed. Sylburg.), who also mentions the school by the name of τοὺς ἐκ Περγάμου γραμματικούς (p. 112, 27). They are also called Κρατήτειοι. Among the catalogues mentioned by Dionysius there can be no doubt that we ought to include the lists of titles (ἀναγραφαί) of dramas, which Athenaeus (viii. p. 336c.) states to have been composed by the Pergamenes.

Besides his work on Homer, Crates wrote commentaries on the Theogony of Hesiod, on Euripides, on Aristophanes, and probably on other ancient authors, a work on the Attic dialect (περὶ Ἀττικῆς διαλέκτου), and works on geography, natural history, and agriculture, of all which only a few fragments exist. Some scholars, however, think, that the Crates of Pergamus, whose work on the wonders of various countries is quoted by Pliny (Plin. Nat. 7.2) and Aelian (Ael. NA 17.9), was a different person. The fragments of his works are collected by C. F. Wegener (De Aula Attalica Litt. Artiumque Fautrice, Havn. 1836, 8vo.) There is also one epigram by him in the Greek Anthology (2.3, Brunck and Jacobs) upon Choerilus. This epigram is assigned to Crates on the authority of its title, Κράτητος γραμματικοῦ. But Diogenes Laertius mentions an epigrammatic poet of the name, as distinct from the grammarian.

(Suidas, s. vv. Κράτης, Ἀρίσταρχος D. L. 4.23; Strabo, pp. 3, 4, 30, 157, 439, 609, 676, &c.; Athen. 11.497f.; Varro, de L. L. 8.64, 68, 9.1; Sext. Empir. ad v. Math. 1.3.79, 12.248; Sc/hol. in Hom. passim ; Plin. Nat. 4.12; Wolf, Proleg. in Hom. li.; Thiersch, Ueber das Zeitalter und Vaterland des Homer, pp. 19-64; Lersch, Die Sprachphilosophie der Alten, i. pp. 67, 69-72, 112, 2.148, 243; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. i. pp. 318, 509, iii. p. 558; Clinton, Fast. Hell. iii. pp. 528, 529.)

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