4. Of Syracuse, a Greek historian who wrote a great work on the history of Sicily.
He lived, as Josephus (c. Apion.
1.3) expresses it, long after Philistus, but earlier than Timaeus. From the nature of his work it is clear that he was a contemporary of Agathocles, whom, however, the historian survived, as he mentioned the death of the tyrant.
This work is sometimes called τὰδ τερὶ Ἀγαθοκλέα
, or περὶ Ἀγαθοκλέα ἱστορίαι
, and sometimes also by Roman writers "Historia de Rebus Siculis." (Athen. 12.542
; Aelian, Ael. NA 16.28
; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod.
3.41; Macr. 5.19
; Dionys. A. R. 1.42
; Fest. s. v. Romam.
) It embraced the history of Sicily during the reign of Agathocles, from B. C. 317 to 289, and consisted of twenty-two books. (Diod. xxi. Exc.
12. p. 492.)
The very few fragments which we possess of the work do not enable us to form an opinion upon it, but Diodorus (xxi. Exc.
p. 561) states, that Callias was corrupted by Agathocles with rich bribes; that he sacrificed the truth of history to base gain; and that he went even so far in distorting the truth as to convert the crimes and the violation of the laws human and divine, of which Agathocles was guilty, into praiseworthy actions. (Comp. Suid. s. v. Καλλίας
There is another Callias of Syracuse, a contemporary of Demosthenes, who occupied himself with oratory, but who is mentioned only by Plutarch. (Dem.
5, Vit. X Orat.