2. A Peripatetic philosopher of Mytilene, who was a contemporary of Pompey and Cicero.
The latter, who was connected with him by intimate friendship, entertained a very high opinion of him, for he declares him to be the most distinguished among the Peripatetics that he had known (de Off.
3.2), and thinks him at least equal to the greatest men of his school. (De Divin.
1.3.) Cratippus accompanied Pompey in his flight after the battle of Pharsalia, and endeavoured to comfort and rouse him by philosophical arguments. (Plut. Pomp. 75
; comp. Aelian, Ael. VH 7.21
.) Several eminent Romans, such as M. Marcellus and Cicero himself, received instruction from him, and in B. C. 44 young M. Cicero was his pupil at Athens, and was tenderly attached to him. (Cic. Brut. 31
, ad Fam.
12.16, 16.21, de Off.
1.1, 2.2, 7.) Young Cicero seems also to have visited Asia in his company. (Ad Fam.
12.16.) When Caesar was at the head of the Roman republic, Cicero obtained from him the Roman franchise for Cratippus, and also induced the council of the Areiopagus at Athens to invite the philosopher to remain in that city as one of her chief ornaments, and to continue his instructions in philosophy. (Plut. Cic. 24
After the murder of Caesar, Brutus, while staying at Athens, also attended the lectures of Cratippus. (Plut. Brut. 24
.) Notwithstanding the high opinion which Cicero entertained of the knowledge and talent of Cratippus, we do not hear that he wrote on any philosophical subject, and the only allusions we have to his tenets, refer to his opinions on divination, on which he seems to have written a work. Cicero states that Cratippus believed in dreams and supernatural inspiration (furor
), but that he rejected all other kinds of divination. (De Divin.
1.3, 32, 50, 70, 71, 2.48, 52; Tertull. de Anim.